RACHEL BELLE

‘We kiss quite frequently’: Seattle couple celebrates their 71st Valentine’s Day together

Feb 14, 2022, 11:54 AM
Amira, Valentine's Day...
Victor and Regina Amira are still very much in love after more than 70 years together. (Photo by Rachel Belle/KIRO Newsradio)
(Photo by Rachel Belle/KIRO Newsradio)

Seattle lovebirds Regina and Victor Amira are 90 years old and, in honor of Valentine’s Day, they shared the story of how they met more than 71 years ago.

“July 15th, 1950, happened to be a very rainy day,” said Victor, who remembers every detail of that day.

Eighteen-year-old Victor was passing the time at a friend’s house.

“And his younger sister came down [the stairs] with this girl,” Victor said. “There was a theater at that time on 29th and Cherry called Madrona Theater. Normally they would have walked there, but because it was pouring down rain they asked if we would drive them.”

So Victor, his friend, his friend’s sister, and Regina all went to the movies.

“When I’d go to a movie theater, I’d try to get a seat on the aisle so I could put my [long] legs in the aisle,” Victor said. “But for some reason, that I can never explain to this day, I did not do that. Apparently the movie wasn’t really interesting so I started looking around. I looked to my left and I did a double take. As strange as it may seem, all of a sudden I’m madly in love with this girl who just happened to be sitting next to me. I’m not kidding, this is exactly what happened! I didn’t know her, I’d never spoken to her. I thought, my god, what’s going on here?”

Regina grew up on the island of Rhodes and in Morocco, and had immigrated to Seattle with her family just a few years earlier.

“For at least three weeks I couldn’t get this girl out of my mind and I wanted to find a way to go speak to her,” Victor said. “But I was 18 and bashful.”

Not long after, Victor was invited to a party.

“So we went to the party, and you know who I danced with almost the entire night? This girl,” Victor said. “But just the same, I couldn’t get up the nerve to speak to her, I don’t know why! But I did kiss her on the cheek. Yes, I did!”

Days went by and Victor couldn’t take it any longer.

“Right after dinner, I’m going to go and do this once and for all,” he remembers telling himself. “I drove up to her house and went up to the porch and I said, ‘Would you like to go for a drive?’ I held my breath, and lo and behold she said, ‘Yes.'”

“And that little three-letter word led to a lifetime of love,” he added. “We’ve been driving together for 71 and a half years, we’ve now been married 69 years, and I am still crazy about her every single day.”

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More than 70 years later, one of their favorite things to do together is go on drives.

“At this age, he’s still a good driver,” Regina said. “And I’m a good front seat driver, too.”

So what’s the secret to being happily married for nearly seven decades?

“No secret,” Regina said. “You just have respect for one another and do the best you can.”

They do kiss before they go to sleep every night.

“Oh, yes, absolutely, and during the night we get up and go back to bed and kiss,” Victor said. “We kiss quite frequently.”

“Telling each other more than once a day that we love each other,” Regina added. “That’s very, very special.”

Are they still intimate?

“I’m not going to answer that!” Regina rightfully replied.

“I plead the fifth amendment!” Victor laughed.

We spoke for about an hour, but by the end of the conversation I still needed some clarity: How did he fall madly in love with a person that he had never spoken to before?

“I have to honestly tell you, here we are, 71 and a half years later, and I am constantly waking up during the night wondering how in the world did that happen. I can’t explain it,” Victor said.

“I would call it a blessing,” Regina said.

“We are constantly saying thank you god, thank you god, thank you god.”

Listen to Rachel Belle’s James Beard Award nominated podcast, “Your Last Meal.” Follow @yourlastmealpodcast on Instagram!

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‘We kiss quite frequently’: Seattle couple celebrates their 71st Valentine’s Day together