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Sunday, March 24, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane Love Stories

Dozens of readers submitted their love letters to The Spokesman-Review for Valentine's Day. Today we share them with everyone. Readers love a good story and these heartfelt recollections of romance and friendship promise to resonate.


Al and Joan Diott

Al and Joan Diott

I took my wife out on Feb. 14, 1969 and we were married three months later-and still to this day, soon to be 50 years on May 2. We met at Wham-O Toys in California and moved to Washington in April 1971. We have two kids, Richard Diott and Carol Diott.

Al and Joan Diott

Albert and Kristi Obeso

Albert and Kristi Obeso

Al and I started young. He was 22 and I was 16. We met on our church softball team.

We were married in 1982 had our first child in '82. Al supported my decision to stay in school and graduated in '84 with a 4.0. In 1984 we moved up here to Spokane. Our 2nd child was born in '87. As our family grew, we grew together finding that if we found things we found fun together, we had fun. Camping, dancing, hiking, jeeping, mudding, a lot of friends and music. We are very different people who really love each other.

We jumped into love with both feet and had to become friends afterward. We took our kids everywhere and then grandkids everywhere with us. We were going great had enough money for vacations and liked our jobs. In 2011 Al was stricken with medical issues that lead to 8 strokes in 3 years, he was 49. Through all of this, we have stayed strong with each other. Al is now in a wheelchair and doing great. I supported him through going back to school to become an Architect. He graduated in Dec 2018. We just bought our first house. Where it is not completely wheelchair assessable we love it and are learning to remodel using me as the muscle and Al as the brain..lol ..it does occasionally go to his head.

We are now in our 50's and have been married for 37 years. Whereas this story does not tell all the hardships we have endured it does show our love and dedication to each other. My hope for my daughters was to find someone to be their partner in life like I did, and they did.

Andrea Crumpler & Alan Utley

Andrea Crumpler & Alan Utley

We met for the first time when I, Andrea, was 18 years old and Alan was 20. We both worked the summer at Camp Gifford and had a summer fling.

It was a fun summer and I was in love. At the end of the summer, I was heartbroken as Alan went to England for the year and I went off to college. Time passed and we lost contact as we both moved around to different cities and countries.

When I was in living in St. Louis, Alan was attending GU. He happened to be in the program at GU with one of my college roommates and they, totally randomly, discovered that they both knew me. She put us in contact and we communicated by letters. I didn't think much of it at the time as I was in a relationship with someone else and planning to move back to Ireland.

Well, as fortune would have it, that relationship ended and I moved back to Washington State instead, this time to Tacoma. Alan made an excuse to come visit me there and we met up after 13 years of being apart. Although I didn't think of it as a date, I instantly knew that I wanted to pursue a relationship with him. He looked different (his long hair was gone, thankfully) and yet he was the same person at his core. We took the leap and started a long-distance relationship, which lasted for one year until I moved back to Spokane and we got married.

We have now been married for 12 years. I had no idea that the person I met at summer camp in 1992 would be the person I would marry in 2006. I am incredibly fortunate to have him in my life and as my husband. All of the odd things about him work well with the odd things about me. He gets me and puts up with me. I couldn't ask for a better partner.

Art and Lynda Hayashi

Art and Lynda Hayashi

In March of 1982 my girlfriends and I went out to celebrate our friend Jody’s birthday.

We got to the Tin Ear and started dancing. Jody had kept telling us that two buddies of hers, Art and Sam, would be joining us. And then who should show up but Art and Sam.

We sat around talking, drinking, laughing. At one point I asked my friend, Pam, to trade places with that Art guy. He was funny and I wanted to get to know him better. We talked and he kept me laughing, but when it got close to midnight, I stood up and told everyone I was turning into a pumpkin and moved to leave.

That night I did something I’d never, ever done before. I turned to Art, leaned over, kissed him on the lips and said, “See you in the funny papers, Kid.”

The next day Jody called me and told me “That Art guy wants your phone number. Can I give it to him?”

“Did you tell him how old I am?” (I’m 8 years older than he is.) “Ya, he doesn’t care.” So, she gave him my phone number and we went out. Well, it’s nearly 37 years later. We will soon be celebrating our 35th wedding anniversary. That 8-year age difference has never mattered. And we’re still kissing, talking, and laughing.

Beryl and Leonard Pielli

Beryl and Leonard Pielli

We were both in our 30s when we met at Rizzutto’s Shoe Repair store in Shadle Shopping Center. He looked at my dog-eaten shoe and asked, “What do you expect, a miracle?”

We continued our friendship and discovered we had the same things in common - religion, family values and work ethic. I loved his laughter. He loved my cooking. Seven short months later we married. We combined six great kids between the ages of 4 to 14. We continued living with our ups and downs and in between and watching our kids carry on the same values and work ethic they were raised with.

Today, February 3rd, I watch my husband begin his first physical therapy session following his recent lower brain surgery. I know he will improve and return home. But I fondly remember what brought us together 45 years ago. I loved his laughter - he loved my cooking!

Beryl Pielli

Newport

Bill and Marie Bertsch

Bill and Marie Bertsch

Upon my return from D-Day in WW2 - the Solomon Islands, New Guinea, the Philippines - I was awaiting on a new ship in Virginia (Norfolk). I was sent to Washington, D.C. and interviewed and told that due to being aboard an LCI (Landing Craft Infantry) in combat I was now picked to go on a tour of rocket factories. Along with three others, we were to tell the workers how important their work was to help defeat the Japanese.

On the 4th of July weekend, we were in Bridgeport, Conn. We had a few days off. We had driven by a beach that was full of girls and decided this was a nice place to go. After checking into the hotel we then went down and asked the police officer which bus to take. Lucky for me, he sent us to the wrong beach. Upon arrival my partner, a Marine, and I decided to take a swim there. We went out on the sand and put our towels, etc. down.

I looked up and about 20 feet away saw a beautiful girl. I was “hit by a thunderbolt.” She was with another guy. However, I did a lot to get her attention. I walked close to their blanket and smiled at her, she looked back ad then turned away. I swam and when I came back they were gone!

The next day I went back to the beach to see if she might of come back. I got off the bus and there she was! I went right to her and said, “hello, my name is Bill, I hope you’d be here.” I sat next to her and we talked for an hour getting acquainted. Her name is Marie.

She told me she was at the beach as she had to wait until Tuesday for her train ticket to California. We had a few days together and found that even though there were many different things, such as her being a Catholic and I non-religious, to a degree and other then that we were in love. She canceled her California trip!

Three weeks later we married! My tour of industry ended at V-J (Victory over Japan) Day. Upon my discharge, we lived in Connecticut for a short while, and then California for many years. We moved to Spokane in July to be close to our daughter. We are now 94 years old and proof that there is Love at First Sight.

Bill Bertsch

Spokane

Bill and Sherry Campbell

Bill and Sherry Campbell

The first time I saw Sherry was at a Civil Air Patrol dance, in the spring of 1974. There she was on the dance floor, this strawberry blonde beauty in a pale blue peasant skirt and a crop-top blouse with billowed sleeves. To me, she appeared like a genie as she danced and, to this day, I still refer to that dress as her ‘genie’ outfit.

I thought she was gorgeous, and she had me completely hooked! Somehow I managed to get her attention and we danced away the evening. Towards the end of the dance, I asked one of the chaperones if I could take Sherry home with me; never mind that she was only thirteen and I was just fifteen. My brash request shocked Sherry a little bit, but less so than the chaperone’s enthusiastic approval of the idea. Alas, it was not to be; she went to her West Seattle home with her prearranged ride and I went home to Everett.

Since we lived some thirty-five miles apart and attended different schools, my only hope of seeing Sherry again would be during another C.A.P. event. Our paths did cross several more times over the next year and our relationship moved along in fits and starts. We each matured and experienced the joys and pains of dating other people. However, I never lost interest in Sherry and hoped that she wouldn’t forget the dark haired young man with a bit of swagger and boldness about him.

During one chance meeting, I swatted Sherry’s rear end as she walked past me. Her response was immediate (and wholly appropriate) as she spun around and attempted to roundhouse her attacker. She hadn’t noticed me as she passed by and didn’t realize that I was the offending party. We had a good laugh over her fiery reaction, a part of her character that I treasure every day. Furthermore, her reaction only cemented my desire to win her over and love her forever.

We met again a few months later at a Halloween dance. After some negotiations by proxy, (my best friend spoke to her best friend before we spoke to each other) and we agreed to go on a double date. The next weekend, after dinner and a movie, we finally began to ‘go steady’. For the next couple of years, we saw each other as much as possible, borrowing a car when we could, but quite often one of us was required to ride the bus back and forth between Seattle and Everett. Long distance phone calls were expensive back then, and not often subsidized by our parents. We spoke on the phone when we could and wrote many love letters.

We continued to grow closer and fall more deeply in love. It didn’t take long for both of us to see the other as our best friend in the entire world. We have many things in common: our tastes in music, art, food, and humor. Sherry has a sharp wit and a marvelous sense of humor, and she can easily get me to laughing hysterically. My unrestrained laughter will usually get her to laughing until we both have tears running down our faces. Sherry brings out the best in me. With her as an example, my grades in school improved, a point not lost on my mother, and I became more focused. From me, Sherry got respect, companionship, and unconditional love; things she felt were sometimes lacking in her life.

I graduated from high school and worked part time for a while. Having no plans for college, I decided to enlist in the Washington Air National Guard. Due to health issues, my mother sold the family home, leaving me with no place to live when I returned. Fortunately, Sherry’s parents opened their home to me. I apparently had earned their trust! I quickly found steady work as a truck mechanic, and Sherry and I dared to dream about long-range plans. During this time, things were developing in Sherry’s family life that led us to get our own apartment, and we moved out. Sherry continued at school, finishing her senior year.

On the third anniversary of our double date, I proposed to Sherry and we set a date to be married the following June after her graduation from high school. We had a beautiful church wedding in Seattle and honeymooned in Canada. I had steady work, we had our apartment, and we were deeply in love.

Eventually, we bought a house, and within a few months, Sherry was pregnant with the first of our two children. The arrival of our daughter came with the expected changes in our lives that we happily embraced. Blessed with an ability to rise from bed easily and reasonably alert, I took on the task of retrieving the baby from the nursery for night feedings. I would deliver the freshly changed baby to Sherry, and afterwards return our daughter back to her crib. In minutes, I was back asleep. We made a great team. Within three years, we moved again, had a son and our family was complete. I cannot imagine raising a family without Sherry. Her love, creativity, and devotion enabled us to thrive no matter the challenges.

We have been married almost 40 years now, and throughout our marriage, we’ve remained not only lovers, but also best friends. We hold hands constantly, even choosing seats in restaurants that enable us to hold hands throughout the meal. We laugh often, and try always to be supportive and encouraging. Sherry continues to bring out the best in me, and I try to always honor and cherish her.

Bill and Sue Bancroft

Bill and Sue Bancroft

We've known each other since 3rd grade... Sue grew up out at Liberty Lake and I was born and raised in Greenacres. We were in the same 3rd grade class, and my mom, Louise Bancroft, was Sue's 4th grade teacher (her favorite teacher ever, of course!!). We went all through school together - were always friends, played in school bands together....Never got to go to band camp though! I had always wanted to ask Sue out in high school but I was pretty short and small in stature while Sue was always very tall and naturally beautiful - so, of course, I never did. After high school we went our separate ways...me off to become a rock star and Sue to college. Then one Saturday in the summer of 2006, we met again. My late wife Becky and I had a booth at the Liberty Lake Farmer's Market where we sold fruit and vegetables we grew on our small farm in Greenacres. Sue and her mother, Janet, had a booth where they sold Janet's home made pot holders, quilts, etc. One day I spotted Sue

and went over to say hi. Of course she didn't recognize me because I had grown quite a bit and had changed so much. Once she did, we had a nice time catching up - she met Becky and I met her mom. Becky and I eventually sold the farm and moved from Greenacres to Spokane's south hill where we lived until her passing in 2011. Sue, by this time, had been divorced from her husband for several years. One day, in 2013, I came across Sue on Facebook and sent her a friend request. For about a year, we noticed we "liked" and commented on many of the same things. Finally, I got up the nerve to ask her for coffee. We met at the Rocket Bakery on Argonne Road. For the next 5 1/2 hours we talked, and talked and made the incredible discovery of just how much we had in common. Of course, I neglected to buy her any food or even a second cup of coffee being so completely enamored by our conversation. This is still a running joke throughout the family. We started dating and fell totally, unabashedly and thoroughly in love. In April of 2015, we took a vacation to the Oregon Coast - Sue's very favorite place. April 4th, exactly one year after that magical cup of coffee, I asked her to marry me. She said yes! Neither one of us could have ever imagined we'd find love again at 58 years old!! We were married on April 30th, 2016. The ceremony was held at the Steam Plant restaurant and brewery with a reception at the Knitting Factory in downtown Spokane. There were over 200 family and friends there to share in a most amazing day!! Our slightly nontraditional reception included a jam session because I really did go off and fulfill my dream of being a professional musician and many of my past and more recent band members showed up to wish us well! Sue's two daughters and my two sons and one daughter were all a little skeptical at first but in a short amount of time they have become a very close and loving "blended" family. Of course all the kids are a grownups and have lives of

their own. With 7 grandkids between us and our individual careers, we've found a sense of peace and unending love together.

"Its never too late to live happily ever after.”

Bill Schaich and Sheila Honnold

Bill Schaich and Sheila Honnold

September 15th, 2015, first things first. We had to find each other. We looked fervently in mundane activities like grocery shopping, at the pet store, the car wash, everywhere.

We looked enthusiastically in our athletic activities riding bikes road and mountain, swimming, snow skiing, snowboarding paddling, walking, hiking or floating the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene. During this disappointing time neither of us found “the one.”

Sadly we didn’t find each other. Then we tried the modern 21st century approach, match.com. After months of grueling efforts without finding the perfect match. Finally, we were pleasantly surprised with each other’s profiles. Bill’s interest was piqued by Sheila’s active lifestyle and beautiful blue eyes. Sheila was in awe of Billy's high school body his swimsuit picture revealed. His career in firefighting and title of Lieutenant was quite respectable as well.

After a few pleasant intriguing conversations we met at Twigs for lunch. The first-date jitters hit us both, but we quickly were at ease with each other’s delightful presence. The huge table lingered between us so, after a short while we simultaneously began to move towards each other. My heart began to palpitate as his body scooted next to mine. I asked, “wouldn’t this be nice if this was our last first date?” Billy expeditiously agreed.

Fast forward to our goodbyes. We walk to my vehicle to say goodbye. Little did I know that a minivan was his least favorite car! (I drove a gold Kia minivan and loved its versatility and good gas mileage.)

Tomorrow I was flying to Vegas to visit a longtime friend for a few days. Hence, it seemed reasonable to see if he would like to join me in an afternoon hike at the Bowl and Pitcher. Nerves were elevated as I called to invite him. Yahoo, he accepted the invitation! The beauty of the Spokane River the Majesty of the rock formations is a very romantic place for outdoor enthusiasts. The Roaring River was a great accompaniment to our first kiss.

During my Las Vegas Vacation we texted frequently and Billy was attentive, witty and thoughtful. A few weeks later at my 50th birthday I proudly introduced him as my boyfriend.

January 1st, 2016 at Antler Springs Golf Course we were cross country skiing and the fresh snow was glistening the sun was breathtaking. The quaint Bridge was picturesque, then Billy stopped got on one knee and asked me to marry him.

“Absolutely,” I exclaimed.

Our engagement was full of Adventure. Our first time going to 49° North was unexpectedly difficult, it had snowed 18 inches so we’re expecting a soft sweet powder day. The first turn revealed the truth, the snow had a 2-inch layer of ice on top of the powder. This made it very difficult to turn so we both ate some Humble Pie as we fell time and time again. Thankfully many other ski and snowboarding trips were very enjoyable with much better snow conditions! I learned a new sport, disc golf.

After many days of practice I haven’t improved, ugh. We rode our bikes on the trials and the roads over 500 miles. Our longest RV trip was to Moab Utah world-renowned for the mountain biking and four wheeling. Our first bike ride was on the practice loop at Slickrock trails. Billy had been there many times before so is very comfortable on the orange slick, steep rock. On the contrary, I was petrified, after ½ Mile I laid my bike down and cried. Mountain biking was one of my strengths so it was shocking how scared the steep rock made me feel. After Billy’s reassurance I got on my bike and finished the practice Loop. The following day Billy road the 10-mile Slickrock Trail. I was pleased to stay behind and go to the laundromat.

Doing laundry was exceptionally enjoyable that day. Many of the trails we road in Moab we’re challenging and memorable. Taking our 1984 CJ7 Jeep on the Fins and Things Trail was epic!

Our exciting Adventures continued for 5 months. We were married on June 25th 2016. Being retired and healthy has allowed us time and resources to continue traveling along with our athletic activities. Now, two-and-a-half years later we are happily married. The secret to our happiness is treating each other the way we want to be treated, along with daily expressing our love in words and actions.

Billy Iseman

Billy Iseman

June 8, 2015 the love of my life went to God and took my heart and soul with her.

I have been in love with Mimi since I met her at the Great Northern Cafe in Presque Isle, Maine. A good friend introduced me to Mimi in March 1959. We had a great time visiting with her family and friends. Mimi’s parents were two of the best people I have ever met. Her mother was as close to a saint that you can get on Earth. I loved them as if they were my own parents.

Mimi and I were together every day until I was transferred to Georgia. On my way to Georgia I missed Mimi so much taht I stopped at a gas station in South Carolina and called her and asked her to marry me. She told me she would think about it and to call back the next day. She said yes. We were married at the Presque Isle Air Force Base Chapel on Oct. 24, 1959. We had 56 wonderful years together.

In the Air Force, Mimi got to travel all over the U.S. and many places in Europe. We spent three great years in Germany where Karen was born and three wonderful years in England. She loved the military.

In 1955 the family built a cabin at Deer Lake. That was her Heaven on Earth. She loved swimming, socializing and most of all chicken legs from Domino’s Pizza.

Mimi was an outstanding mother, housekeeper and wife. In all the years we were married she would never complain, she always had a smile and a kind word for everyone. She loved life, family and her many friends. When she was told that she had cancer, her response was “you’ve got to go sometime.” She was the bravest person I have ever known. She fought a great battle, but lost in the end.

My life will never be the same without Mimi. I will never stop loving her.

Her surviving husband,

Billy Iseman

Carol and Benny Stueckle

Carol and Benny Stueckle

It was the summer of 1959! We met when Benny was the soloist, I was the organist, at a mutual friend’s wedding. We “practiced” a lot that summer! We were married February 7, 1960. We were fortunate to have 25 years together.

He passed on unexpectedly in 1985. A bittersweet final ending is engraved on the tomb - “And the greatest of these is love.”

I was very lucky to have known true love.

Carol Stueckle

Pullman

Charles and Nancy Young

Charles and Nancy Young

Nancy (Berggren) and I met soon after we both began our freshman year at Pacific in the fall of 1966. I had come to Forest Grove on a financial need scholarship and she was the daughter of Thor Berggren, a faculty member in the School of Education.

We met one evening in the HUB a day or two after a freshman football game. She was there with her roommate and her boy friend. I was there with a friend, who was on the staff of the Pacific newspaper. We visited briefly but didn’t say too much to each other, since I was dating someone back home in Las Vegas and she was dating someone she had met shortly before at Pacific.

Several weeks later her roommate’s boy friend came to my dorm room to ask if I had a date for the homecoming dance. When I told him “no” he said, “neither does Nancy”. I was surprised to hear this but was definitely interested in taking her, so went to the “girl’s dorm” and after some stammering and stuttering on my part I managed to ask her out.

That was our first date, and we’ve been together ever since. We dated steadily for the remainder of our freshman year. I believe it was our sophomore year we got “pinned” as I was a member of the Alpha Zeta fraternity. A tradition at that time when a member of the AZ’s got pinned, was to make a dash between the two main dorms and try to avoid being captured by your fraternity brothers. Of course, no one ever managed to evade them. So when I got caught I was tied to a lamp post in front of McArthur Hall while Nancy kissed me and all sorts of “gunk” was poured on us. We had to hold the kiss for a LONG time. Guess that’s when I knew she was “mine”.

She decided not to come back for her junior year and chose to go to business school in Portland. We were engaged sometime my junior year and were married on August 30, 1969. We chose that date, as we were reasonably certain our attendants and other friends would be there for the wedding since it was the Saturday of Labor Day weekend and classes began the following week!

I joined the Air Force before graduation and received a commission in the Air Force Medical Service Corps my second year. I didn’t intend to make the Air Force a career but wonderful assignments, great career opportunities, an MBA in Health and Hospital Administration from the University of Florida on an Air Force Scholarship and 21 years later we found ourselves in Spokane at Fairchild AFB.

Along the way we had two wonderful children – Brian, a Human Resources Associate for Amazon.com and Melinda, the Director of Communications for the Washington State Budget and Policy Center.

As we approach our fiftieth wedding anniversary this August we are continuing to celebrate our “lifelong love” which began all those many years ago at Pacific University Oregon.

Cindy and Chuck Matthews

Cindy and Chuck Matthews

I was a sweet, young, innocent (18) and he was (23) and a man of the world (snort). I was driving my friend home from a church dance and happened upon Van Nuys Blvd., in southern California’s San Fernando Valley. Unbeknownst to my naive self, it was a notorious cruising area where teens in the 60’s went to meet.

At a stoplight, his friend and the driver of the car they were in, rolled down the window to ask if we’d like to go for coffee. “No thanks” I said and on to the next stoplight. In-between the stops, my friend said, “ you know that one guy was kinda cute.” OK, it was a different time so at the next stop, she rolled down the window and said, “make it a Coke & we’ll meet you at Bob’s" (Big Boy Restaurant).

And so it began. I was “claimed” by the cute one (surprise) and we dated for the next few months. He had a complication, he had been married and was in the final throes of a divorce. It was a big deal back then. The other part of that story was that he was soon to become eligible for the draft in the Vietnam era so he didn't feel he was available for a long term relationship. Well, I was already smitten with my first love so I took it hard. The truth of the matter was that I was too immature for a long term relationship, but you couldn’t convince my 18 year old self of that.

We went our separate ways. I gained maturity and he some new experiences and perspective. Fast forward 2 years. I’m bored, stuck in my apartment with my friend Michelle and a broken down car. All that was available to us for entertainment was the telephone and what’s a girl to do?

We dialed old boyfriends of course. She mine and I hers. She left a message from my phone number for the aforementioned man of the world (whose name is Chuck) from Michelle. A few days later he returns the call asking for Michelle, I of course answer and ask who is calling?

“Chuck” says he, and I, happily, get to reply “Chuck who?” He recognized my voice and said “Hi, Cindy.”

We conversed, he came over for more conversation and we haven’t stopped since. We’ll be married 49 years this February. I like to say I’ve been making him pay all these years for dumping me way back when.

Cindy & Chuck Matthews

Post Falls, ID

Dan Brown and Kitty Johnson-Woods

Dan Brown and Kitty Johnson-Woods

The EHarmony Match: When Danny Meets Kitty August 2010. He was a lonely widower in his early sixties looking for a new mate. A younger, pretty, slender lady in her mid-fifties would be nice, especially if she liked old cars and would maybe run Bloomsday with him. A good cook would be a plus.

She was a comfortably single divorcee looking for a cultured gentleman in his sixties who liked golf, dancing, a good bottle of wine and could brew a fine cup of coffee. A place at the lake would be a plus.

He was a physically fit, bald, boat-building mechanic with conservative politics. He had been in the Coast Guard but couldn’t swim and didn’t like hanging out at the lake. He didn’t drink wine or coffee and thought golf was a waste of time. He listened to FOX radio and never watched football. He could make or fix just about anything. He drove old Studebakers and a 49 Chevy pick-up. He like to read car magazines and non-fiction. He wanted to run Bloomsday in an hour. He had lots of plants. He was almost never late.

She was a curvaceous school nurse in her mid-sixties. Her family lived near Detroit but she could barely tell a Ford from a Chevy. Maybe her grandpa had owned a Studebaker. She’d finished Bloomsday 30 times and was content just to walk it now. She loved to swim and dance and enjoyed growing flowers. She did know her way around a kitchen. She belonged to two book clubs. Her politics leaned left and she listened to NPR on the radio. Most of her cars had been Toyotas. She cheered for her alma mater Michigan in football and kept track of the Mariners. She was rarely on time.

EHarmony found something in their profiles to make them a match??? Well they both lived in Spokane Valley. They each had three grown children. They both liked working on projects and growing plants. They had similar tastes in music and they both liked ice cream. He liked her smiling photo. She was puzzled at the bottle of Amaretto on the counter in his photo when he said he didn’t drink. And they were both curious. They each found themselves racing home after work to check their email. And so after several exchanges of questions and emails and a couple phone conversations they decided to meet.

First date: a walk on the Centennial trail. He was early. She was late. He drove the Chevy pick-up which he had lovingly restored and modified with a big Oldsmobile engine, power brakes and steering and air-conditioning. The new grill came from the little blue truck that used to display T-shirts at Old Navy. She arrived after her weekend job at the farmer’s market selling organic peaches. He was pleasantly surprised to see that she actually looked like her picture! (Previous “matches” had posted pictures from an earlier decade.) They walked and talked for two hours then went their separate ways. No coffee, no wine. Her friends were aghast that she would go for a walk on the trail, alone, with a man she’d never met. Good thing she didn’t mention that he drove an old pickup.

Second date: Silverwood car show. He drove the Chevy again. He had even shined it up for the show. She had to work at the market again and so drove herself. He even got a cell phone so she could let him know when she arrived. It came in handy when she got lost trying to take the back way. Nervously he introduced her to his friends. After checking out all the cars, they again walked and talked for hours. They rode the old wood roller coaster and survived. He bought her ice cream, she brought him some peaches…and when they were parting she kissed him!

Third date: After his overtime shift at Triumph they met at the fair. He wanted to drive the red Studebaker truck but didn’t have time to shine it so he drove the Chevy again. The looked at every animal, quilt and flower. They rode the Ferriswheel and ate huckleberry ice cream. When they were ready to leave…in their respective vehicles…HE kissed her. She was beginning to like his truck.

Fourth date: The Rockin’ B Ranch. It was a real date so he picked her up at her house. Hoping to impress her he drove the ‘57 Silverhawk which he’d shined up for the occasion. He brought her flowers. She was on time. And then on the way to the ranch he ran out of gas. His son had to rescue him. Good thing she had her cell phone. He decided he would like to learn to dance. She decided to pay more attention to cars. They both stopped answering emails from other “matches”.

And so the relationship began………

Donna Potts and Chuck Moore

Donna Potts and Chuck Moore

Rose Passalaqua was a friend of mine from Nayak, New York, and she was working as a secretary in the math department at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. There was a postdoc in the department named Chuck, and she was convinced that if I met him, I would fall madly in love with him at first sight.

I did not believe in love at first sight, and I asked her what we would have in common, "you're both midwesterners," she replied, as though all midwesterners were destined for one another.

She arranged several social events and invited both of us, but I did not show up. Finally, one day, we were walking across campus, and she whispered, "here he comes." Yes, he was handsome, with brown hair and brown eyes, and reminded me of my favorite uncle, Charlie, also from Kansas City.

Furthermore, he had the same laugh as my dad. I asked him out to lunch, and over thirty years and three children later, we are still together. Rose always claimed she was entitled to our firstborn child because of her matchmaking skills, and although she had the opportunity to meet them all, we are glad she didn't follow through.

Doug and Laila Kaer

Doug and Laila Kaer

Our love story. How do I explain 44, almost 45 years together and how it all began? The only word that seems right is “ordained.” Me – a northwest kid – born in Portland, raised in Olympia – graduated from Wazzu. She – born in Finland – immigrated to Ontario, Canada – graduated from North Hollywood High and EWU – a teacher in Lewiston, Idaho. It started when I was having dinner with my boss in Lewiston and complained about the challenges meeting nice ladies. His daughter said, “Oh! You should meet my French teacher, Miss Vaikonpaa!” (Miss WHAT?!)

I got her number and started calling. I was about to give up when after 3 phone calls she finally agreed to have coffee with me. (Ordained?) When my job ended in Lewiston, she burst into tears as I packed up and planned to move back to Seattle to find work. “Fine! Two weeks! I’ll give it 2 weeks to find work in Spokane!” Two weeks later I was working for Columbia Electric Supply.

We were married in 1974 during Expo and a year later had our first child. Soon, we had 3 sons and, now, some wonderful grandkids have been added. Has our life together been perfect? Of course not. Did you find your “soulmate”? We are two very different people, and we still have *discussions* about things, but we are really good together and for each other. She has been the stabilizer and cautious one while I have been the one to push to do stuff. In 1991, our 3 week “Family Quest for Fun” was “memorable” (they still call me “Clark” – Griswold – and we were in the Family mini-Truckster) but it was expensive, too, much to her distress. I got better, and now, we’re both fully retired and living in our “last home” … the one we built together in 2014 to make that part easy. We are facing a couple medical issues, right now, and sometimes she says I get too involved because “This is about ME!” I keep saying, “No. It’s about us.” I feel that our love has matured and grown even more solid and we will get through this, too. I can imagine nothing but good in the years coming. Ordained?

Faye and Bill Asseln

Faye and Bill Asseln

When my deceased husband was dying of cancer, he said to me “I want to pray that God will send you a godly husband.”

He prayed for me a Christian husband quite a few times! I thought since I lived in Spokane I thought my future husband would live in Spokane-I was wrong! I went to my ‘55 high school class reunion and I got acquainted with one of my classmates. We met and fell in love.

We married May 11, 2013. We are very happy. We got married in Anacortes, Wash. We were both raised in Anacortes. We live in Spokane-I have lived in Spokane since 1981. I went on the bus with my walker. I am disabled since birth, I have the most wonderful husband that a woman could ask for.

Fred and Gloria Vogel

Fred and Gloria Vogel

My name is Gloria Vogel and I met husband Fred in 1952 in American History Class at Lewis & Clark High School.

Our assigned seats were across the aisle from each other. We started dating and soon were "going steady.” It was an unconventional courtship snce neither of us had a car. So he would hitch hike from East 5th Avenue all the way up the Freya Hill to my home on East 34th. And all our dates were via the City Bus!

We graduated from LC in 1954 and Fred enlisted in the Navy in 1955. When he came home on leave after Boot Camp in San Diego, he surprised me with an engagement ring. We eloped during the 4 days he was home and were married on August 16th 1955 at the Hitching Post In Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. He had been assigned to the USS Sperry based in San Diego, and I was able to join him there shortly before Thanksgiving.

We rented a cute furnished 1 bdrm home in the Ocean Beach area, just 1-1/2 blocks from the beach, and spent a lot of time at the ocean. The area wasn't the touristy spot that it is now, and most of our neighbors were Navy couples like us. Unbelievably, our monthly rent was only $65 and we lived there until Fred's discharge in 1959.

I became pregnant in January 1956 and we were so excited and looked forward to our first baby's birth in September. But it was not to be; our son was stillborn. However, a beautiful baby girl was born to us in Sept.1959 just after Fred's discharge and we returned home to Spokane, a family of three.

Fred enrolled at Eastern Washington State College and obtained his teaching degree in 1964. Job searching was confined to areas that had good hunting and fishing (Fred's major hobbies). And he found exactly that when he was offered a contract teaching Industrial Arts at Cusick High School, just 60 miles north of Spokane.

We found an old, but sturdy, farm house on 30 acres in the mountains west of Cusick on Flowery Trail Road, just 10 miles below the 49 Degrees North Ski Resort. A few years later we were able to purchase the adjoining 20 acres and our paradise had a fishing creek running thru it, plus pasture and forest land. And by this time our family had expanded and we added two boys to our one daughter.

Tragedy struck just 3 days before Christmas of 1977. In the middle of the night, our house caught fire and burned completely to the ground. Our daughter by then was living and working in Spokane; but our older son was 11 and our youngest son was 6. The boy's bedrooms were upstairs; the older boy was able to escape thru a window, but despite his valiant efforts to save his brother, he was unable to do so and the 6 yr. old perished in the fire. The Christmas seasons for several years after were almost unbearable for all of us.

Fred spent all of his teaching career at Cusick HS. In addition to teaching, he also coached football, basketball, track and softball. When he retired in 1998, after 34 years, the football field was named after him. Meanwhile I had been employed mostly in the Newport area at Bank of American, Colburn Realty, and Keytronic Corp. I ended my career at the newly built Ponderay Newsprint, where I was employed for 11years in the Human Resources Department - a job I truly loved and still miss even after being retired for 20 years.

We spent many enjoyable years after retirement traveling the US and the world. We have been to France, Italy, and New Zealand and Australia, plus China and the Phillipines. We also had a mobile home at an RV park in Quartzsite, Arizona where we spent the winter months for 12 years.

Fred and I will have been married for 64 years on August 16th. And we now have our daughter and our son, five grandchildren, and one great grandchild!

At both our 50th and 60th Anniversaries we celebrated with an open house at the Cusick City Park. At our 50th our oldest granddaughter sang a love ballad from the 1940's - "Always". The first line of the song is: "I'll be loving you always" and the last line is: Not for just an hour; not for just a day; not for just a year - BUT ALWAYS" And that about sums up our love story.

Howard and Mary Faux

Howard and Mary Faux

Howard and Mary met at the University of Idaho in 1948. They were married in 1950 in Burley, Idaho at the Little Flower Catholic Church. They are the parents of six children-five girls and one son. Today they will boast of being the grandparents of 17 grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren. Total: 43.

They live in Sandpoint and have been there for 56 years in the same house.

Mary attributes their successful marriage to their spirituality. Howard says he is “just plain lucky.”

Their love story began on the steps leading up to the Vet’s Club Bar in Moscow. They were on a double date-with different partners. Although they saw each other frequently on campus, and always spoke and joked around-they didn’t really get together until after Howard had graduated, and they bumped into each other in Boise. Howard always claimed it was a twist of fate that they met that day. Mary says it was the Holy Spirit.

Howard is disabled now, and Mary takes care of him with the help of their amazing family. Theirs is a true love story.

Jack and Jovita Benson

Jack and Jovita Benson

My name is Jack Benson. I’m 88 years old. My wife’s name is Jovita, she is 84 years old. I met her in 1978 through a mutual friend. She operated a beauty shop in St. John, Wash. The mayor of Cheney, Al Ogdon, introduced us. At the time, I asked her phone number and how it was listed. She said my name is Vita. I was going to say my name is Tarzan, but thought better of it.

We dated and eventually married, but I had to be interviewed by a nun and to write the Philippines for permission from her father. He wrote back and we were married. That was 41 years ago.

On Valentine’s Day and every other day my love still burns brightly.

Jack Benson

Cheney

Jack and Sandy McBride

Jack and Sandy McBride

I was smitten by this beautiful blue eyed girl while at EWCE. We had gone to Shadle Park High School, but never made the connection until the beginning of fall quarter at Cheney in 1963. I was always busy doing construction, brick work and whatever else to save up money to go to college and she was busy doing the same on campus. After a year or so I finally worked up the courage to ask her to marry me. I took her out for dinner at an Italian Restaurant and was quite nervous because she pointed out that I had not eaten my dinner. We took a ride to Manito Park by the

old round rock concession stand just off Manito Boulevard. Well, I stopped the car, told her to go stand by this tree and I made some crazy excuse about having to blow my nose. She patiently waited and I marched up the hillside and fumbled my speech and I said something like this, “here, take this”, which was a tiny box with the ring in it. As we were driving away she said, “are you going to ask me”? and I said," ask you what”?

We have been married for 53 years and I still love her so.

Happily submitted,

Jack McBride

Colfax

Jan Lenhart

Jan Lenhart

I am still on Earth-my loving husband is not. Our love was not planned, but rather a “happening.” He was 33 years old-I was 35. He had two children and lived in an unhappy marriage. I had three children and lived with a person that was entirely focused on himself.

We four adults were casual friends and came together only when it involved the husbands’ business. I knew John for more than 10 years before we became a couple. We talked on the phone frequently because we had a mutual friend whose child was living with a horrific cancer. Our conversations brought John and I closer together and I found myself looking forward to his calls. I began to realize that my feelings for him were much deeper than a casual friendship.

We had an occasion to come together for a benefit function and after not seeing him for a long time, just seeing him again gave me the “quivers.” He later confided he felt the same quivers.

After that meeting, we talked every day on the phone. He divorced his wife-I divorced my husband. We came together as a couple-married and raised our five children. We were able to maintain healthy relationships with our ex-partners. John and I lived, loved and laughed together for nearly 40 years. He passed on Sept. 24, 2017.

I lost John to cancer, but with that loss came beautiful memories of our life together, which I would not have had if we hadn’t taken the risk to love one another. His love for me will last my lifetime. He and I had the time of our lives together.

Jan Lenhart

Jerry & Arlou Ives

Jerry & Arlou Ives

I had just started my senior year of high school at Creston in the fall of 1964. I knew Jerry existed and had noticed his lean frame and the thick locks of hair.

One day a girl came up to me and asked if I would go out with Jerry. He was a sophomore but only a year younger than me. I said, well sure.

I thought surely he would ask me out but the date of the dance got closer and closer and he hadn’t approached me yet. A couple of my girlfriends and I decided to go to the dance without dates.

Then along comes another boy who won’t take no for an answer so I go ahead and go with him. As the evening progressed, Jerry finally made his way towards me. He didn’t ask me to dance but asked the boy I had gone with if he could take me outside to see what was going on with another couple.

We ended up going for a ride with that couple. We go back to the dance and Jerry asks my date if he could take me home. He took me home from the dance and we continued to date. In June 1966 we got married. I didn’t know the whole story until after we were married.

Sitting in study hall one day, a friend of his said to him … Hey have you looked at Arlou lately? He said, “I turned around to look and it was like running into a brick wall. I never got hit that hard playing football! Jerry showed a family friend my graduation picture and she replied: You’re going to marry that girl!

We will celebrate our 53rd wedding anniversary this year.

Jerry & Arlou Ives

Jim and Betty Peters

Jim and Betty Peters

I met Jim during my high school years while he was living at his aunt and uncles house.

I went to school with his cousin Pat and one day she invited me to come home with her and I met Jim and from then on had a crush on him.

Though he was 9 years older than myself nothing developed between us, though in my senior year he did ask me to have dinner with him at the Space Needle.

While dining I wanted to excuse myself to go to the women's restroom, only to change my mind as I was afraid I would not find our table with the revolving floor.

After high school I met someone else and married and left the state of Washington for 5 years only to return to Washington state to get a divorce from my husband.

That was in the fall of 1971.

A guy who I had been dating from Michigan off and on through high school learned I was back in Seattle and flew out to convince me I should move to Michigan with him.

He bought a house and presented me with a diamond ring.

I explained I was not divorced, that I had a son to think about and I needed time that for him to go back to Michigan and give me some breathing room.

New Years eve I drove to Jim's cousin to wish her a Happy New Years, and while visiting with her, her husband told me there was someone on the phone who wanted to talk to me.

It was Jim and he wished me a Happy New Year and asked if I would like to go out for a couple of drinks.

I explained I had a son who was with me. In the back ground Pat is waving her arms at me trying to get my attention. She told me that there were a couple of teenage girls coming over to babysit their children and some of their friends as they were going out to party and one more child would not be a problem.

So I said yes.

We went out for two drinks then came back to Pat's house and sat in the driveway, catching up on both of our past.

Jim explained he was just finishing classes and had papers to type up but that he did not type, so I offered to type them for him.

My divorce was final on March 22, 1972, we were married on April 21, 1972. I found out later that he was broke that New Years eve and borrowed $20.00 from Pat's husband.

We some times look back and wonder why I never left with my old boyfriend and move to Michigan and I am so blessed that I did not make that decision and took that phone call New Years Eve 1971.

Joan and Jim Becker

Joan and Jim Becker

Over 48 years of marriage, often I see the two of us on our first date, seated opposite one another at a small table in The European Café in The U. District on the street fondly called The Ave. This avenue was the road to my growing thoughts about this guy while as our third order for food was declined: "We are out of that, too."

"Well, then what is on the menu that you might have that we could eat?!" We smiled, and as the waiter left, we laughed again. The night had begun with Jim's battery dying in his spiffy sports car he had parked in front of my apartment on 65th in Seattle. "No, problem, we'll take my car," I said while dropping my Oldsmobile Cutlass car keys from my hand to his.

But getting a never before driven car out of a tight spot, proved problematic. Laughing, I offered to try overcoming the parallel parking squeeze! Cut-less turned out to be an apt car title!

Laughing and hungering, a few minutes later we were on our way to eat. We thought.

At a cozy round table, we talked about a mutual teacher at The U of W. we both were learning from and learning how to value despite thinking her a bit old-fashioned.

As we differed on several topics, but did not dismiss the other's point of view, we listened carefully and laughed whenever opportunity opened the door. We fed one another's "fun," with mutually affable responses to thwarted expectations, and pursued multiple topics easily, without strain or tension.

I thought to myself: I will probably marry this guy. Of course, I kept myself from sharing this somewhat premature insight! He'll find out, I thought, as we left the restaurant and I can wait.

He drove me home just early enough for us to jump start his car with borrowed cables and a final laugh.

Sincerely,

Joan Quall Becker for Jim, too

Joan Block and John Fuller

Joan Block and John Fuller

My husband and I were in the 6th grade together in Bryan, Ohio in 1957. We interacted as nerdy 6th graders do. And then in the 7th grade he asked me to the 7th and 8th grade dance. A first date for us both.

His Mother drove and they picked me up; we sat in the back seat of their 1956 Ford and held hands.

Fast forward to our 45th class reunion and we meet again. We found we have lots of history in common along with similar likes and a true bond. We appreciate each others’ passions. He learned to ski at 64. We love adventures and have discovered cruising. We spend many evenings’ playing cards or board games, truly enjoying being together. He moved from Ohio to Idaho when he retired in 2011. We were married in 2013.

It took him a year to ask me out on a date and fifty five years to marry me! He doesn’t want to rush into things.

Joe and Becky Kramarz

Joe and Becky Kramarz

We had an arranged marriage!

We did not know it at the time but our two families plotted together to arrange a meeting of the two of us.

The backdrop. I was a pre-med student at Michigan State U in 1963. She was a nursing student in Kalamazoo, MI at Bronson Nursing School. We both were dating other people with serious intentions when we completed our education. Our parents had other ideas.

They had met at a small summer trailer park on Selkirk Lake about half way between Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo. The two couples became fast friends and socialized a lot together. The conversation turned to their kids. Each expressed dissatisfaction with the person we were dating. They began to plot how they could get us together. The opportunity finally presented itself.

As a third year nursing student she had responsibilities for patients but a Sunday opened up and she came out to the lake by herself. I was a life guard at a city park and worked six days a week except for Sunday. I came out alone as well. Things were about to get interesting.

My mom was in the trailer cooking something for lunch at the stove. I was standing there when my step dad came in and said " I want you to meet someone". Becky stepped into the trailer at that moment and said "Hi!" I was stunned. I proceeded to take a step back and backed into the stove! Oww. I should mention I had a Speedo swim suit on. I jumped forward but she did not seem to notice. "Hi."

That afternoon, we water-skied, swam across a portion of the lake and went dancing that night at the Note, an outdoor pavilion on Gun Lake. Soon after, we broke up with our respective dates and serious courting began. I asked her dad for permission to marry her and in June of 1964 we got married. At our 50th wedding anniversary party, I shared the story of our "arranged" marriage to the delight of our many friends.

Joe and Becky Kramarz, Spokane, WA

Joel and Dess Butler

Joel and Dess Butler

We were both volunteering with a mission group called Friend Ships who had World War II ships that they sailed around the world to provide humanitarian aid free of charge to the US as well as other countries.

God pointed out this quiet guy that kept to himself. The Lord told me over and over to be Joel's friend. So every day I tried to strike up a conversation.

The first conversation I asked was what he did before Friend Ships. He sarcastically replied “Igloo interior decorator.”

He wouldn't let me in as a friend and I couldn't stand him. But every day I pursued him as a friend to try to get to know him. After a couple of months I kind of gave up but that is when Joel stepped up.

After a couple of months of Joel pursuing me as a friend he started to pursue me to be more than a friend.

We ended up being put on the same ship to help aid Israel. On our way to Israel, Joel asked me to date him. I said no. Joel thought, "If she won't date me, might as well ask her to marry me."

So for 3 weeks, multiple times a day, Joel asked me to marry him. He wasn't swayed by my no's and even by me telling him he wasn't "The One" three times. He kept pursing me. I was terrified of commitment because I had so many relationships before him that I didn't think a relationship with him would last. But his persistence wore me down.

Finally I said yes on our way back home from Israel.

We got back to the states and I went to visit my parents in Hope, Idaho. It was there I really prayed and sought God word if Joel and I were meant to be.

I wanted a yes or no but God said so clearly, "I will bless you single. I will bless you married. Joel is your choice."

I was pretty upset because I just wanted to know if it was right or not. I realized that if God knew we were not right together He would have given me a flat out no. It was then I realized I really did love Joel.

After a year of friendship and months of being pursued I knew I couldn't live without Joel. My parents flew Joel up to meet him the last week I was visiting them. One morning Joel woke up extra early because my parents had an early morning Bible study to attend. He asked my Dad for my hand in marriage. I was in the living room sleeping on the couch and heard everything but pretend I was asleep.

A couple days later in Sandpoint we were just driving around randomly when Joel said, "Just take us somewhere to park." We came across a road I hadn't ever been down but it took us to the most amazing seen of the lake and mountains and the sun just setting. Joel asked me to get out of the car, he put on music, and we slow danced as the sun was setting. It was then he got on his knees and asked me to marry him.

Four months later we were married and 15 years later life has been an adventure with traveling by ship to help aid countries. Starting our own non-profit to help the poor in California. And now moving to Spokane to start a family and help those in need in our community. I have to admit I couldn't imagine being married to any one else. Joel is every thing I ever wanted and needed. I love more him now than I did when we got married!

Joy and Rich Olsen

Joy and Rich Olsen

Joy Limburg and Richard Olsen met in 1947 when they sat kitty-corner across the aisle in Miss May’s 7th grade class in the Mead Junior High School. They became friends and then better friends. It was a friendship that would last even though they went their separate ways after high school.

Rich worked a few years, spent two years in the Navy, and graduated from Whitworth College in 1960. He married, raised two fine sons, Rick Olsen of Hemet, CA and Ken Olsen of Kennewick WA. He taught in elementary schools in the Pasco WA and Burbank WA schools systems, earning an MA in Education along the way. He retired in 1996.

Joy went from high school directly to Whitworth College, graduating in 1956 with a teaching degree. She taught in the Parkrose School District of Portland OR for four years, then spent a year of Biblical study at Multnomah School of the Bible. She also finished her MA in Education at Whitworth College. In 1961 she was appointed to go to the Philippines to teach in a new school created to give a western style education to the children of the evangelical Christian missionaries working in that area. This gave the children the skills needed to achieve enrollment in colleges of their home country. Joy taught in the elementary school portion of Faith Academy from 1962 until her retirement in 2000.

Over those years Joy and Rich maintained an awareness of where the other one was and what they were doing through the Mead High reunions of the class of 1953. After their 60th reunion, the class began yearly get-togethers. Just after their 62nd, Rich’s wife passed away. Just after their 63rd, Rich began seeking reasons to come to Spokane from Kennewick where he was currently living. Those reasons seemed to always include a visit with Joy. That was August of 2016. By November Joy said “yes”, they made their intentions known in December, and were married March 11, 2017.

Their friendship had turned into love . They planned a quiet family wedding, but then the ladies of Trinity Baptist Church stepped in and turned it into quite an event…a beautifully elegant wedding with lots of love, laughter, and God-honoring delightful moments, with over 200 guests. It was still a family wedding with Rich’s two sons participating, and Joy’s brother who walked her down the aisle and her only niece and nephew lighting the candles.

Joy and Rich chose to make their marriage a three-some, making God the head of their home. Rich moved to Spokane and they happily live in the Affinity at Mill Road retirement community in North Spokane. They worship God with wonderful friends at Trinity Baptist Church on North Monroe. Their friends still call them “the newlyweds” even after nearly two years of marriage, because they always seem to have a happy smile on their faces.

They want you to know that it “pays off” to go to high school reunions! Joy is quoted as saying “It is crazy to get married for the first time at age 81, but it surely is ‘fun’.”

Larry and Kathy Kelly

Larry and Kathy Kelly

Miracles of miracles - one winter day during the 1957 Christmas break, my dear friend Julie Weaver, invited me to go with here to the senior class high school dance at Gonzaga University. This is where I met the true love of my life, Larry Kelly. He had just returned from ane Army Reserve 6-month tour.

It turned out that in their first public appearance, the Chad Mitchell Trio was the band! We danced and before the night was over, Larry asked me if he and his friend Carl Rief could give us a ride home. We agreed. I got into the back seat with Larry and Carl and julie took the front seat. I noticed right away tht my friend “the nun” was acting like someone who wasn’t going to be one! Them kissing away, I figured “what the heck” and let Larry kiss me. Waht seemed like a long time, eventually the guys took us home.

A few days later, Carl called Larry and asked if he wanted to still go after me to date. Larry said, “I don’t think so, she’s sort of fast!” (Me? A future nun, fast?) Then Carl said “Great, then I want to go date her!”

Well the rest of the story is :Larry called me up right after he got off the phone with Carl. Larry and I were engaged on Christmas Eve 1959 and married October 22, 1960.

Many crazy and wonderful adventures followed with 5 children.

Lily and Leo Benoit

Lily and Leo Benoit

We old people fall in love and after learning from past mistakes, find a peace and contentment we never thought possible.

Leo and I met at a Friday night dance at the seniors in Post Falls. He says he fell in love at first sight while watching me dance with others.

While we danced, as is the custom of the active elderly, he confided that he grew up in Connecticut, was a merchant marine for years then served in the Army during World War II. After, he was a carpenter until retirement. His family was Catholic and French.

I am Catholic and my family is French, so we clicked in that premise.

While dancing he asked, “what are you doing on Sunday?” I responded, “going to church.” He said “I’ll go with you.” Later he told me it was the first time in 50 years and things had changed.

Having coffee later in the week, he confided “I know how to please women” and proved his brag on further dares.

Leo makes me feel cherished and needed. He is loving and complimentary, shows appreciation and thanks me for all the favors that I do for him-and I try to do the same for him.

My mother once told me to stay happily married you have to “bend a lot” and talk out your differences without anger-very good advice to young newly-weds.

We have been together for 10 years, now in our 90s, and had to give up dancing because of Leo’s bad knee-but play Pinochle twice a week and of course, go to church on Sunday.

Lonnie and Janis Scott

Lonnie and Janis Scott

My story is quite different.

My now wife and I were both Airmen First Class stationed at Fairchild. I was a Security Policeman, she a computer operator. I'm from Huntington beach, CA; she is from Machias, ME.

This incident took place on a cold night between Christmas 1976, and New Years 1977.

I was working the main gate at Fairchild after 8:00 pm when a cute active duty woman (not my future wife) approached the gate. In those days of uploaded B-52s, we always checked IDs. This Airman, Debbie had her ID out, and when I saw her long Swiss-German last name, I asked how to pronounce it. She told me, and I pointed at the name tape on my MA1 jacket and said, "I'll stick with easy names like mine - Scott." I turned to go into the gate shack and she retorted that my name was too common. I turned back and chatted with her and then sent her on her way when my supervisor radioed he was approaching the gate. Shortly thereafter my fellow gate guard, Mike, walked back to the gate and ask, "Any cute babes go through while I was at the desk?" I told him about Debbie.

As I finished telling Mike about Debbie, I saw her car approaching the gate from Highway 2, and said, "Here she comes again." Debbie has gone back to her barracks and talked my now wife into returning to the gate to talk with me. They stayed for several minutes, and I ended up talking with Jan (my now wife) while Debbie and Mike talked. After several minutes our shift commander radioed and said he was approaching the Law Enforcement Desk, so we sent the ladies on their way. They went to their barracks and changed into Jan's car, went off base, bought hot chocolate for themselves, and returned to the gate. We again chatted with them for several minutes, and before they left they asked us to their barracks to watch Johnny Carson and pop popcorn. Mike and I declined due to a training we had the next morning.

After we cleared our weapons, Mike and I told our fellow car-pooler, Neal, about our encounters. Neal was driving and said, "Let's go then," so we headed to Bldg 3508. Once we arrived we found it locked since Mike and I had declined. Neal knew I had the ability to jimmy doors with the Swiss Army knife I carried, so we entered the building, shining our flashlights on doors looking for one of the Lady's names. As we reached the upstairs landing the hall phone rang, and Mike answered it. He looked surprised, and thrust the phone at me and said, "It's for you."

"What?!" I replied. "I don't get calls at women's barracks." I took the phone. "Airman Scott."

"If you aren't out of this building in ten seconds I'm calling the police!" It was Jan.

I nearly panicked. I was the July 1976 Airman of the Month, and was in the running for SAC Airman of the Year (I lost). "Wait, if you don't call, I'll take you to lunch tomorrow, anyplace you want to go - on base or off base."

There was a pause. "Pick me up at Data Automation at 12:00 noon sharp. Don't be late."

"Where is Data Automation?"

"Find it!" Click.

I did find it, and this June we'll celebrate our 42nd anniversary.

Sincerely,

Lonnie and Janis Scott

Spangle

Marty and Debbie Jones

Marty and Debbie Jones

Let me back up-it was 1955. A young girl living in Avery, Idaho was ready to attend high school. But there were no high schools in Avery-so a move to a larger town was needed. A family with four children living in Spokane had a room available because their oldest daughter had just moved out to go to college. The young girl lived with that family for three years where there was acceptance and much love. After graduating, life got in the way over the years and contact was eventually lost.

Jump forward to 1994. A buddy of mine told me I should ask this girl out that his wife worked with, which I did. I was 29 and she was cute as ever. We were engaged shortly after. My grandparents, who were wanting to get to know my future wife Debbie, invited us over for dinner. Our dinner conversation went the usual route with questions of what she did, her family, etc. We looked through old photos. My great-grandfather was a logger. Among the photos was a postcard of a logging truck with a Potlatch bumper sticker on it - Debbie noted she grew up in Potlatch, Idaho. My grandmother began asking Debbie if she knew this person and that person, which she did. My grandmother then blurted out the name Dianna Peterson. Debbie said “that’s my mom.” My grandmother turned white, stood up and with her jaw still on the floor, ran to a back room and brought out an oil painting of Jesus praying on the Mount of Olives - a painting I’d seen hanging up all the years growing up. It was painted and given to my grandparents by a young girl, Debbie’s mom, when she lived with them in the 1950’s to attend high school. A quick call was made to Debbie’s mom and the screaming could be heard through the phone 100 feet away. The next week Dianna showed me the photo album she kept while in high school. Pictures of my mom, grandparents, aunts and uncles. It was strange, yet there was a sense of connectivity. A bond set in play long before Debbie and I were born.

Marty Jones

Mary Anderson

Mary Anderson

I am a 95-year-old war widow, becoming so when my high school first love was killed in France in World War II in 1945.

Since my parents were financially unable to send me to college, I used my first husband’s $10,000 government insurance payments of $55.10/month to enroll at the University of Washington in Seattle.

I lived in an independent dormitory-not a sorority. My future husband was a Sigma Chi fraternity member, and each year a Sweetheart of Sigma Chi was chosen. A candidate for that honor was chosen from each sorority and independent house, and finalists were chosen by mothers of the Sigma Chi members for the final vote. I was one of those seven finalists. The Sweetheart was to be revealed at the annual sweetheart dance.

So the Sigma Chi men who didn’t have dates to the dance volunteered to get the seven finalists as dates. My future husband chose me as his date-I was called a blind date-so we went to the dance, had a good time and dated for seven months before we were married in Sept. 1946. Incidentally, I was not chosen as the Sweetheart, but found a wonderful man to be my husband. Our marriage lasted for 66 years.

We both finished college, my husband became a CPA and founded a CPA firm from which he retired at age 65. I taught school for two years-an eighth grade class in a Spokane school. Two dear sons were born to me in 1952 and 1956.

My husband was such a dear and caring man, always reacting to my first husband’s death in WII with love and respect. I have been so grateful to have found such a wonderful mate to live with for my remaining years.

Neal and Jan Penney

Neal and Jan Penney

I met my wife, Jan when I had been in Spokane a very short time in about 1980, just after the Mt. St Helens eruption.

I had been living in Las Vegas for awhile and came to Spokane to distance myself from a complicated life there. Myself, Jan and another man, George, applied for CETA jobs with the City of Spokane and were assigned to the Planning Department. The three of us had our introductory interview at the same time and received our work assignments then. I liked the job and the people, and I knew that I liked Jan the first time I met her and asked her out at that time. Sad to say she already had a boyfriend and so I charged it to bad timing and tried to let it go.

As time went on we attended various social events with all of the people we worked with, sometimes on a weekly basis. I saw Jan frequently at work and after, and I liked her more and more. The longer we were around each other the more intense my feelings grew for her. I had had other relationships but had never met anyone like her. One evening as we were having a moment without other people around, in one of Spokane's interesting antique bars, she asked me if we might try going out. Holding my breath, I invited her to ski at Mt. Spokane the next Saturday. Great day, great time and the beginning of a great life that has spanned 38 years and is still great fun every day.

Thanks to you City of Spokane for "making it all possible".

Pam and Greg Knight

Pam and Greg Knight

My husband and I met in high school. I was 15 and he was 16. I graduated at 17 years old. We married when I was 18 and he was 19.

This June we’ll be married for 52 years. We had two sons who are married and have three grandchildren. We’re retired now and love to travel, go camping and fishing.

We have a wonderful life together and still love each other and have fun!

True soulmates.

Pam and Greg Knight

Paul F. Ruch and Judy Albrecht

Paul F. Ruch and Judy Albrecht

In mid-April of 1988 I found myself with some free time. I was in eastern Pennsylvania and decided to get out of town and head west.

I had heard some good things about Eugene, Ore. and I had never been to New Mexico or Oklahoma, so a visit there was a possibility. While driving on Route 80 I thought a visit to my sister might be nice. She lived in Spokane and I had visited her previously-I sort of remembered where she lived, so that became my destination.

I arrived on a Monday afternoon. It was the day after Bloomsday, which I had never heard of.

When I knocked on my sister’s door, she greeted me with a ten-second stare and then asked, “what the Hell are you doing here?” She seemed a bit surprised, but did invite me in.

A day or two later the neighbor was mowing her lawn. I noticed her blond hair and attractive long legs.

I went outside, introduced myself, found out her name was Judy, and I suggested perhaps we could get together for a beer.

One hour later there was a knock on the door, and it was Judy with a big smile, in a lovely summer dress announcing she was here for her beer.

I was surprised because where I’m from, you frequently say to someone you don’t know well, that we should do lunch or have a coffee or a drink. You don’t mean it, and they know you don’t mean it. However, in Judy’s world she takes you at your word, and there she was ready for her beer.

I invited her in and headed to the fridge hoping my sister had a couple of beers. She did, and we spent a wonderful hour chatting. Before she left, I invited her to a baseball game and later in the week I invited her to a play.

Apparently, I impressed her because I had an interesting in not only sports, but the arts.

This led to a life-changing event for me. I forgot about Eugene, New Mexico and Oklahoma and devoted my energies to Judy.

May, June, July and August were four delightful months with Judy, and just prior to Labor Day she invited me to live with her.

It was an easy move, some forty feet across the driveway. I am still there, and my sister is in her same house, and we are neighbors.

It has been a wonderful three decades. We agreed to a saying, “be nice,” and we live that each day and every day as we smile our way through our many activities.

Ray and Donna Kuhn

Ray and Donna Kuhn

Christmas Eve of 1960 our neighbor’s son in the Navy was stranded in Iowa with his 1950 Ford, the Green Beast. He was on his way to Idaho from Connecticut for Christmas with his family when his car broke down. His dad borrowed my stepfather’s credit card, invited a couple of sailors and off they went to tow Ray to Idaho.

I was home from Idaho State College in nearby Pocatello. Finals were after Christmas break so I would go to bed early and get up when everyone else was in bed and study. My sister, Ray’s sister and Ray were all going out for a New Year’s party. I was asleep when Ray’s mother said, “Come out and meet Ray.”

He had recently returned from the circumnavigation of the earth on the nuclear powered submarine USS Triton. I always say, “after 84 days underwater, I looked pretty good to him.” He said it was the pink flannel nightgown.

I invited him to the Sweetheart Formal at ISC. I really thought I was the belle of the ball until I discovered the heater in he Green Beast has dripped on my sister’s shoes I had recently borrowed.

I remember the Valentine he presented me. The card didn’t fit the envelope, but I memorized the verse: “Sending you this Valentine, is just another way of telling you how frequently you are thought about each day.”

By the Christmas rolled around again, we had married and had been transferred to Vallejo, Calif., where he was plank owner on the USS Plunger, sister ship of USS Thresher that was lost at sea.

From there we lived in Hawaii, Connecticut, Virginia, California, Minnesota and Washington.

He was usually gone to sea during Thanksgiving, Christmas so we always celebrated early. I would cook for days and we would invite single sailors for Thanksgiving. Then I would cook another turkey for the wives and we would get together and be thankful for one another.

This past year I’ve had some health issues. I called Ray to come and get me from the hospital. He forgot to ring me a coat so I was wearing his as we were leaving Holy Family. The nurse who accompanied us ask “How long have you two been together?” Ray answered 57 years. (Ray was 20 and I was 19 when we married so we grew up together.)

I told the nurse that I grew up a lot faster than he did. The State of this Union is Strong!

Rex and Barbara Walker

Rex and Barbara Walker

I had a great time on the train return to my home town of Lincoln, Nebraska. My active duty in the Marine Corps was over and thanks to the Marines I was able to get a DD214 education. I boarded the train in Portland, on December 31, 1953. Met a few people in the club car, played some cards games, a couple of drinks. Oh yes happy new year. I got back to my home town of Lincoln and back to Nebraska Wesleyan University.

On January 7 , 1954 I rode the bus to school and boy was it cold. It was just shy of 9 o lock so went to the cafe for a cup of coffee to get warmed up. As I walked in I saw a friend of mine, a very pretty girl that sang in the chapel choir as did I, sitting with a beautiful blue-eyed blond. I asked her to introduce me to her friend. She did introduce me, to a girl named Barbara. I worked the courage to ask her out for a coke date two days hence, and surprise she said yes.

Then I asked her to a movie and again she said yes. The movie was Beyond the 12 Mile Reef. That was a Friday, then asked her out for Saturday. She said no as she already had a date. Well that Saturday was miserable for thoughI had another evening booked up.

The next day I went to Barb’s sisters home, where she lived. Noticed another car parked in the street, as I went to the door her 10 yer old niece headed me off at the door until I heard the back door close, then she called down the stairs “Rex is here.” I proceeded down the steps, saw a great beauty, and decided I had got end those other dates.

Several events took place after tat, that made me realize this was the woman for me. I belonged to Theta Chi Fraternity , soon asked her to wear my pin. She wanted to know what that met, I told her we were engaged to be engaged. Several of my frat brothers showed up at her home a few nights lager when I went to pick her up for a dare, and we serenaded her. I had the solo on Dram Girl of Theta Chi. Things perked right along and soon she asked me to go meet her parents who lived about 80 miles away. We took the bus, and I was proud that another guy noticed my pin on Barbara. He was from University of Nebraska. I met my future inlaws, her dad was a pastor in this small town. Not much to do so we walked down to the depot as the California Zepher went through town, we waved at the engineer, who was my father. After church on Sunday we took the bus back to Lincoln. We talked of getting married and I suggested we wait a year, and she said why. So we looked at the calendar and decided on August 28th.

It was time for me to buy a car and we started planning a wedding. Now this wedding was on the cheap side. We had gone to another movie and as we came out I noticed the jeweler across the street was working in his window, so we went over and decided to buy a ring set. He was a good friend of mine . Barb and her sister went dress shopping, and she got one that had been in the window, marked down, her sister baked the cake. Another friend of mine was a florist, and photographer. Oh I forgot I was a photographer and shot a lot of weddings. My best man was a boy who moved in next door when I was 10. Still good friends today. Barbs uncle had a cabin west of Denver.

Well August 28th rolled around. Barb’s dad tied the knot, her other brother brought her down the aisle, I set up the pictures and a buddy pushed the button, the florist who furnished the flowers developed the pictures. A little after noon we walked out of the church into a 100 degree plus Nebraska day. Off to Denver we went.

We enjoyed a week of honeymooning and we had to get back to Bryan Memorial Hospital where Barb was a nurse, and I was a med student. Of course there were those that said we were to young, and the naysayers that said it would’t work. Well almost 65 years of marriage, 3 beautiful daughters 11 grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren disproved the naysayers. I have said every an should have his own Barbie doll, well I got mine, and yes the blue eyed golden haired blond has become even more valuable as the gold has turned to platinum. The love has grown even more, and the Lord blessed me greatly.

Richard and Betty Howerton

Richard and Betty Howerton

Dear fellow readers,

I was a 34-year-old, never-married salesman living in Orange County, Calif. My work made it difficult to meet other ladies to date.

I was reading the sports page in my local newspaper when I spotted a personals ad by a senior person looking for friendship. In my frustration, I decided to run a similar ad but for a woman who likes attending church.

The ad ran for several weeks and I met several ladies briefly in front of their favorite restaurant or gas station. The chemistry was not there and I was frustrated. One Saturday night while watching Love Boat on my television, I received a phone call from a lady who was also watching the Love Boat and found out we both attended the same large mega church, Cavalry Chapel in Costa Mesa.

We both agreed to meet the next day for church in the church courtyard by the pay telephone with hundreds of people walking around, she came up to meet me and we eventually married a year later.

We have been married for over 34 years with one son. I hope this letter will encourage other people to not give up.

Sincerely, a happy couple

Richard and Betty

Rick and Darlene Lockert

Rick and Darlene Lockert

Our story begins 50 years ago here in Spokane. I was new to the city being a Montana transplant with not many friends yet. My new girlfriend decided to introduce me to Cruisin’ Riverside for a way to see friends and meet boys.

She was paused in traffic as was one of her guy pals in another car next to us. The two guys were doing their best to flirt with any girls they could find including us. I saw “the boy” and just knew I had to meet him. I asked if my girlfriend could arrange an introduction. Shortly there after Rick called and we set up a date at the Panda for a coke and conversation. That was in February of 1969. I was a student at Mr. Lee’s Beauty School 6 days a week then and Rick was working two jobs so finding time to spend together was at a premium.

Because of our busy lives we used to write letters back and forth for months. Ours was a fairly quick romance. He surprised me with an engagement ring at the Beauty School and we were instantly surrounded by all of my school mates who wanted a look at the ring.

This happened on April 1st. He usually quips with “it was an April Fool’s joke but she took me seriously.”

We thought about eloping but decided that a small family wedding would be best. That was 50 years ago on Nov. 7, 1969.

We have had our ups and downs as all couple do but have always worked it out realizing that we are fortunate to have each other. Believing in the vows we said to each other…in good times and bad, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, until death do us part…and having two sets of parents who were married 69 and 68 years respectively until their deaths, gave us the foundation we have to this day. These past 50 years have gone by fast with the addition of a daughter, son in law and 2 grandchildren. We have shared a good life so far and I’m praying for many more memories yet to come to add to this story.

Roger and Gina Sharp

Roger and Gina Sharp

I was 19 years old and never really dated.

I just moved out from my parents house to my own apartment. One of my co workers asked if I wanted to go volunteer at the USO club. That night Roger walked into the club, also his first time. We started talking and he walked me home.

I called my mother and told her I met the guy I was going to marry. We started dating but at Thanksgiving, Roger broke up because he wanted to go skiing with some friends instead of going to my family’s house for dinner.

Two weeks later I was on the bus and Roger got on. I looked at him and smiled. The next morning Roger called me and asked me out. Three months later we were engaged and 8 months after we met, we got married.

A year later we started our family. In May we will celebrate our 47th wedding anniversary. We have 3 wonderful sons and 3 perfect grandsons.

Ron and Julie Bohman

Ron and Julie Bohman

I was born at Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento in October.

Julie was born at Larsen Air Force Base near Moses Lake 11 days later in November.

Our families both moved to Bellevue, then a small town east of Seattle. Julie and I did not meet until our families met at Camp Calvinwood, a Presbyterian church camp on Hood Canal in the fall of 1959.

There I met Julie Houk. I was, and still am, totally smitten. We were both at the advanced age of almost 5 years old. We found that we lived just down the street from each other and our parents became fast friends.

Our families got together often but in a few years, Julie’s family moved away to Spokane. We had some of our family in Spokane and they still had friends in Bellevue so we would see each other once or twice a year.

Julie and I are the same age and our two brothers each are also the same age as each other. So when we would get together, the 5 of us boys would go off and play leaving Julie alone by herself. She would complain to her Mom that there was no one to play with and it was “boring” to be with us boys.

The years went by and our families got together less and less but we still stayed in touch. The rumor was that Julie was going to be married soon to her boyfriend right after high school but that turned out to be not true. I was glad she was still available. I graduated from high school and went to WSU in the fall of 1972.

I had to wait a year until Julie came to WSU, her being born just after the cutoff for starting school and a year behind me. As such, I had to find something to do that would keep me at school with her until she graduated so I stayed for another year and a second degree.

In that last year, I finally got up the courage to propose to her. I had thought and thought about how to do it just right. But in the end I had to just get it done and I asked her right in the dining hall of her dorm. Not as romantic as I wanted but it still makes a great memory.

When we announced it to my parents, we were at dinner at their house with my whole family. My Dad was kind of a busybody and came up to me and asked if I needed some money to buy a ring. I got all sad and told him no because I didn’t need one. Of course he quietly told everyone that there was no engagement coming. Nobody knew about it until at dinner, Julie slipped her ring on her finger that had been in her pocket as I made the announcement. At which my Dad jumped to his feet in surprise! He said "She wasn't wearing that when she came in!"

Now we look back on those days and fondly remember them. We have had great and not so great times. We have had our oldest daughters get married to great guys and we now have 5 grandchildren. We have also suffered the loss of our youngest daughter. But in the final analysis Julie is still the best thing on Earth to happen to me and I would not change a thing ... except maybe a little bit more courage, to propose somewhere else than in that dining hall.

Scott and Ellen McIntyre

Scott and Ellen McIntyre

We were best friends and I wanted more, but the night it was offered, I shut the door.

Bumping into each other in the halls and sharing some classes in high school is common, but nothing beats having adjacent lockers, especially when it easily might not have happened.

Our school’s lockers were placed, alphabetically in rows, along the longest hallway on the campus. I, an ‘M’ initialed kid, was near the middle of the mass of lockers on the 2nd or 3rd row and, amazingly, a beautiful girl with a last name starting with ‘R’, was one row below me and one locker to my right. From the beginning of school, we saw each other multiple times a day and she almost immediately became the object of my affection.

Our days became a wonderful routine for me. I escorted her, usually arm in arm, to her classes and then ran to mine; I rescued those books of hers that fell to the ground with a flourish any knight would have been proud of; I walked her home whenever possible and, after my license was secured, became her dedicated chauffeur. In return, she regularly shared details about her latest boyfriend.

That’s right…we were just best friends. Maybe it was because I was a skinny, young looking kid and she was a gorgeous gal who dated guys 3-5 years older than herself. Or perhaps it was because I never told her how I felt about her; I figured she’d know. I mean who else would keep hanging around a girl who, while working at a drug store, would sell him a pack of cigarettes and then crush them after taking his money before continuing with stories of her latest date. So nice of her to care about my lungs…but how about my heart.

Good things often come to an end and with our all night high school graduation party at Disneyland about to begin, I figured my one sided relationship with Ellen was about over. As I approached her on campus to board my bus for the trip to Anaheim, she smiled and asked if I wanted to see if they would let me trade buses and ride with her. Thinking that would only subject me to another story of her latest date, I walked off to get on my ride.

Once at the park, she stuck with her girlfriends and I hung out with the guys, not realizing that something was missing from each of our nights. At some point during the over night festivities, she parted ways with her friends and ended up at the Central Plaza on Main St., at exactly the same time I arrived there by myself. The connection was immediate and we didn’t have to voice our thoughts, but I recall her saying out loud that maybe we could hang out together.

The rest of our time at the park was ever so magical and many years later we would tell our kids, with some necessary clarification, the story of how mom and dad spent the night together on their first date. After that wonderous evening ended, we spent nearly every day together until our wedding, about 14 months later. This Valentine’s Day will be the 50th we’ve spent as husband and wife but we like to think of ourselves as ‘More than Married for Life’.

Terry and Lynda Edwards

Terry and Lynda Edwards

Let me preface by saying both Terry (my guy) and I were adopted in the 1940's!

We met in Mrs. Driscoll's Latin class when I was a sophomore and he was a junior. I walked in and he was sitting there. He looked up at me and grinned. I knew I was in trouble. I didn't know how right I was!

We went out. The dates had to be behind my parents' back because Terry had a "reputation." He had come over from the Catholic school and all the parents knew how wild those boys could be!! But we kept our secret. He went in the Army, came back and once again, we couldn't stay away from each other.

The day before I left for college rush, I got pregnant..."in trouble as we used to call it and it was SCANDALOUS!! I had to leave town, and he did, too. We never saw each other again. Baby girl was put up for adoption. Right here in Spokane at Booth Memorial Home for Unwed Mothers.

We lived our lives, married, divorced, widowed.

In 2010, just by "chance" I was in N.Y.C. and my friend was checking her emails. Janet and her husband live in Rathdrum and they were OUR best friends in high school!!! Janet said, "OMG, I just got email from Terry Cox!!" (What are the CHANCES I WOULD HAVE BEEN WITH HER AT THE TIME?)

It had been 45 YEARS!!! I emailed back, we moved in together in 2011, moved to CdA in 2016 and have been to Montana to see our daughter and her three boys! A perfect way to live out the final act!!!

What plans we have that God laughs at, eh?

Tim and Jamie Absalonson

Tim and Jamie Absalonson

Tim and I met when we were young and in the punk scene in the early 90's. Tim was 23 and the lead electric guitarist for the Makers. I was an art student.

We hung out a lot, mostly going to the donut parade, having a donut, drinking strong coffee and smoking cigarettes. We loved all the vets and people that hung out at the donut parade. The first time I saw Tim play was on his birthday and he and his band were dressed up like the famous garage band the mummies. He was playing wildly, I was riveted by his electric energy. We became friends.

We were both very, very shy...in real life..when we were not doing our art. I decided his music was more important than being with me and went in a different direction. Who wants to stand in the way of someone's dreams?

He became a very successful musician, with the Makers signing with Estrus, They Kill Rock Stars and finally Subpop.

We both would struggle silently in private alone for most of our lives even though we might be dating other people. Neither one of us was ever happy. Both of us would suffer tragic events at nearly the same time. Both of us would end up in the hospital in 2010. Both in critical condition. We would run into each other as we were on the mend. We both would have to learn to walk again and relearn our lives. We both lost major parts of our art lives and physical capabilities.

I decided to us art and holistic medicine and my community to heal. Luckily it worked. Tim reached out to me in 2017 and I had recently been to Standing Rock and was going back in June of 2017 for their meeting of photographers, musicians and filmmakers. I invited him along.

We slept in a tent on Sitting Bull’s gravesite which is also the campground for Standing Rock. He got to meet with the elders and creators of Standing Rock and he became ill while we were there. The youth council came at sunrise and prayed for him, played music, gave him a gift. The road trip was life changing and we both knew we had loved each other our whole lives. He asked me to marry him.

We married two weeks after coming back from Standing rock by Social civil rights activist Ezra Kinlow. We have had many adventures since we got married, including meeting and photographing Mick Rock, participating in a Virtual Reality film about local Musician Mildred Bailey, we also were in the first Virtual Reality film that was created here in Spokane. We love going to Azars, and had one of our first dates there when we were young.

We both realize how little time we have left and that we want to spend it together. We both have health challenges..but with love, the holistic healing that is available in our community, the art and music, our lovely city, and the support of family and friends we are grateful for the time we do have now. Thanks Spokane for seeding a new beginning for Tim and I. We hope we can keep giving back to our town that we both love. We want people to follow their dreams no matter what challenges seem to be in front of them. With love you will find your way.