BY JE’DON HOLLOWAY-TALLEY
Special to the Birmingham Times
“You Had Me at Hello’’ highlights married couples and the love that binds them. If you would like to be considered for a future “Hello’’ column, or know someone, please send nominations to Barnett Wright email@example.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
ADRIAN AND FELECIA MINOR
Married: July 13, 1995
Met: Summer 1991, at Alabama State University campus. Adrian was headed off-campus when he saw Felecia walking to her work-study job in the art department and stopped to make conversation.
“He made an abrupt stop and rolled down his window, but I kept on walking because I had to get to work… He was cute, but at that point, I had just come out of a relationship and I had to get that out of my system, so I [wasn’t interested]…,” Felecia recalled.
“I noticed she was attractive. She spoke, but she didn’t stop, so I had to follow up before I got a conversation with her,” Adrian said. A couple of weeks later “I saw her walking into her apartment and I stopped and got out of the car [that time] and tried to talk to her. She wouldn’t let me into her apartment, but I did get her phone number. I was never going to stop trying,” he laughed.
“I thought it was funny that I ran into him again, especially walking into my apartment, but Montgomery is not very big… I think it was fate that he would see me going into my apartment at the same time he was coming down the street. His persistence was very endearing,” Felecia said.
First date: Summer 1991, the pair went to see a movie that they can’t recall at a theater in Montgomery. “I was definitely nervous, but he was such a gentleman and such a nice person. He picked me up, he had a Hyundai Excel, hatchback, it was a stick shift, I thought that was cool because I also had a stick shift Hyundai…,” Felecia said. “We enjoyed great conversation… You meet guys that ask you out in college and they’re self-absorbed and arrogant, but his personality and mannerisms definitely stood out. He had this infectious smile.”
“I remember what she was wearing and her hairstyle. She wore an all-black outfit had her hair pulled back in a bun, and she had on red lipstick,” Adrian said. “She kept running away from me, and I kept following up, but I finally got her to go out with me and we had a great time that night.”
The turn: “His family likes to travel and they were going to Atlanta, and Adrian asked his parents if I could accompany him and it was so much fun,” said Felecia. “And once you make that step in traveling with someone’s parents that would make it serious because you’re welcomed into the family and you know that their parents have accepted you. His family was likable and loveable too… And when he went to Little River [Ala., Felecia’s hometown] with me, my mom and grandmother loved him. He would engage them and listen to their stories and they told me that he was great compared [to who I dated in high school], and said, ‘I better keep him…’”
“I loved going down to her parent’s house, down there [in Little River] it’s easy country living, peace, and tranquility. They were sticklers about church, and so were my parents, so that stuck out to me. It was easy to love her mom and grandmother, and from that point on our relationship got serious,” Adrian said, “After that, I can’t remember a time when we weren’t dating.”
The proposal: At Felecia’s brother’s wedding in Abbeville, Ala., on Oct. 22, 1994.
“I felt compelled to do it at her brother Douglas’s wedding. I wanted to do it the right way, and I asked her mom if I could have her daughter’s hand in marriage and her mom said ‘yes,’” Adrian said. “I got down on one knee and [I said] I already asked your mama, and [mama] said ‘yes’. Will you be my wife? Felecia happily accepted.”
“[The proposal] was after the wedding because he didn’t want to take away from their ceremony, but I remember it was such a beautiful day, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky,” Felecia said. “I was surprised and very excited. Our family was just as happy for us because my mom, grandmother, and brother loved Adrian. The day was perfect.”
The wedding: At the downtown Birmingham Courthouse, officiated by a courthouse chaplain. Adrian wore a suit and Felecia wore a nice dress.
It was just the two of them.
Most memorable for the bride was a surreal moment at home after their nuptials. “I just remember going back to the apartment and thinking like, did we really just do this? Our family and lives will begin from this moment,” Felecia said. “Adrian broke open a wine cooler, and we made a toast to being married.”
Most memorable for the groom was an exchange with the courthouse chaplain on the way in. “We were walking into the courthouse when this man walked up to us in a regular suit and asked us if we were about to get married and I said ‘no’ and kept walking because I thought they would have someone else on the inside who would marry us. But after the lady issued the marriage license, she said, ‘this is the man who’s gonna marry you guys, and our [Adrian and Felecia’s] faces dropped,” Adrian laughed, “it was the man from outside the courthouse! We [bride, groom and chaplain) all had a good laugh, and I apologized and [the chaplain] was understanding.”
The couple took a weekend trip to Atlanta and stayed at the Marriott hotel on Peachtree St. “We got all dressed up and went out for a romantic dinner,” Felecia said.
Words of wisdom: “Marriage is not always easy, it’s a work in progress, but nothing in life is easy. If it’s worth it, you will work for it. During the bad times, and different life events, if [your spouse] sticks with you, that shows how much they love you,” Felecia said. “I’ve had some surgeries, and he’s always there for me. I can wake him during the middle of the night after we’ve been fussing, and he’ll get right up and take care of me . . . I look at him and watch him sleep sometimes and realize how much I love him and that I don’t know where I’d be without him.”
“There are some tough times but it’s all in how you weather the storm… [There are times] I had been sitting in church thinking about whether I wanted to stay in this marriage or not, and one Sunday the pastor was doing a sermon on marriage and forgiveness… Marriage is definitely a roller coaster ride, it’s up and down, but it’s what you make of it. You definitely have to be ready for marriage, you have to want to be married. . . I’ve always said that once I get married I want to stay married, 26-years later and she hasn’t put me out yet,” Adrian said.
Happily ever after: The Minor’s have three children; Andrea, 31, Adrienne, 26, Jamal, 21.
Felecia, 51, is a Little River native [Baldwin County, Ala.], Baldwin County High School [Bay Minette, Ala.], and graduate of Alabama State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing. She works as a commercial loan underwriter for Regions Bank in Birmingham and is on the Midfield City School Board.
Adrian, 55, is a Selma, Ala. native, a Selma High School grad, and Alabama State University graduate, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Adrian works as a loan officer for One Main Financial in Homewood.