Miriam and Joe Guerra celebrate 60th anniversary

High school sweethearts are still going strong
February 13, 2018

A lot has happened in the world since Jan. 15, 1958, but one thing has remained constant – the love between Miriam and Joe Guerra.

About a month ahead of Valentine's Day, the couple celebrated their 60th anniversary. There wasn't much hoopla surrounding it, as the couple celebrated it just like they did 10 years earlier for their 50th, a simple and quiet night out at a local restaurant.

"It feels like yesterday that we got married," Miriam said. "It really does."

They were high school sweethearts. After meeting in junior high, their friendship developed into a romantic relationship. And while they walked in the same circles, they couldn't have been more different.

"I was the school's valedictorian, and he was the bad boy," she said with a laugh.

Joe had the the look depicted in Grease or The Outsiders, sporting a leather jacket, slicked-back hair with cigarettes rolled up in his T-shirt sleeve. Miriam said she was more of the bookish golden child.

No matter; their differences worked for them. It's been a common theme for the last 60 years.

"We are very different people, but we complement each other," Miriam said. "Each one brings something to the table. I think that's the most important thing."
Through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, Miriam and Joe have stood strong. But it's not always easy, she said.

"First of all, you've got to really care for each other," she said. "I think of us as a team. You have to work together, even through the downs. There's ups and downs, but even through the downs, you have to get through."

Miriam, who will soon turn 77, is semi-retired, but still works four days a week, serving as the bookkeeper and an associate broker for RE/MAX in Rehoboth Beach. Joe, now 78, is a retired painter. He also worked as a bus driver for Cape Henlopen School District for 15 years, taking students to and from the Sussex Consortium. He later drove buses for five years for a private contractor.

The couple has two daughters. One lives locally, while the other is in Baltimore.

Adhering to that bad boy persona, Joe has a love for motorcycles and classic cars. Over the years, the couple has had eight different bikes, and Joe still has a Harley-Davidson. He also has his prized 1950 Mercury. The cherry-red, two-door coupe is detailed with white-wall tires, and flames on the hood and side panels.

"He loves that car," Miriam said.

He always wanted that model, but raising a family and other of life's adventures always prevented him from getting it. That is, until he retired.

"I would never want him to have to choose between me and that car, because I'm afraid it would be the car," Miriam joked.