The night shift brought them together

Just before Ashley Marie Thomas left the New York office of The Associated Press in February 2009 for a full-time job in her Philadelphi...


Just before Ashley Marie Thomas left the New York office of The Associated Press in February 2009 for a full-time job in her Philadelphia office, she believed she last saw Dino Hazell, an editor and evening supervisor who was also working for the information service at the time.

“I didn’t like him at all,” said Ms Thomas, 35, now deputy political editor in the PA’s Washington office. “I found it very difficult to work with Dino in New York,” Ms. Thomas said, “so I was really happy to be away from him.”

But just as the door closed behind her, a New York official informed Ms Thomas that Mr Hazell and a few other colleagues from the New York office were also moving to the Philadelphia office.

“I was not thrilled,” she said.

However, when Mr Hazell, 51, a NYU graduate, from whom he also earned a master’s degree in journalism, arrived, the change of scenery made it less awkward than remembered by Ms Thomas.

In fact, they quickly became quick friends. “He was loud and funny and one of the best editors I have ever met,” said Ms. Thomas, a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in journalism.

“He was like a different person,” she said.

Then came a drastic change in their relationship – the night shift, that is – which Ms Thomas was asked to complete for three months.

She started working from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., and although she dreaded the hours, she was able to spend time with Mr. Hazell, who worked from 4 p.m. to midnight and took his lunch break every evening at 10:30 p.m. . to walk Ms. Thomas the seven blocks from her home to the office to begin her night shift.

“At first I declined all of his offers because I didn’t want anyone to think that something was going on between us,” Ms. Thomas said. “But Dino insisted and showed up at my door.”

They started to get closer and, in the months that followed, spent a lot of time together on the weekends and talked constantly.

“I really thought we had something special together during those early days in Philadelphia,” Hazell said. “There was so much potential. “

In July 2010, Ms Thomas was feeling much the same way and they started dating.

Years have passed, and they have continued to date, and still date.

“It got to the point where my parents started to put the pressure on me, wondering if and when Dino and I were going to get married, because he was just taking his good old days about things,” he said. Ms. Thomas said.

“Suddenly it was seven years later, and I felt I had spent enough time wondering if Dino was going to marry me – and I was fed up with Philadelphia,” she added.

So she started looking for another job with the company and found a job in Washington, where she started working in November 2017, leaving Mr. Hazell in Philadelphia.

“For the next 10 months, I took either a two-hour train ride or a three-hour bus ride to visit him every weekend,” he said. “I didn’t like being without her in my life, and I knew that meant I had to live where she lived.”

He, too, now works in Washington, where he became editor-in-chief of the Washington Politics Bureau. It ended up making its way into Mrs. Thomas’ heart.

The couple were married on August 14 by Reverend Peter Lanshima, a Roman Catholic priest, at the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, Georgia.

“We have come a long way with serious doubts along the way,” the bride said. “Fortunately, we finally made it. “

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