Affectionately Yours: Local Grandfather Writes Book for Granddaughter

Clark Tufte has a few key ingredients that will cook up a successful marriage

FARGO, N.D. — It’s Valentine’s Day and one special grandpa proves to us that chivalry isn’t dead.

“It was 60 years ago this week that me and my wife were engaged to get married,” said Fargo man Clark Tufte.

Clark, who is 81-years-old, wrote a book for his granddaughter titled “Affectionately Yours: Ideas for Lovers Who Are in it for the Long Haul”.

Clark may just be the sweetheart of the century.

Valentine’s Day only comes around once a year but he shows that loving one another is something that should take place every day.

“We kind of just hang out,” he said in reference to hearing the younger generation talk about what they do with their significant others. “And I thought ‘hanging out’? That doesn’t sound very romantic to me! Just hanging out?”

Clark often talks about his memories with his wife Harriet and realized those memories are the key ingredients to having a successful marriage.

He and his wife had 1950’s style dates, silly jokes throughout the day and they showed affection whenever possible.

It’s the love recipe he cooked up.

“When you’re driving in the car or something like this and your wife is home or your girlfriend is home, pick up the phone and say ‘I just saw a red car followed by a white garbage truck and I just happened to think how much I love you’,” he said with a smile. “You know, little silly things like that.”

He said it’s always the little things that matter most.

“Write in the top of the peanut butter jar before anybody opens it, ‘I love you’,” advised Clark. “And then they see it right from the top of the peanut butter jar. It doesn’t take long, you know.”

Clark and his wife Harriet were married for almost 50 years and he said those were easily the best times of his life.

He added his heart was broken when he lost her 10 years ago when she had a stroke.

Even though she’s gone, Clark said nothing will ever break the bond they shared.

“When I saw her with her dark hair and dark eyes and yellow sweater and black scarf around her neck, I thought that is the girl I’m going to marry,” he said.

And even though every day was special for Clark, he shares what his favorite Valentine’s Day was.

“We went to the Fargo Theatre, saw a movie,” he said. “The name of the movie happened to be the “The Wrong Man”.”

He said while the love he had for Harriet was unconditional, things started to become routine in their marriage.

That’s one of the reasons he wrote the book for his granddaughter…to always remember to love spontaneously.

“Watch out so it doesn’t get familiar,” said Clark. “It just gets familiar and then pretty soon you forget to do these nice kinds of things.”

So what does Valentine’s Day mean to Clark?

His answer is simple.

“Well…I guess love,” he said. “I guess love.”

A key theme in Clark’s book is that the greatest threat to love is the absence of attention.

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