James Ramsey, a Fern Creek native,, and Jane Ramsey, a self-proclaimed “city girl” from the South End, are quite a dynamic duo, which anyone can figure out within moments of meeting them. Right off the bat, their playfulness is underscored by the seriousness of finishing each other’s sentences. They are still smiling after 38 years of marriage, and they laugh – a lot. Jane’s witty demeanor is lovingly adored by Jim’s hearty laugh.
The unassuming husband and wife team know how to make someone feel at home, and while they might not take too much too seriously, they are serious in the area that matters – each other (and the Cards).
How did you meet?
The year was 1968 and two singles were “cruisin” around the Preston Street Frisch’s Big Boy. “You know driving around and cruisin – it was the cool thing to do back then,” said Jane., “She yelled, “˜Come on over big guy!” added Jim with a laugh.
Jane’s eyes grew wide. “I did not – you wish!” she said. “He was waving for me to come over to his car and talk to him and I said “˜No Way! You come over here.’ He got out of the car and did it – I really didn’t think he would!”
Smiling, Jim recalled, “Yep. You were 19.”
“No I wasn’t,” Jane said. “You were two years older than me and I was a baby.”
And the friendly banter continued:
“That’s right, that’s right, you had just graduated from high school,” said Jim, correcting himself., “Yes, I was a baby. I was 17,” said Jane “and we went together for four years.”
How did he propose?
“After four years you just kind of take it for granted, I think,”, Jane said. Jim, who was interrupted by his office assistant to sign papers, let out a loud laugh having overheard Jane’s recollection of their courtship.
After four years of dating it came as no surprise to Jane when Jim finally did pop the question.
“We did get a little more upscale than Frisch’s,” he said.
“I guess so,” said Jane. “He took me to Captain’s Quarter’s after a friend’s wedding.”
Was he nervous? “You mean when I begged her to marry me? No, I wasn’t nervous” he deadpanned.
“It’s not like it was a big secret,” Jane said. “I mean we’d been dating for four years for goodness sake. I didn’t know he had the ring so I guess that was a surprise.” Then they both erupted in laughter.
Jim leaned over his desk and said, “You know what really happened? She did somersaults all the way down to the river. I figured she was the only person who would marry me so I better catch her.”
He gave a quick wink at Jane and she lovingly rolled her eyes.
Do you have a system for dividing up house-hold chores?
“He takes out the trash on Wednesdays -, that’s his chore.” Jim, with a devilish grin, chimed in, “I do more than that. I do my laundry.”
“He does not,” a not-so-convinced Jane said. “He just washes the same thing over and over again so he doesn’t have to look for his clothes!”
“I take the trash out on Wednesdays,” Jim knowingly concluded.
Where do you like to go when you’re out “˜n’ about?
“Texas Roadhouse,” Jim said. Due to his position at the University of Louisville, the couple’s free time is limited. “We have so many university events and so many nights we are out or entertaining and so for us, when we don’t have anything going on, we just like a place that has good food and is fast.”
“We’ve always enjoyed travel and have worked hard the last four years to do one big family trip,” he added. “Back when the kids were really young, I was working in Kazakhstan and when I’d come back they would meet me in Europe, but as the kids got older and started becoming busier with school, it became harder to do any kind of family vacation – even in the U.S. So we started scheduling, and everyone blocks a week out on their calendar so we can all go together.”
Past Ramsey family vacations have included a boat from Moscow to St. Petersburg, traveling to Israel with their church and last year’s safari in Tanzania.
“This year we are going to the Galagpagos Island,” Jane said.
What advice would you offer to couples – new or old – who desire to walk together through life in tandem?
“One: Find things that you enjoy doing together,” Jim said. “So for us it’s easy – we both like sports.” “And the love of the dogs,” added Jane.
The family has 10 Chinese pugs.
“Two: Respect each other’s interests. She plays tennis and for me I like golf,” Jim said. “So finding things you enjoy together but also respecting your partner’s individual hobbies will keep the relationship balanced.”
“Find someone that you share a lot of common interests with,” Jane affirmed. Jim added, “and common sense, right?” And just when they seemed to be caught in a rare serious moment, “No, I have enough of that to make up for you,” Jane said.
Jan. 8, 1972
Two daughters, Jenny, 27, and, Jacque, 24.
The couple seeks solace in their Peewee Valley home.
Jane is a Western Kentucky University graduate and earned her master’s degree from Georgetown. Jim is the president of the University of Louisville and a professor of economics. They are very involved with U of L, Southeast Christian Church and health care organizations, just to name a few.
Cats or Cards
Although Jim Ramsey has two degrees from the University of Kentucky, he is a Cards fan and a Cards fan only.
Category: In Tandem
About the Author (Author Profile)
Voice-Tribune Staff Writer Lauren DePaso enjoys being a tourist in her own city, exploring the nightlife and cheering on the Cards. A Louisville native, she currently resides in St. Matthews.