As an interracial couple in the 60s, they faced discrimination. But their love defied all odds and has stood the test of time
Chubby Checker and Catharina Lodders’ long-lasting marriage has amazed those who follow their story.
The two have been married for almost six decades, and their love has stayed strong.
Theirs was a whirlwind romance, complete with an “us-against-the-world” storyline, but nothing can ever stop a love that’s real.
Chubby, whose real name is Ernest Evans, is famous for popularizing The Twist.
The famous American song was originally released by Hank Ballard and The Midnighters that peaked at number six on the US Billboard Hot R&B and Sides chart.
But Chubby’s cover in 1960 turned the song into a hit as he paired it with a dance step we know now.
It was his road to fame, and the world loved him for it; so did his future wife.
Catharina Lodders, who now goes by Rina Evans, was only twenty when she joined the world of pageantry, where she won Miss Benelux, Miss Holand, and Miss World.
Both their successes had led them to tour around the world, and fate landed them in the same place at the same time.
They met in the Philippines; it was love at first sight for Chubby.
“I saw a girl in a spotted bathing suit, and I said, ‘I’m going to marry that woman.’ I didn’t even want to get married, but I couldn’t breathe,” Chubby said in an interview with Philadelphia Magazine.
Their romance took off after that first meeting, but it was a rollercoaster ride from there.
Their interracial relationship met society’s disapproval, especially when African-Americans were segregated from the rest.
People were hurling racist remarks and discriminating against the couple, especially Chubby.
But this never discouraged them.
In contrast, all of that strengthened their love, and they married on April 12, 1964.
Rina knew of America’s racial problems but didn’t care, even if they had difficulty buying a house in Philadelphia.
It took them a while to find one in a neighborhood that would accept them as an interracial couple.
Chubby and Rina’s similar outlook in life fueled their love to survive despite the odds.
They could care less about what the world thought about them and focused more on how they nurtured each other’s love.
The couple got along so well and enjoyed each other’s company.
Chubby always reminded Rina to keep her mind open to what was happening around them and learn and adapt to the country as an interracial couple.
They soon had their first child a couple of years after and were blessed with two more.
Bianca Johanna Evans, WNBA star Mistie Bass, and musician Shan Egan are proud children of parents who defied the odds and stood the test of time.
Chubby and Rina are now grandparents to seven grandchildren.
After almost 60 years, the two are still in love with each other.
The secret? All those hurdles they went through together made them braver and believe they could take on anything.
Now, they saw the world change their views before their very eyes and could proudly say that their marriage was never about race or color.
It was centered on love.