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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
DEBRA AND VICTOR MOORE
Live: Center Point
Married: May 26, 1989
Met: May 1979, at their mutual friend, Dwight’s home in Smithfield. Debra was having Saturday night cocktails with Dwight’s mother when Victor dropped in
“I had been checking her out all the time because me and her brother were friends. That was just the first time I got to meet her up close, and there was an attraction. She said she never saw me, but I saw her,” Victor said.
“I lived in the Smithfield projects, but I didn’t hang in the Smithfield projects,” Debra said, “I didn’t notice him because I wasn’t looking for him,” she laughed.
“I knew his friend’s mom and I was over there talking with her while she was cooking, when he came in and came and sat down. And it went from a conversation with the three of us to a conversation with just the two of us.”
Victor said he didn’t ask for her phone number right away but he did a week later and they got a chance to talk and get to know each other.
“…the conversation was nice, he was good looking so I said let me see what can come of it and gave him my number,” Debra said.
First date: A few weeks later, at a Mexican restaurant in Five Points West.
“He came and picked me up at the door [in their apartment community], we only stayed a few steps from each other, and we went to his car and went on the date. We just sat and talked about different things trying to get to know each other, and afterward, we came back to my house, and I invited him in. We sat and talked at the kitchen table, and then we watched a little TV and he went home,” Debra recalled.
“We were having a good time, I enjoyed her company. We laughed, had cocktails, and made it back home. The date went the way I thought it would go. I was just trying to see were there gonna be any more dates to come after the first one,” Victor said.
The turn: After the second date, said Debra. “We decided that we would give it a try and see where we would go [being exclusive], and it went from there. The feelings were mutual.”
“We understood each other, and we decided to try and make this work,” Victor said.
The proposal: April 1989, at their home in West End. Over 10 years, Debra and Victor shared a home and raised their children before they decided to make it official.
“We had discussed that we were gonna get married sooner than later, but I surprised her one day when I came home. I had gotten the ring, and I didn’t get down on one knee,” Victor said, “I just looked her in her eyes and asked her would she be my wife. It was time to make the bond right under the eyes of God.”
“I was ready, we had been together for that length of time, and I was ready to be Debra Moore and not Debra Ward,” Debra said.
The wedding: At the downtown Birmingham Courthouse, officiated by a clergyman. Debra wore a cream-colored dress and heels, and Victor wore casual slacks, a dress shirt, and shoes. Victor’s mother was the only attendee.
Most memorable for the bride was sharing their joy with their family. “We all got together at our house; we had a family gathering to celebrate getting married after the courthouse. Letting everyone know that we were now Mr. and Mrs. was exciting,” Debra recalled.
Most memorable for the groom was, “seeing the expression on my mom’s face when we said ‘I Do’,” Victor said, “and when we came back home and saw the expression on the children’s faces [then 11, and 4]. They were so excited and happy.”
Words of wisdom: “Keep God first, work through whatever is going on and be there for each other through whatever it is,” Debra said.
“Trust in God, have good communication, and don’t let everybody get off into your business. Your business is your business, and it’s up to you two to work things out,” Victor said. “Keep that bond, and the love will grow stronger. You don’t know a person until you live with them, and that makes the bond grow stronger and stronger every day, and if you want that [marriage and happiness], you’ll make it work.”
Happily ever after: The Moore’s have two daughters, Yaikinsha, and Courtney, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
Debra, 66, is a Smithfield native, and A. H. Parker High School grad. She attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham [UAB], where she studied psychology, and retired as a sales associate from Belk at The Summit.
Victor, 65, is a Smithfield native, and A.H Parker High School grad. He attended Jefferson State Community College where he studied business and retired from McWane Pipe Company as a pipe inspector.