- Lloyd and Marian Michael married in December 1942, a year after the U.S. joined WW II
- During Lloyd's deployment to Europe, the couple wrote hundreds of letters to each other
- More than 40 years ago, those letters were stolen
- Exactly who took them, and why, remains a mystery
Of all things to steal, you'd think love letters would be low on the list.
But that's exactly what thieves took from Lloyd and Marian Michael -- the couple's sweet letters and the sleeping memories they stirred.
"We were just overwhelmed ... so sad," said Marian, 88, about the day they discovered them missing.
Still, she and Lloyd, 89, were never the type for self-pity.
What could they do? They moved on.
Then, several decades later, the Michaels got a strange message on their answering machine.
The caller, a military veteran, had painstakingly tracked them down after his father's death. He said he had news about their letters.
"We thought, 'Oh, it must be a mistake,' " Marian said.
In love and war
Lloyd and Marian met at a California high school in the 1940s, when Bing Crosby was big, a stamp cost 3 cents, and war raged around the world.
For their first date, Lloyd took Marian to a dance at a civic center. He told his family that night he'd found his girl.