Love Stories

Walks along the waterfront

2/12/2015, 2:39 a.m.
My husband and I met when we were students at Hampton Institute, now University. I was a freshman and he …
Earlyne and Heywood Thompson Photo by Sandra Sellars

The Free Press proudly presents its annual Valentine's Day feature.

It shares the Love Stories of four Richmond area couples.

Earlyne and Heywood Thompson

My husband and I met when we were students at Hampton Institute, now University. I was a freshman and he was a sophomore. We met at the on-campus Grill restaurant one Sunday evening after a Vesper service.

The grill would open at 8 p.m., and most of the students would go there to eat and socialize. Most of the people were hungry because Sunday dinner had been earlier in the day.

I was sitting there when he came over and asked if the seat in front of me was taken. I said, “No it’s not.” I had seen him sitting at the same table as me before.

We started talking and he asked me if he could walk me to my dorm. He was such a nice guy, so I said, “OK.”

The next day, we had dinner together at the student dining hall. From then on, we met most every evening for dinner.

We would date around the campus, taking walks on the waterfront many times.

We both loved the waterfront. It was really beautiful.

He introduced me to his mother on a visit and I introduced him to my mother. Our parents were both warm and loving.

We dated for the next two and a half years until he graduated. Then we were married on June 5, 1965, at Saint Bede’s Catholic Church in Williamsburg.

After the wedding, we left Williamsburg on the train and went to Washington, D.C., for a honeymoon.

We made our home in Richmond. We have one daughter, Reneé.

We both worked more than 30 years before retiring in 2000.

I think the secret to our marriage success is that we love and respect each other. We give each other space to have our own interests. He’s a jazz musician. I like the arts. And we both attend Saint Paul’s Catholic Church in Richmond.

We also take interest in each other’s hobbies. At first, I didn’t care for fishing, but now I love to fish. He is known as “Capt. Woody” and has a charter fishing business on the Rappahannock River and I go with him sometimes on fishing trips.

We also like to go on trips, ride trains and take cruises.

We’ve enjoyed our marriage. It also helps to have a good dose of humor.

This summer, our 50th anniversary, we don’t plan to renew our vows because the old ones are still working fine.

Earlyne is a retired art teacher with Richmond Public Schools. Heywood, aka “Capt. Woody,” is retired from the Virginia Employment Commission.