As Valentine’s Day draws near I am reminded of something a licensed professional counselor told me years ago about what makes for a successful relationship. She referred to it as “The Five T’s”: time, talk, tease, touch and trust. The couples I write about this week must have practiced this notion, because all three have been happily married for many years.
Rebecca Quasdorf and Andy Erskine
Rebecca and Andy met their senior year of college. He came from Berry College in Georgia, and she was at Concordia College in Minnesota. Both were in Jackson Hole for the summer to work at the Colter Bay Marina in Grand Teton National Park. Rebecca was the assistant manager, and Andy was the Elk Island chef.
Rebecca said it was sort of love at first sight: He said something sarcastic, and she had a witty retort that made her laugh at her own humor, and he told her that she was beautiful when she actually smiled.
They went back to college, graduated and returned for another summer in the park. They have been together ever since.
They married at the Chapel of the Transfiguration 21 years ago. It had rained all week, and on the day of the wedding the clouds parted for a couple of hours before and after the ceremony, so everyone who came had the beautiful views from the chapel. Rebecca remembers that they missed one place setting at the reception — for the daughter of Julie and Al Renneisen, co-publisher of the Jackson Hole Guide. Al told his daughter to walk out quietly and gave her money for McDonald’s. They still laugh about it. Al has since passed away, and they miss him a lot.
Rebecca moved to Jackson when she was 2 years old. Most would say that makes her a local, but her born-in-Jackson Hole friends disagree. Andy was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. They lived other places but found their way back here to raise their two daughters.
Leanne Staley and Bob Moore
In 1979, Bob took a year off from the University of Wyoming to ski but got a job washing dishes at The Wort Hotel and never left Jackson. Leanne had just moved back home with Dylan, 2, and was waitressing at The Wort. Bob was a ski bum, and Leanne had too much responsibility to pay him much mind. It wasn’t until June 1980 that they started to date. He came over to her house one night to visit. Leanne went to put Dylan to bed and fell asleep. When she got up, Bob was gone. That never happened again. He was living in a tent in Kelly, and Leanne was living in Millward’s trailer park on the village road.
After a whirlwind summer of recreating and romance they just kept going. They were married in 1985 at Spring Creek Resort. His first bank loan was for their honeymoon in Zihuantanejo, Mexico. They built their first home in Rafter J, and Bob adopted Dylan. Lenny Roehrkasse, their banker, hired Bob to build the Roehrkasse home, which was the beginning of Bob Moore Construction and many houses.
Leanne and Bob have been married for almost 41 years and they still enjoy each other.
Happy Chambers and Martin Weston
Happy and Martin met while attending Idaho State University in Pocatello in 1963. She was supposed to ride home to Jackson for Easter weekend with a friend, but that fell through, so the friend asked Martin to give her a ride. Martin asked Happy on the way home if she would go with him the next day to show a friend around Jackson. They had a fun day, and he asked if he could give her a ride back to Pocatello. Back at school they saw each other almost every day.
Just before the semester ended, Martin told Happy that he would be working in Jackson for the summer. A week after the semester ended, he asked Happy to marry him. He proposed once a week for the next two months. When she finally said yes, they went to Idaho Falls to pick out an engagement ring. Not long after, she got her hand caught in a machine at work and ruined the ring, so they went back to Idaho Falls and got a second set. On the way home he said, “Let’s get married right away.” Happy wanted an October wedding.
Happy and Martin were married in the LDS church in Jackson on Oct. 25, 1963, by Bishop Vern A. Bell. That was the 23rd wedding anniversary of Happy’s parents, Jim and Betty Chambers. Her dad was bringing the last of the cattle home from summer range that day and left home at 3 a.m. in pouring rain so he could get the job done. Her mom made Happy’s wedding dress, three bridesmaid dresses, her own dress and the ring bearer’s suit. One of the three bridesmaids was expecting a baby in mid-November but delivered on Oct. 23, one of the ushers was drafted, and the ring bearer got the measles. Happy’s dad had trouble moving the last of the cattle due to the rain and didn’t get home until 1:30 p.m.
Suddenly, at 2:10 p.m. the sun came out, the rain stopped, and her dad walked her down the aisle. The reception at The Wort Hotel was a fun party celebrating both a wedding and a wedding anniversary.