PANAMA CITY BEACH — Twenty eight is Jeff and Connie Spencer's lucky number.
It was Jeff's football jersey number in high school, it's the couple's anniversary day every November and it’s the number of years it took for them to reunite after parting ways as teenagers.
Jeff and Connie now have been married six years and finally have the opportunity to attend the "Senior Prom" together, and they've even been nominated for king and queen.
The couple will attend their first prom together Thursday at the Winter Resident Senior Prom at Edgewater Beach Resort, hosted by the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitor's Bureau. The second annual event is one of the most anticipated snowbird events of the season, with tickets selling out in only a few hours.
For the Spencers, the prom is a chance to relive memories of their younger years spent together.
The pair met in junior high — he was a football player and she was a cheerleader. They were voted "cutest couple" in eighth grade and Jeff was Connie's escort for the junior high Sweetheart Valentines Dance. In 1973, they wrote "Connie -N- Jeff" in the wet cement on Connie's driveway.
Jeff and Connie dated through high school, but missed out on the chance to go to prom together.
"Most of it was financial, but we never made it to prom," Connie said. "This will be our first."
The two parted ways their senior year.
"We made it to the middle of our senior year and then took a break — he wasn't ready for the next step," Connie said. "And then 28 years later, I decided to contact him…. It took us 28 years to get back together."
Through an Internet search Connie found a phone number for Jeff's father, who promptly gave her his son's contact information.
"I had been single for a while before I called him, and I'm certainly glad I did," Connie said. "It was kind of like a scene from 'You've Got Mail'."
Connie still has an old photo album filled with photos of the couple from a ninth grade pep rally and some of Jeff's high school photos.
They now reside in an RV at the Campers Inn with their six-week-old puppy, Lily. Their friends, Mike and Brenda Sherwood, "southern snowbirds" from Griffin, Ga., encouraged Jeff and Connie to attend the prom.
The Spencers have lived in many cities, but said they feel at home now in Panama City Beach, not far from Fort Walton Beach where they both grew up.
For Jeff, who never married while the two were apart, reuniting with Connie has finally balanced everything out.
"A year ago, we bought a 28-foot RV and we've just been happy ever since," Jeff said. "It's serendipitous."