An older couple stood at the docks eagerly awaiting my arrival. Pulling up to the launch I was surprised to hear a shout out from the woman, “you are late, Captain Richard.” I thought to myself, two minutes late is late? Well I was late.
John & Joan Taylor
The woman was decked out in fishing attire with a brimmed hat tied around her neck; she spoke up as making sure I was to be on my toes for this outing they had planned with me, all the while I thought I had met my match.
As we begin pulling away from the docks John, Joan and I starting conversing. Right from the start, we knew we liked each other and the day began to unfold with the beginning of a friendship.
Each year approaches, and I am always looking forward to getting Joan and John out fishing. They are an older couple who intrigue me, and I love not only hearing of their life but taking in the many words of wisdom and insights that seem to come along just at the right time.
It’s been fun sharing stories and imagining this couple as young, spirited college students meeting while John was at Bowman Gray School of Medicine and Joan attending NC Baptist School of Nursing. Early on they both had a sense of adventure to live out their lives to the fullest. After graduating, they married in December of 1956 and their life together began as one great adventure.
John is a firm believer that exercise prolongs your life, and they live by those standards. After raising four children, John retired from McGuire VA Hospital in 2000 but is still seeing patients one day a week at the Medical College of Virginia, now known as VCU Health System.
Early on having a family, working and keeping up with the daily routines in life, John and Joan stayed involved enjoying the outdoors doing a lot of hiking, camping, fishing, and hunting. Today they continue to carry on these activities with their eleven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. I have had the privilege of having a few of their family members on board.
The countless trips fishing together seem to get better and better over the decades. John and Joan don’t let the number in years hold them back. I remember Joan telling Gina a year or two ago, “we are no worse for wear, but not much better either.” I smile and say to myself, “we will be fishing together until the end.”
“Although we now have a daughter living in Sarasota, FL, we still have to occasionally get back to your east coast to fish with Captain Richard. For years he has always found fish for us and made things very exciting. Also, he is one of the most gracious men we have ever met and always makes us feel very welcomed. And, of course, we still enjoy keeping up with Gina. What would men do without their wives???” Joan
For me, it’s hard to express every little detail of how my life is touched and impacted by the experience of John and Joan. One thing I admire about Joan is that she genuinely loves her husband and consistently brags about him. There is nothing that has brought more pleasure in her life than to roam the world with her best friend. Staying active together continues to make their life worth living all the better!
Thank you, John and Joan, for being a part of mine and Gina’s life.