July 12, 1996 in Nation/World

When Todd Met Melissa The Signs Of Love On Power Poles Lead To A Story Of Romance

By The Spokesman-Review

Go get the box of tissues.

The mystery of the road-sign romance has been solved.

“This is like a love story that started out when they were kids,” says the sister of the couple’s better half. “It’s one of those fate stories.”

A story in Thursday’s Spokesman-Review told of a series of signs, posted on power poles along Dishman-Mica Road from 16th to Fourth, reading: “WILL … YOU … MARRY … ME … MELISSA?”

No one seemed to know Melissa. Commuters wondered what her answer was. After a week, Washington Water Power Co. stuck notices on the signs warning the would-be groom could be fined $25 per day per sign. That added up to $1,000.

Wonder and worry no more: Melissa’s sister spotted the story and told all. Folks at WWP say they won’t prosecute.

And Melissa’s answer? Read on.

Last Wednesday, Angie Clarry went for a drive with her 32-year-old sister, Melissa Kaplan, supposedly to see “the accountant.” On the way, Clarry pointed out the signs.

“We got to MARRY, and she looked at me and said, just joking, ‘I hope Todd didn’t do this,”’ Clarry remembers.

By the time they came to MELISSA? it was all over.

“She was crying by the time we got to Luigi’s (restaurant), saying she wasn’t going to get out of the van. Luigi’s has a patio, and she could see them all sitting there.”

It was her 34-year-old boyfriend, Todd Miller, and the couple’s parents.

“I laughed and cried at the same time,” Kaplan says in her high, happy voice.

Oh, and by the way, she said yes.

Their story reads like the script of the movie, “When Harry Met Sally.” Kaplan was 17, Miller 19. Both were in Post Falls one summer, back when 19-year-olds could buy beer in Idaho. Friends of Kaplan went up to Miller and said, “If you buy us some beer, that girl over there will kiss you.”

He did, and she did. “I saw him every day that summer. It was one of those summer romances,” Kaplan remembers. But at summer’s end, she started dating a “bad boy” instead.

She told Miller it was over. He promised he would marry her someday.

They didn’t see each other again for more than 10 years. Each went through two divorces. Then, last year, they met at Goodtymes Pub in the Valley.

“I just kind of fell in love with her instantly again,” Miller says.

They started dating. Two months ago, they moved in together.

She has four daughters from her previous marriages, he has two.

“Everyone calls us the Brady Bunch,” Kaplan says with a laugh.

The wedding date is set for New Year’s Eve, and now they’ll be able to afford it.

At first, the couple didn’t want their names made public, fearing the hefty WWP fine.

“In this situation, it’s obviously a one-time deal,” says WWP spokeswoman Dana Anderson. “We won’t be prosecuting them, and just ask that they refrain from it in the future.”

“It’s like I was lost in the jungle for the last 15 years,” Miller says. “I think it’s a dream come true.”

, DataTimes

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