Couple celebrate anniversary 30 years after newspaper photo reunited them

9:46 am | October 23, 2012

What a long kiss it’s been for George Sheets.

Photo by Brandon Hicks
George and Connie Sheets hold the Dec. 22, 1981, edition of the Elizabethton STAR. A picture of George’s mission to collect mistletoe made the front page and led to the reunion of the couple who had been broken up for about a month.


When George scrambled up a sycamore tree in December 1981 to collect a little mistletoe, he couldn’t have known it would change his life. He couldn’t have imagined it would lead to many happy days and that on this day, this 23rd day of October, he’d be celebrating his 30th wedding anniversary with Connie Tolley.

All because George needed a little extra holiday spending money and climbed that sycamore tree.

But that’s exactly what happened.

This serendipitous story first came into focus when John Bryant, then a photographer for the Elizabethton STAR, snapped George’s picture collecting that mistletoe. The newspaper printed George’s photo on the front page, and it resulted in a speedy reunion with Connie, who, as a 16-year-old girl, had broken up with George only a month before

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