Romance in Real Life: Julien and Judy Springs

Romance in Real Life: Julien and Judy Springs

“I’m the mouth, he’s the brains,” laughed Judy Springs when asked about her long marriage to husband Julien. This attractive, Myrtle Beach couple will celebrate their 36th anniversary on October 4th this year, have raised three successful children and are expecting their first two grandchildren. Best of all, Judy and Julien are still a happily married and devoted couple.

Regional Vice President at First Palmetto Bank, Julien is a native of Myrtle Beach and has worked in the banking industry for 35 years. His father was the first surgeon at Ocean View Memorial Hospital, the first hospital along the Grand Strand, and his grandfather, Retired Brigadier General Holmes Springs, founded the HP Springs Real Estate Company in 1924 and retired from the military after serving his country in both World Wars. General Springs and the Woodside Brothers from Greenville helped build the legendary Ocean Forest Hotel and the Pine Lakes area.

Almost a native, Judy moved to Myrtle Beach at 12 years old from Florida, when her dad, a PGA golf pro, came here as the area’s golf industry skyrocketed. After working in sales for many years, first for Strand Media Group, then Sheriar Press, Judy currently manages Caledonia Weddings and works part time at Hucks & Washington Furniture in Conway. “I have two part time jobs that I love,” said Judy. “Julien’s dad was among a group of friends that developed Caledonia, and we have always had people asking to get married there. My children wanted to get married there, too, so we decided to start doing weddings.”

“When I was growing up, Myrtle Beach was like two different cities,” said Julien. “It was a big city in the summer, with lots of tourists, and a small, quiet town in the winter. It’s my home and I love it.” Judy added, “We enjoy the Myrtle Beach of today and love trying new restaurants, but we don’t do a lot of typical tourist things. Julien’s mother has a house in Garden City and that’s usually where we go to the beach.” Home is the favorite place for both Judy and Julien. “He’s the best cook and does wonderful seafood and wild game dishes.”

“Julien and I met through mutual friends,” began Judy. “We knew each other before that though,” Julien interjected. “Probably since junior high school.” Julien laughed and continued, “She was a little intimidating back then – tall and beautiful!” The couple started dating in high school, and dated for eight years before marrying a year after both graduated from the University of South Carolina.

Julien proposed on Valentine’s Day, 1979 and popped the question at the Library Restaurant. “That was the nicest restaurant in Myrtle Beach at the time,” he reminisced. I asked Julien what made him fall in love with Judy, and he said, “She was (still is) so beautiful, with long brown hair and blue eyes – I just liked everything about her, and we became best friends.” At that time, Julien was a lifeguard/surfer, and Judy inspired him to excel in school and, subsequently, his career. “We brought two different elements to the table,” began Judy. “Julien is from a large family and mine is small. I am the oldest in my family and he is the youngest. Opposites attract and give relationships a balance.” The couple went on to tell me that this balance has contributed to their successful relationship. “We each have our own careers and never interfere in what the other is doing, but we come together on important family issues, like raising children.”

“We were married at First United Methodist Church in Myrtle Beach, the church Julien’s family help start,” Judy told me with a big smile. The wedding was very traditional, and the couple began their life together living and working in Myrtle Beach. Their oldest son, Lash, was born in 1986, and the couple had identical twin girls, Candice and Caroline, in 1988.

“When I found out I was pregnant with twins, I bought two pacifiers, wrapped them up and took them by Julien’s office to surprise him with the news. I told him we had a baby gift, and I wanted him to open it. Of course, I was crying, but I had my sunglasses on so Julien wouldn’t know.” After he got over the initial shock and delight of knowing he was going to be the father of twins, the ever practical Julien’s first reaction was to tell Judy, “Well, you’re going to have to sell the car – time for a station wagon!” Judy had just bought a new Maxima, and it was definitely not big enough for twins and a two year old. “We have laughed at that story for years,” Judy told me, still tickled at her husband’s reaction.

“We spent five years without children and suddenly our whole lives changed,” Judy said when asked about some of the greatest challenges in her marriage. “Life in general can be hard, from raising children to caring for sick parents to economic ups and downs.” Julien then spoke up and said he and his bride have always managed to stay grounded through the ups and downs of life. “Find your balance, keep the faith and keep God first in your life. Raising children is the hardest job you’ll ever do – and the most rewarding.”

Both Julien and Judy agreed that their children were also the best and most rewarding things about their marriage as well. “With the children grown now and grandchildren on the way, it is very satisfying. We have always been very consistent and dedicated to doing what was best for our family.” Even though they both worked full time, their children always came first. “When you have children, it’s no longer about you; you have to think about them first. And, it’s the same with marriage, it’s not just about you anymore,” Judy said thoughtfully.

“You have to compromise, and you have to communicate,” began Judy when asked about the secret to her successful marriage. “We have always encouraged each other to do the things that make us happy.” Julien always wanted to go to Africa and with Judy’s support and encouragement he made the trip two years ago. “And, you can’t change anyone,” Judy laughed. “I tell my children the same thing; talk everything out and remember to laugh.”

Judy and Julien made it a priority to sit down with their children for dinner every night, but also took time away just to be a couple and keep the romance alive. “We went on a trip to St. Thomas and stayed on a friend’s sailboat – that was one of the most romantic times we’ve had together. We sailed it together, just the two of us.” Julien’s romantic memory is definitely a little more pragmatic and masculine. “She bought me my favorite shotgun — I had wanted it for a long time,” he said. “She’s a great gift giver.” Traditionally a day of romance, Valentine’s Day is usually celebrated quietly at the Springs’ home. “It isn’t as big a deal to us as the anniversary of our first date, November 17th, but we’ll probably go out to dinner.”

Today, the couple lives in Pine Lakes Country Club and takes pleasure in every day together. To close, I asked them their advice for young couples on making a lasting, happy marriage. “Marriage is hard work, working together will bring great success,” began Julien. “Be consistent, be positive and keep the faith,” added Judy. “God has to be the center of your marriage.”

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