Good Morning. I hope that you are enjoying this weekend with family and friends.
One of the last surviving Tuskegee Airmen and his artist wife mark 70 years of marriage in Baltimore
By Jonathan M. Pitts
The Baltimore Sun
Seventy years ago this week, a 28-year-old military pilot named Lemuel “Arthur” Lewie Jr. and his girlfriend, a beautiful 18-year-old Baltimore high school senior named Reva Goodwin, visited a courthouse in South Carolina and got married in a quiet ceremony.
They didn’t tell their parents; Reva’s mom and dad thought she was too young. Time has proved them wrong.
The Lewies, now 98 and 88, celebrated seven decades of marriage in a ceremony in front of more than 70 people in Baltimore on Saturday afternoon.
Guests at the bash included children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends and family members from as far away as South Carolina, California and Hawaii.
They all looked on as the Lewies renewed the vows they exchanged on Aug. 28, 1948.
“My granddaughter once asked me, ‘Grandma, where are the pictures of your wedding?’ ” Reva, a retired longtime arts educator, said moments after once again pledging to continue loving and caring for Arthur till death parts them.
“I just told her, ‘There aren’t any, honey, we eloped!’ Today’s the first time we’ve had it all — the pictures, the reception, everything. It’s wonderful.”
In many ways, the occasion – a luncheon at Martin’s West the family dubbed “A Timeless Romance” — had the feel of more than just personal or family history.
Lemuel Lewie, Jr., known to friends as Arthur, was not just any military flier. He served with the Tuskegee Airmen, the first group of African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces.
His memory is failing a bit, but he can easily summon tales of his time in the service. One of fewer than 100 surviving Tuskegee Airmen, and the only unit member still living in Baltimore, he has won numerous medals and been a guest at the White House.
Reva knew little about the unit in the summer of 1947 when she and her three sisters visited Columbia, S.C. But when Arthur came by her grandmother’s house to visit “the pretty girls from Baltimore,” she was as drawn to him as he was to her.
“He was tall, slender and handsome with dashing, blue-green eyes and reddish hair,” she recalled Saturday.
“I was robbing the cradle, but she had everything – good looks, a good shape, and she came from a good family,” he replied, laughing. “I always knew what I wanted and knew how to get it.”
He proposed after three days, putting his bombardier’s ring on her finger.
After he completed a graduate degree in chemistry – and after she graduated from high school – the couple moved in together in Baltimore, by that time with the full approval of their families.