Man surprises wife at McDonald’s where they first met as teenagers

Nadine Kalinauskas
Good News Writer
Good News

In 1969, Steve Rydberg was 16 years old, working at the grill at his local McDonald's in Crystal, Minnesota.

One day, 16-year-old Kristine Hess walked in.

Because Rydberg worked at the back, his friends used the code "13" to let him know whenever a cute girl had entered McDonald's. The resister number would let him know where the "13" was.

"'13 on six, 13 on five,' and we mixed it in, like, 'I need 12 burgers on a 13 on two,'" Rydberg told KARE11.

Hess was a 13.

"I thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world," Rydberg recalls.

Hess started visiting McDonald's on a regular basis, with Rydberg's co-workers loudly announcing her arrival: "13 on 2 for Steve."

Rydberg and Hess became high-school sweethearts, only to be separated when Rydberg left for college. Rydberg married and divorced. Hess remained single, raising a daughter alone.

After 30 years, in 1999, they reconnected. Six years later, they married.

Forty-three years after they met, Rydberg arranged a birthday surprise for Hess at the very McDonald's where he first fell for her.

Watch Land of 10,000 Stories' "Love with a Side of Fries" below.