2010-02-11 / Front Page

Sometimes, it’s just meant to be

Islanders share their love stories
By Dara Chadwick

John and Jeanne Juechter John and Jeanne Juechter Ah, Valentine’s Day…that annual ode to all things love – or that annual dedication to all things sappy, depending on your view.

Though we may want to believe in fairy tales, the truth is that love can find us anywhere, anytime – and often in the people and places where we least expect it.

Trust me. I met my husband at a gas station.

Fairy tales aside, who doesn’t like a good love story? Last week, we asked you to send us yours and you responded.

What follows are a couple of our favorites…

Not quite at first sight

Amy Bucci first met David Urban, owner of The Secret Garden in Jamestown, when they were both freshmen at the University of Rhode Island.

But it wasn’t exactly love at first sight.

“I remember meeting him in the dining hall,” Bucci said. “He came over to our table and he was just so loud and annoying. I didn’t like him at all!”

Amy Bucci and David Urban Amy Bucci and David Urban Bucci said she thought he was a “typical Jersey boy.”

Urban happened to be friends with another friend of Bucci’s – a relationship Bucci couldn’t quite understand.

“I told my friend, ‘I can’t stand him!’” she said.

Soon, Urban and Bucci’s friend became roommates, which meant that if she wanted to spend time with her friend, she’d have to put up with Urban.

“I started going over there to hang out with my friend, but by spending so much time there, I started to notice David in a different way,” she said. Urban soon asked her to a charity ball and although she was hesitant to accept the invitation, she went anyway.

To her amazement, she had a great time.

During spring break, Bucci said, Urban traveled to Ireland and again to her amazement, she found herself missing him. When he returned, she spotted him talking and laughing with another girl on the quad.

“Something in me snapped,” she said. “I didn’t want that girl talking and laughing with him. I wanted to be her!”

Still, Bucci kept her feelings to herself and the two went their separate ways for the summer. But they talked just about every day and before long, Bucci confessed her feelings.

Fortunately, Urban felt the same way.

Their relationship continued through their graduation in 2006 and during a move to New Jersey, where Bucci attended graduate school. But the couple always loved Rhode Island and wanted to return.

In March, 2008, Urban purchased The Secret Garden in Jamestown, and Bucci soon joined him that May. After living briefly in Kingston and Wakefield, the two officially became islanders in September, 2008. In June, the couple will have been dating for six years.

“We both love Jamestown, and I am so happy and proud of everything that he has accomplished,” she said.

And as for what the experience has taught her about love?

“First impressions aren’t always accurate,” she said.

Written in the stars –

and just in time

When John Juechter was divorced and in his late 40s, he had a sailing friend and Rotary Club colleague whom he’d often drive to Rotary luncheons. One day, he called his friend’s office and heard a new voice on the phone – his friend’s new secretary.

“Since my name is hard to pronounce, I said, ‘I’m JJ,’” he said. “Her name was Jeanne Johnson. She said she was JJ, too.”

Whenever Juechter stopped by the office, he’d always talk to JJ, who wore a wedding ring.

“I used to envy her husband,” he said. “How come he got such a wonderful woman?”

One day, Juechter and Johnson were talking about sailing and she remarked that her husband “used to sail.”

Juechter was intrigued, not knowing if Johnson’s husband simply didn’t sail anymore – or if he was no longer her husband.

He soon asked his friend, who told him Johnson had been a widow for two years.

“I went immediately back to my office, called her at home and got a date to take her out for dinner that evening,” he said.

As he was driving her home, she asked Juechter when his birthday was. When he responded, “September,” she asked, “What day?”

When he replied, “The 21st” she asked, “What year?”

The year was 1925, he said.

It turns out they were born on the same day.

“She’s an older woman,” Juechter said. “By an hour and 20 minutes.”

The couple was married nine months to the day after that first date, he said.

But their coincidences didn’t end there.

Shortly after they were married, Juechter said, the two were discussing poetry and he remarked that his favorite poem was by Edwin Markham and began with the line, “She comes like the hush and beauty of the night.”

His wife looked at him in surprise and got out her Ridgewood, N.J. high school yearbook. Under her picture were the words, “She comes like the hush and beauty of the night.”

The couple, who now lives in East Greenwich, lived on Blueberry Lane in Jamestown for seven years after their wedding.

“Since we were 50 when we got married, we decided to celebrate our anniversary monthly with a bottle of champagne,” he said. “In two months, we’ll be married 35 years.”

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