Today's crumb began in 1961, in the cafeteria of Occidental College in California, where sophomore Janice Rude served on the serving line. Freshman Prentiss Willson was always early to meals because he thought she was beautiful and looked forward to seeing her. They began dating, and in 1962 a newspaper announced their engagement, but said "no date has been set." Then Janice' father opposed the marriage, and threatened to cut off her tuition. The young lovers could not make it work, and eventually parted ways. Prentiss graduated from Harvard Law School and practiced in the San Francisco Bay area. Janice settled in Reno, Nevada, where she ran her family's diving board business. Over 47 years, each married and divorced several times.

Their paths crossed occasionally through friends. "I tried to stop thinking about him," Janice said, but in 2010, she agreed to join him for lunch. She warned her daughter, "This might be goodbye forever." It wasn't. After lunch, they walked along a path overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and Prentiss asked if he could kiss her. Six months later, they became re-engaged, and in 2012 they returned to Occidential College to be married on campus. "We just couldn't find unconditional love with anyone else," said Prentiss. "We lament every day we missed together. That's about 17,500 days, but who's counting?" Janice says, "We feel like 18 again, blissfully in love."