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NPR Turns 50: Listeners Share Life Advice

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

As you probably heard, NPR is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. And we've been hearing from listeners around the world, sharing their lessons learned in a half-century of life. And we've heard a lot about love.

RAY BARRINGTON: My name is Ray Barrington, and I am now 64 years old. My advice is to realize that at some point, you will find someone to love. It took me a while. I was 42 when I met my wife.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AT LAST")

ETTA JAMES: (Singing) At last...

STEPHANIE BARRINGTON: My name is Stephanie, Stephanie Barrington.

R BARRINGTON: Well, I'm trying to remember which one of us contacted the other first.

S BARRINGTON: We met in the...

R BARRINGTON: Oh, yeah. We met in a chat room.

S BARRINGTON: (Laughter).

R BARRINGTON: There's a little joke here because it was...

S BARRINGTON: It's not a joke. It's just a funny story.

R BARRINGTON: It's just a funny story. It was actually a chat room...

S BARRINGTON: Related to...

R BARRINGTON: ...Dedicated to people who were into bondage. And we - neither one of us do that. They talked about almost everything but that. It was just a place where they could meet each other and know that they'd be able to talk to people who weren't going to judge them right away.

S BARRINGTON: And they were so respectful.

R BARRINGTON: And they were very respectful.

So we started exchanging emails and eventually talk on the phone. And I decided to go see her. And when I did, it was one look, and we both knew that was it.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AT LAST")

JAMES: ...(Singing) The night I looked at you.

R BARRINGTON: One thing is for sure, her friends definitely said it would not last.

S BARRINGTON: Every last one of them told me it would never last, not even for a month. They told me it would not last.

R BARRINGTON: And we are now 21 years married.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AT LAST")

JAMES: ...(Singing) Can call my own.

S BARRINGTON: I tell people that we hold hands as we go to sleep every night. We don't go to bed angry, you know? People say don't go to bed angry. We literally don't because that's what we do. We hold hands every night as we fall asleep.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AT LAST")

JAMES: (Singing) I have never known. Oh, yeah, yeah, and you smile, you smile.

MARTIN: That was Ray and Stephanie Barrington in Menasha, Wis., sharing their life advice on love.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AT LAST")

JAMES: (Singing) And here we are in heaven for you are mine at last. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.