The Campbells: Summer of Love

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CHANCE ENCOUNTER LEADS TO A LIFETIME TOGETHER FOR ONE ISLAND COUPLE

James Campbell, known as Jimmy or JC, and Carol have known each other for as long as they can remember. Jimmy, a Hilton Head Island native, got his first glimpse of Carol when he worked for her uncle. He had been sent on a delivery trip to Bennettsville, a small town in Marlboro County where Carol, a young city girl from New York, was spending the summer at her grandmother’s home. Over many such trips, their attraction grew and they started dating. They married on July 4, 1981, settling on Hilton Head and sharing more than 36 years of love. Here, they discuss their life together:

How did you meet? How long did you date before you married?

Carol: We met in Bennettsville at my grandmother’s. We started dating when I was a senior in high school. My parents are from Bennettsville, but married and moved to New York, where I was raised. I spent my summers at my grandmother’s house. There wasn’t much to do in Bennettsville. Occasionally we would get visitors from Hilton Head, where my aunt was living. One of those visitors happened to be James Campbell.

Jimmy: I used to work for her uncle, Nathaniel White. He was a native of Hilton Head and he was married to Carol’s aunt. Nat, as we called him, owned a landscaping business. He would send me Bennettsville to take different things to his mother-in-law. A couple of times, I saw this cute girl and thought she was a nice person.

WE DISCUSS EVERYTHING AND MAKE DECISIONS TOGETHER. THAT’S IMPORTANT.

– CAROL CAMPBELL

How would you describe yourself when you met? How has your personality or temperament changed during your marriage?

Carol: Ambitious. I was looking forward to starting college. I’m more realistic and easygoing now. I’m not as structured as I once was. 

Jimmy: Easygoing. Now I’m still easygoing.

What initially attracted you to your spouse? Was it love at first sight or did it take you a while?

Carol: It was not love at first sight, but I did think he was cute. It was his good nature and kind heart that attracted me to him.

Jimmy: It wasn’t love at first sight, but I did want to get to know her. It was her eyes. I was attracted to large, brown and beautiful eyes.

Do you have children?

Carol: We have two adult children: John Richard, 35, who lives in Bluffton, and Stephanie Elise, 28, who lives in Charlotte.

What are some of the jobs you’ve had and the places you’ve lived during your marriage?

Carol: We’ve always lived on Hilton Head Island. I worked for The Island Packet newspaper for 25 years, and now I work for RE/MAX Island Real Estate.   

Jimmy: I’m a native of Hilton Head. Last year, I retired as a lineman with Palmetto Electric after working there for 20 years. Before then, I worked in golf course maintenance.

What do you most admire about your spouse?

Carol: I admire Jimmy’s willingness to help people. He’s very handy so people, whether it’s someone he just met, someone from his expansive family, friends or church members … it doesn’t matter. He’s always willing to lend a hand.

Jimmy: I like the way she carries herself. She’s very kind, respectful, friendly and dependable. She’s very fashionable. She loves to shop so she’s always looking good. 

What are some of the stressful things you’ve been through together and how did they handle them?

Carol: As newlyweds, we didn’t have much. We tried to survive with very little money and we both worked part-time jobs in addition to regular full-time jobs. Our faith and love brought us through.

Jimmy: I agree, but we just hung in there together through the early years. 

What do activities do you enjoy doing together?

Carol: Traveling and listening to music.

Jimmy: Sometimes, we’ll go shopping together to get stuff for our home, or we’ll travel to see our daughter in Charlotte, her parents in New York or other friends across the state. We enjoy doing that.

What advice would they give to a newly married couple wondering how to make love last?

Carol: Lean on your faith in God. That was advice my mother and grandmother passed on to me when I got married. I can honestly say it’s good advice.

Jimmy: Trust each other. If you don’t have trust, you may as well not have a marriage.

What has made your love last?

Carol: Our faith in God.

Jimmy: And in each other.

Carol: We discuss everything and make decisions together. That’s important.

Jimmy: That’s why it’s good to have trust so you talk freely and have good understanding.

What is the best gift you have given each other?

Carol: Our children

Jimmy: Yeah. They’re our pride and joy.