As many of you know, the historic Drhumor Building is the home of McGuire, Wood & Bissette, PA, and is the special place from which MWB attorneys and staff serve clients and community.
But what you probably don’t know is that the Drhumor Building is also the historical start of an epic love story, which began in the building’s lobby in 1952. For it was here, and then, that two young people met, later married (eventually became McGuire Wood & Bissette clients), and have lived a lifetime together, culminating in 70 years of marriage, this Valentine’s Day.
The now Mrs. Nancy David, an Asheville native, was working as a receptionist in the Drhumor Building-which was then the Wachovia Bank Building. She greeted customers and got to know many of them over time.
One day, unbeknownst to her, Nancy’s good friend, Mary, had an idea. She thought Charles “Charlie” David might be a great match for Nancy and set her sights on introducing them. Soon after, Charlie, who often frequented the bank (he was working nearby selling used cars), came in to complete a bit of business. Mary took notice and brought him over to meet Nancy.
Charlie took one look at his future bride, in her yellow ladies’ suit, and was smitten. During that meeting, Charlie and Nancy hit it off. Unfortunately, Charlie was going out of town to a bowling tournament, but he took a chance and asked, “When I get back from this bowling tournament, if I ask you for a date, what would you say?” Ever confident, Nancy replied “You’ll have to just come back and find out.”
And so, upon his return, he asked. And she said yes.
Their courting life involved a first date at the Dreamland Drive-In, frequent visits to local theaters including the Plaza and the Imperial, and shared meals at “Bucks” restaurant, which was then the hottest place in town. They enjoyed music and went to a dance or two. They laughed together and learned they shared many mutual interests. Charlie says, “It was love at first sight”! For Nancy, it took a bit longer, but over time they got to know each other, and Charlie decided to propose. He recounts visiting a downtown jeweler and purchasing an engagement ring for $350, which they both agree was a lot of money for a ring back then.
And so, he asked. And she said yes.
Charlie jokes that they chose Valentine’s Day as their wedding date, as he wanted a date he would always remember. And on February 14th, 1953, they married. They recount their wedding and their honeymoon, for which Charlie had reserved a room in a small hotel in Hendersonville. But as luck would have it there was a snowstorm, and on their way to the hotel, they got stuck in the snow and were stranded for a bit. When they finally made it to the hotel, Charlie not only had to carry his bride over the threshold, but through the snow, from the car to their room, too! They went on to continue their honeymoon in South Carolina, where Nancy fell ill, and where Charlie began the tradition of giving her yellow roses to make her feel better. Nancy jokes “He used to be really sweet.” She laughs and says, “He still is.”
They started married life in the Beverly Apartments and their marriage since has centered around the Asheville community, not ever living very far from where they first met. They’ve continued to share mutual interests, including the Asheville Community Theatre, where Charlie auditioned in the lobby of the Battery Park Hotel and got his first acting part as Buffalo Bill in “Annie Get Your Gun”, the first of 28 roles he’s acted in at the ACT. Nancy, a soprano (and “quite a good singer” according to Charlie), also performed there, but only in musicals, as she points out.
Over the years they’ve enjoyed a rich and fulfilling life. For 55 years they sang together in the choir at Central United Methodist Church and enjoyed Charlie’s role in a barbershop quartet. Humor has kept them together, as has their love of music, the theatre, and each other. They’ve raised a son (Jimmy) and two daughters (Janet and Nancy Ann), with whom they remain close, and who have given them two grand-children and four great-grandchildren. They smile, when asked what their key is to making a marriage work long-term, and both reiterate, “patience”. Nancy shares “He has been a really good husband and father-really, really, good.” Charlie, not to be outdone, shares that Nancy has been “a really good wife and mother”. And they both laugh when Nancy adds, “and our children like us!”
We asked the couple how they plan to celebrate such a milestone anniversary. They replied that they “probably won’t kick up their heels too much, not like we used to”, but will celebrate with a quiet dinner at Givens Estates, which they now call home. We are quite sure, no matter what they do, it will be one more evening in a lifetime to remember!
Thank goodness she said yes.
MWB wishes the Davids a wonderful 70th wedding anniversary and many more years of love and happiness. May Valentine’s Day be as sweet for all in our community.