February 2021

Love and Marriage (And Everything in Between)

Author: Barry Kaufman, Tim Wood | Photographer: M.Kat Photography

As Paul McCartney once co-wrote, “All you need is love.” Of course, he would later go on to write, “You’d think that people would have had enough of silly love songs.”

His wild swing in perspective here more than likely boils down to one thing: sometime between writing those two songs, he got married. Because marriage and love are two different things.

Love is a fleeting rush of dopamine, a temporary fluttering of butterflies, a silly infatuation. Marriage is something much stronger. Marriage is all that’s best about love—the selflessness, the devotion, the absolute inability to live without another person—but aged like wine.

If love is the block of marble, then marriage is the sculpture. And the couples on the following pages have created some beautiful works together.

Gavan and Selina King Daly
After 25 years, it’s safe to say that this bohemian power couple is more than just a teenage fling.
Article by Barry Kaufman

You know Gavan and Selina Daly as soon as you see them. With her curly hair and piercing blue eyes and his towering stature and tattooed arms, they tend to stand out in the crowd. Odds are good that you know them, as well. Fixtures of the local scene when they’re not touring the American West with their cat Mittens or making their mark on New York City, their Hilton Head Island roots run deep.

But only the real long-time locals remember this power couple from when they were first dating. “People said it would never last, that this was just a fling,” Selina said.

“People said we were too young,” Gavan added. “Eventually everyone started changing their tune, asking, ‘What’s y’all’s secret? You’re soulmates.’”

With the benefit of hindsight and 25 years of wedded bliss, it’s easy to see what an effortless match the two of them make. Especially when you hear them talk—a love language of inside jokes and easygoing laughter. But you can forgive those who thought the couple was too young to be throwing around words like “love” and “soulmate.” They met when Selina was just 16 years old.

“I went to a gig with a friend who had a crush on a guy Gav played with,” she said. “When I saw him playing drums … I was 16. It was innocent.”

From there they kept running into each other (the couple jokes about how Selina may have been lightly stalking Gavan). They’d chat about family at the original Java Joe’s. They’d share risqué jokes at Dunnagans Alley Theatre. It was the classic old-school Hilton Head teenage love story. But while the five years between them seems inconsequential now, it was a fairly large gap at the time. “He was having dreams that my dad was going to kill him,” Selina said. “But when my parents met him, they knew he was a good dude.”

Their love blossomed over the ensuing years, as Selina attended New York City’s prestigious Parsons School of Design under the tutelage of Tim Gunn and Gavan established himself as one of the country’s preeminent tattoo artists. Like all love, it is occasionally watered by the rainclouds of hardship, but that’s life.

“Like with any relationship, it’s still a lot of work, a lot of screwing up and making each other mad and figuring out how to adjust,” Gavan said. “You work together in tandem. You have to find a way to inspire each other’s dreams.”

Who made the first move and what was the move?
Selina: I did. I was basically stalking Gavan for a while until he accepted me as a friend. One day, after dropping him off at his house, I went to kiss him and stuck my tongue down his throat. Not necessarily the first move I would recommend, but somehow it worked, ha ha!
Gavan: Selina stuck her tongue down my throat after she and her friend dropped me off at her house.

How many years have you been married?
Selina: We’ve been married 16 years but together for 25.

How long before you were engaged?
Selina: We were together almost three years, but then we waited like another five years before we actually got married.

At what moment did you know she/he was the one and why?
Selina: This was all on me once again. Gavan may say different, but I saw him at a gig when he played in a band The Daly Planet. I just knew from that moment he was the one. That’s when the stalking started, ha ha! I told my mom after I met him he was the one. I knew I would marry him. I was only 16 so she was a little skeptical, but both she and my father loved Gavan right away, and I’ve never looked back.
Gavan: When she said she was into older people.

What’s the key to a happy marriage?
Selina: It’s a lot of give and take. You have to support each other’s dream and encourage one another. We are best friends, and we have so much fun together. Gavan still makes me laugh uncontrollably almost every day. The connection we share runs deep as we’ve gone through so much together, from loss of loved ones, caregiving and both being struggling artists for many years until we got to the next level in our art form.
Gavan: Do everything that she says to do. No questions. That one is easy.

Advice to newly married couples in less than five words.
Selina: Listen to each other.
Gavan: Support each other.

What one quality do you find most attractive in your spouse?
Selina: His wit. He is the funniest person I know on this planet. He makes me feel like the luckiest girl in the world every day I am with him.
Gavan: Her eyes.

Roy and Becky Prescott
Two parallel F&B lives become one undeniable love
by Tim Wood

Becky’s first marriage was a disaster. She then met her soulmate, only to lose him to a tragic accident. By May 2008, she was in a purgatory—still alive and functioning in her job with Shore Beach Services, trying to be her usual smiling, fun magnet, but hollow inside and mourning. That is, until co-workers alerted her that Roy Prescott had stopped by the office multiple times.

“He came in four times one day. I’m like, ‘What the hell does he want?’” Becky said.
The legendarily gregarious Remy’s owner had catered her first two weddings. He was looking to plan a promo night for lifeguards.

Becky’s first husband was a Remy’s bartender, and Roy was casual friends with her second husband. They ran parallel island lives until that promo night. Eight hours of connecting inspired Roy, nearly two decades her elder and a divorcee after a 15-year marriage himself, to try an all-time great romantic escalation at sunrise.

After just a few weeks of dating, Roy said, “I love you”—a declaration that nearly caused a car accident on Palmetto Bay Road. “I yelled at him, ‘Take that back!’ I cried. It was so scary to embrace this unexpected thing, but I couldn’t deny I felt the same way,” Becky said.

Roy’s friends were surprised, as he had become a bit of a player after his divorce. But the more their inner circles saw of the new couple, the more it was clear they were witnessing amorous magic.

“I know Roy has the purest heart of any human I’ve ever met,” Becky said. “There were no games with us, just love. I only had a couple of rules: no gambling, no other women. I needed trust; I needed integrity and honesty, and Roy has delivered every day since.”

The pair have been apart just two nights since their early courtship, other than when Roy had quintuple bypass surgery in 2015. They kept their romance quiet at first. Becky snuck Roy into her house late at night to avoid her roommates. When she finally told her friends, they thought she meant Roy’s now 34-year-old son, “Little Roy.”

The two have melded lives, closed Remy’s and partnered on a new venture, Roy’s Café and Catering. They married at the base of the Eiffel Tower in 2011 with Roy’s kids, close friends like musician Jos Vicars and Becky’s parents and friends by their side (a Lowcountry reception party of 400-plus people at Honey Horn followed). They spend offseason months in the Caribbean and treasure every minute on Hilton Head Island.

“Becky has the unique ability to make everything good in my life great,” Roy said. “She is just incredible. We’re living a dream beyond anything we could have dreamed.”

Who made the first move and what was the move?
Roy: I definitely made the first move, but in reflection, Becky helped set the stage. I’ve known Becky for about 25 years, and we traveled on parallel paths on this small island. I was running promo parties at Remy’s for groups that could generate business. Lisa and I were brainstorming on the next group, and I mentioned the lifeguards may be good. I knew Becky still ran the operation. I made several calls; she was always busy, so I popped by a few times, and it seems she was in the middle of orientation with new guards. We finally spoke and agreed to a party for Tuesday, May 20, 2008. The guards bailed after the freebies for “ladies night” at Casey’s, and Becky felt bad, so she came in to thank me and we started talking and drinking. Next thing you know, its 4 a.m.—just us and the bartender who was ready to lock up. We decided to keep going, so we headed to Shag’s to continue our “mating dance.” About 6 a.m., I looked at Becky and said, “It’s late. Are you going home with me or not?” She ordered another round and headed to the bathroom to gather herself. I asked would she like to have breakfast; she said yes, and I asked, “Should I call you or nudge you?” We managed to keep our relationship a secret for a few weeks, which is near impossible on this island.

When Becky finally decided to go public, she invited two of her closest friends to Remy’s for drinks and “some news.” I was behind the bar eavesdropping on their conversation. When she said she was dating Roy Prescott, they looked at me, back at Becky and asked her Roy or Little Roy? I gave a little wave, brought over four shots of “grandma” and said hello girls, and the rest is history!

Becky: Roy did, and for now a PG version, let it be known we were at Shags, and of course it was 6 a.m. Roy said, “Are you going home with me or not?” I looked at the bartender and said, “Can I get one more shot of fireball and my tab please?”

We left, and since that night we’ve only spent two nights apart (other than when he had quintuple heart bypass surgery and was in the hospital for 11 nights)!

How many years have you been married?
March 8, 2021 will be our 10-year anniversary, which also happens to be the due date for our second grandchild!

How long before you were engaged?
Becky: I actually never wanted to get married again, and I was adamant about that. We were fully committed, and I was fine with that and so was Roy. He always said, “If you want to get married, just let me know.”
Background info: Roy had never been to Europe, so we took a trip to Paris and London in 2009, and he fell in love with Paris. I’d been twice before, and it’s one of my favorite places as well. One night (May 7, 2010, which ironically is my parents’ anniversary), we were having dinner at 211 Park, and I went outside to say hello to an old friend I hadn’t seen in years. Somehow it came up that Roy and I were dating, and he said he was so glad, and I looked so happy. Another individual (unnamed for privacy) whom I knew casually said, “You’re not dating Roy Prescott” in a very snarky tone. I went inside and Roy could see I was upset. I told him what that snarky individual said to me; we were walking over to EP (Electric Piano), and he said, “You want to get married?” I said, “Sure, let’s get married, but only if we get married in Paris. He said okay, and we were engaged! We called my parents to share the good news (they didn’t approve of living in sin for so long, so they were happy). He got my ring ordered the next day and that was it. Most romantic proposal ever!

At what moment did you know she/he was the one and why?
Roy: I knew Becky was very special early in our relationship. One of my daughter’s friends said it best: “Mr. P, don’t screw this one up; we really like her. Maybe three or four weeks together, we were on Palmetto Bay Road on the way home after work. I looked at Becky and said, “You know I love you.” Her response was, “Whoa, whoa … don’t say that; pull over!” So, I parked at Crossings Park. She started bawling crying and said, “Take it back.” I replied, “No, I won’t, and you can’t tell me you don’t feel the same.” After somewhat drying her eyes, she said yes, you are right. So, Crossings Park is now “Commitment Park” to us.

What’s the key to a happy marriage?
Roy: Always remember the feeling and emotions that attracted and brought you together.
Becky: Never go to bed mad.

Who cooks and who cleans?
Roy: Becky stays out of the kitchen, and I stay out of the laundry room!
Becky: Roy cooks; I can barely make microwaveable popcorn. I clean.

Who wears the pants and what size are they?
Roy: Depends on the situation. Sometimes they fit me, and sometimes they fit Becky better. We do a pretty good job on the decision, but definitely large!
Becky: That’s a good question. We honestly split the pants depending on what’s going on—and they are very big girl panties and big boy drawers!

Advice to newly married couples in less than five words.
Roy: Always have each other’s back.
Becky: Always say I love you.

What one quality do you find most attractive in your spouse?
Roy: It’s impossible to choose one quality. Becky has the unique ability to make everything that is good in my life great!
Becky: His heart. Roy has the purest heart of gold and would do anything to help anyone. I love that quality in him so much!

Tom and Chris Staebler
True love can endure any distance, but in this couple’s case it endured time—as in roughly 42 years apart.
Article by Barry Kaufman

He was just a guy and she was just a girl, both making their way up Chicago’s Michigan Ave. toward the famous Playboy building. He worked in the art department. She worked on the eighth floor with all of the executives. It was the 1970s, near the zenith of the magazine’s enduring cultural impact.

“She looked gorgeous,” Tom said. Running inside, Tom told his friend Gary Cole about this vision, and it turned out Cole knew who she was and how to reach her. “I dialed her number, she answered, and then, like a dumbass, I’m just trying to figure out what to say.”

He didn’t need to say much. The girl, Chris, knew exactly who he was. “He had gone out with a friend of mine and dumped her after one date. So, I was going to punish him,” she said. “The joke wound up being on me.”
Over drinks, the kind of love formed that endures the ages. They spent every day together after that; engaged after five weeks, they were married in six months. It seemed like the perfect love story right up until their divorce two years later.

“Who knows why? We were young,” Tom explained.

From here we fast forward about 42 years. Each went about the business of their lives, Chris making her way to California and Tom eventually to Hilton Head Island. That could have been the end of it were it not for Facebook. “We hadn’t seen or talked to each other over the last 42 years,” Tom said. “But after going back and forth on Facebook, we decided it would be better if we talked.”

They met in Vegas, and it was like nothing had changed. They were kids again, feeling that rush of new love. And this time around they moved just as fast.

“She came and stayed at my house in Belfair, and within 4-5 days we decided to get married,” Tom said. “Neither of us thought we’d ever get back together.”

These days, Tom stays busy helping define the look of a local magazine whose name escapes us, while Chris continues the mission she started in California to care for feral cats.

“Tom doesn’t appreciate the idea of me turning the house into a cathouse,” Chris said with a laugh. “I did fall into some kittens near our clubhouse. I’ve been doing some feeding and trapping.”

Back in each other’s lives and with their cats Rosie and Bebe as companions, these two are proving that love is even sweeter the second time around.

Who made the first move and what was the move? Who made the first move the second time around?
Tom’s best friend knew he was afraid to do it, so he dialed Chris’ number at work and handed Tom the phone. Tom asked Chris out, but she was booked for the next month and shot him down. He tried again, and it was love at first sight.

Chris made the second “move” via social media. From first phone call to meeting once again after 43 years in Vegas. All was the same as 43 years prior, only better.

How many years have you been married, combined?
Seven years total

At what moment did you know she/he was the one, and why?
We were engaged five weeks after meeting the first time in 1972. We skipped the engagement step second time around and got married within three weeks of meeting again in Vegas.

What’s the key to a happy marriage?
Love at first sight (date) for both of us.

Who cooks and who cleans?
Chris cooks and cleans. Tom is OCD and puts cooking utensils away while Chris is still using them.

Who wears the pants and what size are they?
Chris: Tom wears pants, and I wear leggings. Leggings are flexible, and pants are not.

Advice to newly married couples in less than five words.
Respect each other’s opinions.

What one quality do you find most attractive in your spouse?
Tom: Chris’ spunk and sweetness
Chris: Tom’s stability and his legs

Sergio and Jane Raynal
A movie script-worthy tale of kismet and a kiss
Article by Tim Wood

When we introduced you to woodworking artisan Sergio Raynal in our November 2020 issue, we gave you a taste of a love affair right out of a Nicholas Sparks novel. And now, the rest of the story.

Christmastime 2016. Los Angeles-based Raynal is in New York City for a busman’s holiday. He buys a single ticket to the Broadway play King Charles III.

Jane Stouffer is preparing to head back to Hilton Head Island after the holiday. Anxious to sneak in one more play, she looks for an orchestra seat for King Charles III online, but the app keeps kicking her up to the mezzanine.

She is seated next to Raynal. The two strike up a mesmerizing conversation that continues during the intermissions. A post-show downpour inspires the pair to seek shelter at a nearby restaurant.

“There was an instant connection on so many levels,” Jane, the never-married retired ad agency exec said. “My career was my mate and that was a great life—until this man appeared.”

Sergio spent 25 years in commercial real estate before pursuing his true passion. Despite an early-life failed marriage, he was captivated by this unexpected adventure. “This felt so right so quick, I had to see this through, no matter what,” he said.

He dined with and impressed her friends on Christmas Eve. She invited him to Birdland, where HHI fave Freddie Cole played and energized Sergio to go in for a first kiss.

Her New Year’s flight to Hilton Head was snowed in, so Sergio invited Jane and her dog to stay with him upstate as he completed a project at a friend’s house.

When it is time to go, Sergio asks when he can see Jane again.
“I’ll be in Paris this summer,” she said.

“Well then, so will I,” he replied. “This could be the greatest romance that ever was. I will meet you anywhere.” He wasn’t lying, as a string of far-flung meetups followed.

The whirlwind reminded Jane of the quote from the Nora Ephron classic, When Harry Met Sally:
“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”

“Meeting Sergio, I finally got it,” Jane said.

Sergio moved his life and business to Hilton Head in August 2018. The two married at Mill Creek two months later. He moved into Jane’s house, her first adult venture living with a human. Jane said the melding of East Coast and West Coast lives has been remarkably smooth—other than kitchen utensils. “I come from tiny New York kitchens, so I have dainty spatulas,” she said. “He has restaurant-size pots and a roasting pan that doesn’t fit in our stove.”

Easy solution, Sergio said. He’ll remodel the kitchen. “Every moment I get to make her happy, that’s a blessing.”

Who made the first move and what was the move?
Jane: I did. Actually, I made the first three moves. First move: Telling Sergio that I may go get a cocktail at a specific nearby restaurant after the matinee. Second move: Invited him to join me and my friends for Christmas Eve. Third move: Suggested we go hear Freddie Cole’s late show at Birdland on Christmas Eve (which is where Sergio made his first move!).

How many years have you been married?
Sergio: We’ve been married two years last October.
Jane: Two years, two and a half months

How long before you were engaged?
Sergio: It was not a surprise that we would get married, but there were many “false alarms” during our cross-country courtship when she anticipated a proposal, especially given romantic opportunities in Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Spain, Morocco, and here in the Lowcountry. We became engaged after I committed to move my business from Los Angeles and join her on Hilton Head Island. I proposed somewhat spontaneously and without preparation (I hadn’t even gotten a ring yet) after a wonderful day spent in Savannah, ending with dinner at Husk in March 2018. She describes it as the parking lot, but I insist it was on the sidewalk in front of the steps to Husk. I recall there was a full moon.

At what moment did you know she/he was the one, and why?
Sergio: I knew she was the one within one week of meeting her in NYC. She absolutely captivated and enchanted me. We were inseparable, and I knew she was going to have an important role in my life one way or another. She is smart, funny, kind, curious, thoughtful, beautiful, stylish, well-traveled and likes the arts, books, music and food. She was living in NYC and about to move permanently to HHI, and I was living in LA. We met in Paris six months later and spent a month in a friend’s apartment.
Jane: Five days in. We’d spent the better part of each day together since we met, and I’d never experienced such honesty, transparency, and shared interests and values.

What’s the key to a happy marriage?
Sergio: Communication, laughter, imagination and being open to possibility.
Jane: Knowing that quitting is never an option. And laughter and a few hundred kisses a day.

Who cooks and who cleans?
Sergio: We both enjoy cooking, dining out and entertaining at home. Cleaning is a shared enterprise, though we are fortunate to employ a housekeeper.
Jane: Sergio is an excellent cook (even if he has to use every possible pot, pan and utensil), and he’ll clean up the kitchen fairly often. Still has no idea what those metal boxes are for (dishwasher, washer, dryer). I’ve also said that he’d love to live in a department store where he could see all of his things all the time. I’m a pretty good cook but he’s a master chef.

Who wears the pants and what size are they?
Sergio: I wear pants, and Jane wears pants. Jane wears dresses much better than I do.
Jane: Sergio can rock a mean sarong.

Advice to newly married couples in less than five words.
Sergio: Say yes often and mean it.
Jane: Kiss whenever you leave home.

What one quality do you find most attractive in your spouse?
Sergio: She makes me laugh every day.
Jane: That my big strong man has a very soft and sentimental side, and he’s not embarrassed to brush away a tear or admit to a lump in his throat. (Plus, he has a killer smile).

Steve and Ann Gibbs
Faith, trust and a lot of fun the key to a never-ending love
Article by Tim Wood

There is no catchy storybook romance tale when telling the story of Steve and Ann Gibbs’ four decades together. They are deeply religious, a tight-knit family with three kids and two grandkids.

The couple met growing up in Vidalia, Ga., married in 1983, then migrated to the island to follow the work—Steve 26 years of cable maintenance for Hargray and Ann 26 years with Wells Fargo. It’s Ann’s second marriage (Steve adopted her first child, Kristi) and Steve’s “first and only.” Kristi is the one who nominated the Gibbs for our contest. “She’s the writer of the family, the one that could make us sound somewhat exciting,” Steve said.
They know, in comparison, their love is probably boring, and that’s perfectly fine with the Bluffton couple.

“Marriage is all about riding it out. The ‘for better or worse’ is constantly tested,” said Steve, 58. “My two favorite parts of the day are when I kneel by the bed to pray with Ann in the morning and when we kneel to pray before bedtime.”

The rabid Georgia Bulldogs fans spent 20 straight years attending the Florida-Georgia game, rain or shine. “I remember one year we left Bluffton in a downpour, could barely see on the roads, got soaked at the game and came back in a downpour,” Steve said. “Nothing stops us for the Dawgs.” The family even had an English bulldog named Uga as one of their many pets through the years.

The kids are grown now. Kristi, 40, lives in the Florida panhandle with their grandkids; Daniel, 32, works in cybersecurity for the Army in Augusta; and Luke, 29, works for Hotwire near Greenville.

Steve and Ann have fond memories of yearly mountain retreats with the kids, a week full of hiking, camping, fishing and hunting. “The kids are our world. They rarely spent a night away growing up,” Ann said. “All their friends came to our house; we were the hangout central. So, it’s certainly quieter with just Steve and me now. He’s hard-headed; I’m soft-hearted, so we balance each other out.”

The Gibbs are decades-long parishioners at Bible Baptist in Savannah and count their faith as the driving force in their marriage. “We put God first, not just for show. And we put our trust in each other,” Steve said. “It’s how we’ve lived a great life, and it’s how we’ll be until we go out of this world together.”

The duo continues to work, saving for retirement—Steve a contractor with Spectrum and Ann a medical records assistant. They are looking for land in the mountains where they hope to start their next chapter of life in the next 18 months.

“The flatland has been good to us, but it’s been too long,” Steve said. “We want to wake up with a mountain view from here on out.”

Who made the first move, and what was the move?
Steve made the first move, and it was placing his arm around me in his new car. He had a brand-new Buick Regal, and we were riding around town together.

How many years have you been married?
38 years; November will be 39.

How long before you were engaged?
Seven months

At what moment did you know she/he was the one, and why?
Steve: For me, it was after spending time with her on our weekends and enjoying her company.
Ann: Our second date. I could not wait to see him; my mind thought about him the whole time. I so enjoyed being with him, I just knew I wanted to spend my life with him. My heart was sad when we were apart.

What’s the key to a happy marriage?
Pray together; read your bible together; don’t go to bed angry at each other—nothing is that important.

Who cooks and who cleans?
Steve: Ann does both. I help clean up; my cooking is outside were smoke doesn’t affect you.

Who wears the pants and what size are they?
Steve: I wear the pants (42). God said it’s my responsibility, but we talk about every decision together. She’s my best friend.

Advice to newly married couples in less than five words.
Put God first always.

What one quality do you find most attractive in your spouse?
Steve: Ann is my sweetheart and has been from day one; she cares for everyone, even me when she’s mad at me.
Ann: Steve is a strong man, and I have always been able to depend on him. He has always loved and taken care of his family, and I am thankful for his love and his love for our Lord.

John and Sherry Pritchard
Love laughs last.
Article by Barry Kaufman

There are countless words you’ll find over and over again in poetry, silly love songs and in wedding vows. Devotion. Understanding. Bliss. Desire. Passion.

However, the most underrated, yet the singularly most important word to describe true love, is compatible. It’s how John Pritchard describes the relation between himself and his wife of 53 years, Sherry.

“I know that’s not very romantic, but…”
“It is. We’re friends,” Sherry said.

To sit down with them and discuss their relationship is to witness what it’s like when two people are truly meant for each other on a fundamental level. It’s the way they finish each other’s sentences. The way their back-and-forth chemistry feels like watching an old movie. The way they gently tease one another. You’re seeing two halves of the same whole.

“People think he makes jokes all the time, but he really has a sincere heart,” Sherry said.

“It only takes about three bourbons, but then I’m the sweetest guy in the world,” John quipped back. And they both laughed, something you can’t help but join in on when you speak with them.

Not that this easy chemistry always comes naturally. Like any relationship, they work at it. “You have to respect each other. You have to communicate. You have to be committed,” Sherry said. Or possibly John. Honestly, it can be hard to tell sometimes. “So many people these days don’t make the commitment and give up too soon. You have to care what the other person is doing.”

The couple met outside of Scranton, Pa. where John’s aunt ran a boarding house for local female college students. “I’d go every year and check out the new influx of boarders,” John said. “She got lucky and wound up with me.”

“He was getting a little old and decided he should settle down,” Sherry fired back.

The pair moved to Hilton Head Island in 1981 when there was just one red light. “I actually came down here kicking and screaming,” Sherry said. “We didn’t even have a place to move into. A day before coming to bring us down, John found a place.”

They settled in well, with Sherry now working with Deep Well and John a seasoned Realtor.

“I don’t know what he does during the day,” Sherry said. “He might be having an affair; I don’t know.”
“Oh, it’s much too late for that,” John said. And, as always, they laugh. Together.

Who made the first move and what was the move?
John: My aunt used to board girls from a local college, so I would check them out every year after I got out of the military service. When I was going in the door, Sherry was coming out—ran smack into me and almost knocked me over. I later went back to my aunt’s home for hopefully another glimpse of Sherry. She was there, and I insisted she go to dinner at my parents’ home. I thought for sure I would never see her again when my mother served a strange liver dish called faggots.

How many years have you been married?
We have been married 53 years.

How long before you were engaged?
We got engaged one year after we met and were engaged for one year before we got married.

At what moment did you know she/he was the one and why?
It took a few dates, but it was an easy choice for both of us.

What’s the key to a happy marriage?
Respect, understanding, and accepting the other person’s viewpoint. This isn’t easy to do sometimes, but it always seems to work out for the best if you make an effort.

Who cooks and who cleans?
John: She is a great cook; I clean.

Who wears the pants and what size are they?
Depends on the circumstances. Pants are very large for both of us.

Advice to newly married couples in less than five words.
Respect, commit, communicate, be content, care. P.S. Never forget why you fell in love with each other!

What one quality do you find most attractive in your spouse?
John: She is much more caring for other people than I usually am.
Sherry: I think he is good-looking, and he can make me laugh every day.

Sterlin and Shuvette Colvin
Music brought them together, and music has kept them together.
Article by Barry Kaufman

Shuvette Colvin was just a girl from Memphis, but her angelic voice had already brought her to the choir in Missouri’s Lincoln College. As much as she focused on her own singing, she kept hearing what she calls a “beautiful tenor voice” behind her.

“I was in love with this voice, and I said, ‘One day I’m gonna look around at him.’ I turned around, and he was looking me dead in my face,” she said. “I was so embarrassed I didn’t come to choir for three days.”

She needn’t have been embarrassed. The boy behind the voice, Sterlin, had his eyes on her for a reason. “I thought she was the cutest little thing I’d ever seen. But it wasn’t just that,” he said. “When she sang, it melted my heart. She has the most beautiful voice in the world.”

For those who have seen the First Couple of Hilton Head Island’s music scene, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it was music that brought them together. “We were friends because of our musical interest. That’s kind of how of we fell in love,” Sterlin said. “We courted for six years before we got married. Can you believe that?”

The music that brought them together would ultimately pull them apart, but only in the sense of distance. Shuvette had offers that would have made her a star, but the appeal of the business didn’t call to her as much as raising a family did. Sterlin, on the other hand, hustled across the country as a rising touring musician. For years he’d spend up to nine months out of the year on the road, with Shuvette raising the kids.

“The children were little. I had a lot to do just keeping up with them,” she said. “We were just used to it. I’d tell the kids, ‘He’ll be home in six weeks.’ Then he’d be in, pack his bags, and he’d be leaving again.”

“I basically moved us here to put the family back together,” Sterlin said. “We didn’t have cell phones, no FaceTime, so it was a big strain on the marriage and on the family.”

With the children now grown, Sterlin and Shuvette have added two grandbabies to the family. “I love them so much,” Shuvette said. “That’s my little prince and princess.”

And the music that brought them together plays on, carried into every performance of the island’s favorite musical couple.

Who made the first move and what was the move?
Sterlin: Shuvette had a job at the library in the music department.
Shuvette: I was working; he surprised me with a kiss.

How many years have you been married?
Thirty-five. We have our first blessing Brooke to remind us.

How long before you were engaged?
Six years

At what moment did you know she/he was the one and why?
Sterlin: We became great friends after freshman year. I went away to another university, realized how much I liked her and missed her company, so I came back to Lincoln University to make her mine.
Shuvette: I fell in love with his classical tenor voice before I knew him.

What’s the key to a happy marriage?

Who cooks and who cleans?
We both do.

Who wears the pants and what size are they?
We share them; it’s one pair of pants, but there are two sizes, lol!

Advice to newly married couples in less than five words.
Don’t change a thing!

What one quality do you find most attractive in your spouse?
Sterlin: My wife has a very caring spirit.
Shuvette: He’s always willing to help others achieve.

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