How did you meet?
We were in a bar on Bourbon Street in New Orleans on New Year’s Day evening in 1972 celebrating following the Auburn vs. Oklahoma Sugar Bowl. (Auburn lost the game, but won the party!)
Nan: John was with his college roommate and I was with friends from work. We had one friend in common so wound up meeting each other.
John: I bought Nan a drink and asked her to dance.
Nan: John walked me back to my hotel later and I didn’t think I’d ever see him again.
Was it love at first sight?
John & Nan: Oh, Yeah!
When did you know that this was the “one” and you were going to get married?
John: I knew the night I met Nan and told my roommate on the way back to Auburn that I had met the girl I wanted to marry.
Nan: I knew the night of our first date back in Opelika, Alabama. That story will follow…
Was it always marital bliss?
Nan: No. When we had been married eight years, I was diagnosed with cancer. Within three months, I had two major operations involving long stays in our hospital. The kiddos were six, four and two. Thankfully, we had our parents and friends to help, but it was a really hard and stressful time in our lives especially with John finishing his senior year at Auburn and working full time at UniRoyal.
John: No. From 1985 till 1988 my work took us to a small town in Northern Central Arkansas. I spent a lot of time flying out of Memphis, TN to automobile assembly plants around the country to respond to quality concerns. One of those trips happened on our 13th anniversary. Not such a blissful day. To say Nan was not happy would be an understatement.
John & Nan: Then we had teen-agers!
What one thing do you feel has made your relationship successful?
John & Nan: Commitment to each other and our children. When we left our families in 1985, the bond between us and our three kiddos was special and continues today. We’ve always said that our home is where our family is.
How long have you been married?
John & Nan: 45 years of growing up together and deciding that we were in it for the long haul.
Tell us one thing about the two of you that not many people know.
John: My family annually butchered hogs in Northwest Florida. I took Nan there to meet everyone after asking her to marry me.
Nan: I had never seen a hog, other than in the form of bacon or ham before that!
John and Nan: As much as we love being out and about, involved in our community, traveling and entertaining, grandkids in and out, we do love our quiet time in the back yard, alone.
What do you like to do for date night?
John & Nan: Date night has definitely evolved over 45 years! At this stage in our lives we enjoy making homemade pasta at home with some good red wine and preparing a nice meal together.
Tell us what your most memorable date was and why?
John: It was our first date – February 14 after the 3 pm to 11 pm shift at UniRoyal. I stopped at the convenience store and bought a six pack of Lowenbrau Beer and a half price box of Valentine candy before visiting Nan at her apartment.
Nan: At the end of that “date,” I walked John to the door and he kissed me on the forehead. That was IT for me! I knew John was the ONE.
Please share some words of wisdom on relationships.
Nan: That goes back to when we were both children. John’s granddaddy was a big influence on our “family first” motto.
John: Nan’s family moved several times leaving relatives along the way but always having each other. Throughout our moves from Alabama to Arkansas to Canada to two different cities in Indiana to North Carolina, uprooting kiddos and leaving family behind, we always had each other – the base of our relationship.