Reunited … after all these years
TEENAGE SWEETHEARTS Col. James Bounds and his new wife, Evelyn Newell Null Bounds, stroll down the same pathway they walked almost three months ago when they married. Evelyn holds a heart-shaped fan with photos of the couple 62 years ago and the saying, "An Affair to Remember." The Bounds were married June 15 in an outdoor ceremony at Evelyn's home in Meridian. Photo by Paula Merritt/The Meridian Star
By Penny Randall / staff writer
Sept. 7, 2003
On their wedding day, James looked dashing in a white tuxedo jacket and black necktie, and Evelyn was breathtaking in a light blue dress with pearl beading.
When James Bounds and Evelyn Newell Null talk about their wedding day, you'd think they've been married for years. But in fact, the two 81-year-old teenage sweethearts tied the knot on June 15, 2003 more than 62 years after their first date.
The year was 1941, James Bounds and Evelyn Newell were high school sweethearts.
James added: "We'd sit in the rumble seat of a Model-A Ford for hours and talk. There was a Brookshire ice cream shop where McDonald's is now on Eighth Street. It was like a hang-out for teenagers."
James and Evelyn dated for about two years until Evelyn was 17, and then she started seeing another guy. She eventually eloped with him.
Evelyn and Thomas C. Null were married for 50 years. Thomas died in 1989.
Through the years, Evelyn worked in her husband's office and raised the couple's three children. She now has five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Evelyn said she never really thought about James but she never forgot him either.
When James heard that Evelyn had eloped with another man, he was devastated.
James fought in World War II and returned home to Meridian in December 1945. He joined the Mississippi Air National Guard, where he eventually became air commander, a position he held for several years.
James had two sons, one of whom is now deceased. He has five grandchildren.
In 1961, he was called back to active military duty and sent to Birmingham, Ala., to supervise transportation of military property to France. He then went to France and served for about 6 months as a wing commander.
He retired from military service in September 1977 as a colonel.
His wife of 23 years, Imelda, died on Thanksgiving Day 2002.
A year before Imelda died, James and Evelyn met for the first time in more than 60 years.
James said he didn't recognize his teenage sweetheart.
A few months later, James' wife died. He said he started thinking about Evelyn.
He phoned her and the two met once again for a Sunday afternoon date.
Popping the question
James proposed on one knee just three months after they started dating again.
The couple married on a hot muggy summer afternoon in an outdoor ceremony in Evelyn's backyard.
James and Evelyn are still newlyweds. They're settling into life together and finding that they enjoy the same things.
Their favorite spot is their home at Dalewood.
Evelyn said she is simply looking forward to a long life together.
Is James thankful to have Evelyn as his wife after all these years?