One of the first things that Dr. Joe Niamtu noticed about his future wife April was her ear. Which is perfectly normal because as one of Richmond’s most talented and trusted Oral/Maxillofacial and Cosmetic Facial Surgeons, he had been recommended to her by her sister to repair a torn earlobe. “I thought she was absolutely beautiful,” Dr. Niamtu says, recalling the first time he met her.
His interest piqued, Dr. Niamtu learned that April was visiting her family in Richmond while on vacation from her job at a radio station in the Virgin Islands. Shortly after he met her, she returned to the islands and it wasn’t until a year later that their paths crossed again – with a little help from Dr. Niamtu, that is. “I had learned through her family that she had moved back to Richmond, so I got in touch with her,” he says. Soon they were dating and, after a few years, Dr. Niamtu decided it was time to propose.
“I decided to “roast” April at my annual 4th of July party,” says Dr. Niamtu of his soiree that attracted local celebrities such as Jimmy Dean and Patricia Cornwell. During past parties, guest of honors had been good-naturedly roasted with amusing antidotes, funny childhood photographs and a commemorative t-shirt. “This particular year I told April I was keeping the guest of honor a secret,” Dr. Niamtu says. “So she very surprised when I announced it was her.”
Presenting April with a t-shirt that read “After an exhaustive search spanning nearly half a century, Dr. Niamtu finally found the girl of his dreams,” Dr. Niamtu pulled out a ring and, to the delight of everyone present, asked April that question of a lifetime, ‘Will you marry me?’. Of course she said yes and they happily got married on December 19, 1998.
Janet Martin and Mic Muller
“It was early fall of 1993 and I was performing on Wednesday nights at The Moondance,” says Janet, noting that the popular watering hole was the best live music room in Richmond when it was around. “Mic was a partner there and he was also performed with his band, Mic & The Moondogs, on Tuesday nights.”
Before long, Mic was setting up Janet’s sound system for her Wednesday evening gigs. “When he did this, he’d leave these nice little notes, with sayings like ‘Have a good show’,” recalls Janet. “At this point, I hadn’t met him in person yet, but I already knew he was a great guy!”
One fateful Wednesday evening, Mic showed up to listen to Janet play. On her break, she went over and introduced herself and sparks flew. “I felt an immediate connection with him,” says Janet, “But of course, didn’t make it known at the time. Instead we discussed the music business and decided we would work on some of my original material, as I hadn’t put out any recordings as a solo artist and was very interested in doing so. Mic had quite a bit of recording experience and expressed an interest in helping me.”
This working relationship quickly evolved into a personal one that became an engagement in 1996 when Mic proposed to Janet.
”He fixed me a lovely dinner (he’s quite an accomplished chef!),” says Janet. “Towards the end of the dinner, he kept getting up like he was nervous.” This nervousness was explained when he came back to the table carrying a silver plate that had one red rose and a small velvet box.
“He got on his knee and proposed marriage,” says Janet. “It was the single most romantic moment of my life. We waited until 1998 to get married in a small church I grew up in. Six years later, we’re still in love and still happy!”
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