We invited readers: Tell us the story about how you met your significant other.In this week’s edition, we feature some of their stories. You’ll hear from people who were ready to give up on love and others who persevered, despite an awful start. There are those who waited patiently and others who were brought together, sometimes more than once, by fate. Their stories give shape to that hazy feeling of love, which has many shades and seasons.
We are sorry we weren’t able to run all the stories we received and thank everyone who took the time to write.
Katie Hollingshead and Pat Severance, Lewiston
My husband and I met at work (we work in separate departments that collaborate often). Over the course of 18 months, I had a crush on him, found him annoying, wanted to burn his department to the ground, figured out how to work with him and developed a crush on him, again. He, of course, was oblivious to any of this. I convinced him to attend our company Christmas party with a group of us “singles,” and afterward he told me about a 5K fun run he was doing the next morning and that I should run it too. I don’t run, but how else do you flirt with an engineer? I did the 5K with him and his dog the next morning, and that led to our first date that evening. Something must have gone right, because we will be celebrating our first wedding anniversary this Valentine’s Day 2020.
David and Karen Purtee, Moscow
Once upon a time, a young college student joined a singing group that was entertaining the troops with the Department of Defense Entertainment Tours on bases in the western U.S. and in the Orient. She was a petite soprano who loved Idaho evergreen trees.
At the same time, a newly minted Army Lieutenant had been assigned to Camp Hovey in South Korea. His duty was “escort” officer for the group of singers for more than two weeks. He was an Idaho sagebrush guy.
It was the summer of 1965. They were “almost neighbors,” having lived half a state apart, but traveled to another continent to meet.
The following summer they married, and 54 years later the children are all grown. Now they are retired, close enough for him to see the sagebrush and for her to be among the evergreen trees of Moscow Mountain.
Jason and Amber Butcherite, Pullman
My husband and I met through a mutual friend and we hit it off instantly. We both have been through a lot and we were both single parents at the time, so dating didn’t come easy to us. He (yes, I said he) wasn’t quite ready for a relationship yet, so we remained good friends and always hung out as a group. Secretly, well besides my close friends knowing, I continued to like him more than just friends. I patiently waited and went about doing my own thing.
Then his best friend Steven passed away. It was very tragic and I reached out as a friend, but something more was sparked that day. We both joke that somehow his friend made “us” come together, and our relationship took off from there. Thanks Steven, and I wish I could have met you. Jason and I are recently married and have three wonderful children and a golden retriever together. We both lost faith in love at one point and look at us now!
Mike and Deanna Kinziger, Deary
Match.Com was fun and intriguing at first. Then came preparing an honest profile with as little embellishment as possible. Perhaps searching for responses was the most captivating part. And then it seemed that one date or connection turned into another. Whether it was distance, past history or just lack of chemistry, the outcomes started to resemble each other.
I all but gave up! And then my curiosity got the best of me, and I checked the responses once again. One was from a woman who lived close by, and her profile was worthy. I ignored it! A week later, another response from her. Again, I ignored it. And then there was a third and I rudely replied, “Send me a photo!” The photo arrived. She was standing on top of a mountain overlooking a river valley while leaning on a shovel. She was dressed in khaki shorts, a Patagonia top and sturdy hiking boots.
We were married in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan, after a Canadian canoe trip and have been together for nearly 20 years. I’m very much an outdoors person, and that photo was special. The thing about that photo that stands out was the shovel. I didn’t have one like that, and now I do!
Mike and Jayne Gormley, Lenore
It was June 26, 2011. I was at CJ’s saloon when I asked this lady if she knew how to work the jukebox. She said yes. While we were picking songs, she introduced herself to me, “I’m Jayne, plain Jayne.”
I responded, “I’m Mike, Mike Gormley.
Jayne: “Not Mike Gormley, from Michael Gormley Construction?”
Me: “Yes, did we work on your house?”
Jayne: “No, I’m your webmistress.” (She had built me a website five years earlier. I had never met her.)
Me: “Ooh, you’re a kinky gal.”
Jayne: “No you dummy, I built you a website years ago and by the way, you owe $90 for web hosting.”
As it goes, I got her phone number and asked her out, and yes, I paid her the $90.
Our first date was a five-day trip to Idaho over July 4. We got married Oct. 23, 2019, in Las Vegas.
Erica and Dominic Alessio, Pullman
It was a blind date set up by a mutual friend who was having a birthday party at a local restaurant. Arriving at the same time, but not knowing the other, we were placed together. We were still unaware of who the other was until a guest began to share stories. Intrigued, I asked her to go out the next week; she said sorry, but you will have to wait a month. Strange, but I went with it. That night I wrote on a 3×5 card, “I believe I have met the woman I’m going to marry.”
A month later, after our first date, I handed her the card (it was weird for me to do this.)
She looked at it, smiled and put it away, saying absolutely nothing. Six months later, I proposed. On our wedding night she handed me a framed photo of her and said, “Look on the back.” There was the 3×5 card dated when I had first given it to her.
She said, “I also knew I was going to marry you!”
That was 30 years ago, and we are still happily and lovingly married.
Nancy and Wayne Beebe, Pullman
It was 1977. I was in St. Louis, about to head up a canoe trip with my friends. Everyone was bringing either their wives or girlfriends. I had no one.
The week before Easter, a friend invited me to his relatives’ home for dinner. I accepted. His aunt and uncle had three daughters. The daughters had invited two of their female friends over for dinner. Nancy was one of them.
After dinner, we talked. She said she had taken junior high students on a camping trip. I mentioned I was planning a canoe trip and asked her if she would like to come. She accepted.
We went on a couple of dates before the trip, which was good, because it did not go well. She did not speak to me for a month. Nevertheless, I invited her to meet my parents when they came into town.
When I took her home from meeting them, I announced I was going to California for the summer. She seemed disappointed. I invited her to come out to visit me. It was a warm night when she arrived. We were walking to a park. I casually mentioned, “A night like this makes a person want to propose.” She asked if I was asking her to marry me. I nodded. She accepted. We got married on April 1, 1978. Forty-two years and four kids later, I love her more than ever.
Marsha and Craig Burns, Clarkston
As a divorced mother of one, my life was nursing at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center, a young daughter, house, yard, truck, then repeat. Bar scenes weren’t really my thing, although I loved to dance and drink my Diet Pepsi. I dated; nothing clicked. After more than 15 years of single life, I placed a personal ad in the Lewiston Tribune. Everything was safe. I used the last name of my stepfather, received mail at a P.O. box, never gave out my real name, address, phone number or that I had a young daughter.
One reply clicked: Craig Burns. I never believed in “love at first sight” until then. I was smitten! We both had a 14-year-old at home, and he had a 16-year-old. Our girls had been raised differently with different personalities, so we waited four years to get married. It was still rocky! We recently celebrated our 23rd anniversary. He is a saint and a BSer. On our first anniversary, I told him, “Ha, the warranty has expired.” His response was “Ha, I took out a two-year extended warranty.”
I am so lucky. (But he doesn’t dance!)
Steve and Mary Liapis, Lewiston
A blind date in August 1978 outside Los Angeles led to 36 years of marriage. An improbable encounter between previously divorced couples would produce a wild ride. My older sister, Victoria, took Mary under wing to help her find a decent guy. Both worked at the University of Southern California cancer center in Los Angeles. We had dinner, then dessert. Mary told me she was attracted to tall professional men. Her previous husband was a doctor. I’m short in stature and worked then as a machinist. In my mind there was not a chance this relationship would continue.
Our first real date was a trip on Amtrak to San Diego to watch jets take off at the airport. Mary got blisters and a sunburn from that expedition. Not deterred, still intrigued, she said yes to my marriage proposal a year later. Love comes with tears; Mary died in 2015. I miss her still.
Tony and Kathleen Mastroberardino, Lewiston
It was 1992 at the Lewiston Elks at a dance put on by Lewis-Clark State College.
She was looking good, and I was glad to ask her to dance.
We had a great time, dancing the night away, but she left and I didn’t see her again for more than three months. Why?
I was 22, brain dead, and forgot her name!
LCSC, spring semester: She showed up in my fitness class. I waited for my chance to ask her out and sure enough she said YES!
But, it did take some time and, like most good things in life, a bit of work.
We dated, lived it up as only you can in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley; 25 years of marriage, three amazing kids and a yellow Lab later, here we are — and she’s still the ONE!
Lots of laughs, love and faithfulness have gotten us through. It’s a life that keeps getting better, every day.
Nancy and Evan Holmes, Moscow
I was the park ranger on duty in the Visitor Center at Grand Canyon National Park when he stopped in for information. As we talked, I knew there was something special about this park visitor. A few days later we had a second chance encounter, this time near Santa Maria Springs. I was hiking into the canyon on my weekend; he was on his way back up. We walked together, then paused to drink in the spectacular view. Few words were spoken, but a connection was forged. We later rendezvoused for a magical three-day backpack trip.
When he headed on to Yellowstone National Park, where a seasonal job awaited, a bit of my heart went with him. For the next three years we exchanged occasional letters — from Denali, the Tetons, Switzerland — wherever jobs and adventure led. After a fourth coincidental meeting in the woods of northern Michigan, it was clear we were meant to journey on together. Soon after we exchanged vows at the edge of the Grand Canyon.
Janet and James Maguire, Pullman
We met in 1951 while reading the Wenatchee Daily World in the Washington State College library reading room in Pullman. I was a freshman and eager to read if my high school had won the football game. He was a senior and also interested in the sports page.
At the end of football season, he offered me a ride home for Thanksgiving. His car was smoky, and I was crammed in the back seat with other paying students. He was working his way through college and also earning a small amount from ROTC.
I again paid him for a ride home at Christmas. I had a date for a dinner party at a friend’s home and a formal dance. My date and I broke up the day before the dance. I was devastated!
My mom suggested I call “that nice young man you ride home with.” I did call, and he borrowed a jacket and drove down from Chelan.
After his assignment as a company commander in Korea was completed, we married in 1955. He died just before our 50th wedding anniversary.
Dave and Pat Cloke, Lewiston
In 1980, friends urged me to check out a “10” working at The Bon. She was working in the men’s department on that day. She was a 10, and I ended up buying a pair of Levi’s I didn’t need. I decided after seeing her and talking with her that she would be my wife someday.
The first date didn’t go so well. She didn’t like me.
After a couple of years, I finally convinced her that I was the one. We married Feb. 19, 1983. After 37 years, our love is stronger than ever. We enjoy swing dancing with local bands and lifting weights three days a week at Snap Fitness. I love you Pat, and I still think you’re a 10.