The Valentine’s Day column is a favorite to write. I love hearing how meetings and courtships turned into lifelong relationships.
Layne and Norris Brown
Layne and Norris Brown met at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar while shooting pool back in May 1979. By September they were engaged; by December, married.
Layne was here for just the summer, she said, but they fell in love fast and hard. They had such an adventurous summer of dating they quickly realized life together would be amazing. And it has been. They have been married for 40 years.
You may remember the Browns accomplished their quest of standing on the highest point of each of the lower 48 states, plus Hawaii, in 2016. Since then they have been trying to accomplish the goal of hiking on every continent. They are checking off the last on their list, Antarctica, right now.
As a team they’ve made their motto: “As often as you can, do something you have never done before.”
Gloria and Terry Rogers
Gloria and Terry Rogers met on a blind date arranged by mutual friends. It was not love at first sight, but it didn’t take too long for their hearts to connect. The courtship lasted about five months, and they were married in Gloria’s home town of Ogden, Utah.
Gloria had always wanted to live in Jackson Hole — Terry says that was a selling point in responding to his proposal. They have been blessed with six children.
Kay and Ted Benson
After fourth grade Ted Benson asked Kay Willard to a Saturday matinee movie. The young Romeo picked her up on his bike.
Later he carved their initials inside a heart on a support under the bridge across Flat Creek north of town. Still later Ted got mad at Kay and scratched out just her initials.
They didn’t date again until late in high school, but once they got back together and married, they were married for 60 years until his death in 2010.
That bridge was replaced sometime during the 1970s when they were living away from here. Kay’s mother asked the couple if they wanted her to rescue the plank with their initials on it, something that gave the couple a good laugh.
Linore and Jim Wallace
Linore and Jim Wallace reminisced about their first date while I was having lunch with them at The Wort.
They met in San Francisco while working at the Etna Insurance Company. They knew each other for two years before their first date, a hike followed by a dinner cooked by Jim in a camper.
During the 1970s, Jim was part owner of Park Land Expeditions, a raft company purchased from Denny Becker. After a 10-year courtship, Linore and Jim were married in San Francisco at Saints Peter and Paul Church, a Catholic church. A month later they were married again at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jackson, with Frank Johnson officiating. That was 38 years ago.
Victoria and Dave Macfarlane
In 1977, Victoria Kenney was working at The Flower Cart, the family business located across from the old Anthony’s Italian Restaurant.
“The man I had been dating for a short time came in and bought a rose,” she remembered.
About 20 minutes later the customer returned, handing her the flower.
“He said, ‘Do you have any idea how hard it is to give a florist flowers?’” she said.
The customer: David Macfarlane. They have been married for 40 years.
Traci and Brian Hipsher
My daughter Traci was a senior at the University of Wyoming in 1991. She had just broken up with her boyfriend and needed a date to her sorority spring formal. She had noticed a cute guy playing rugby.
As it turned out, the cute guy’s sister, Wendy, was a friend of Traci’s sister, Jami. They were all in the same sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Traci asked Wendy if she would line her up with her brother. Brian told Wendy he would need to see a picture.
When Brian went to pick up Traci, her (at least) 6-foot-tall University of Wyoming volleyball-playing roommate answered the door. Brian was confused, thinking the roommate was Traci, but a few seconds later she entered the room in her pretty formal dress. Traci and Brian have been married for 27 years.
A Valentine’s Day memory
Jenny Karns shared a fun memory from Valentine’s Day in 1983, when she was in seventh or eighth grade.
She and Mike Overcast skied on Snow King in the Sweethearts and Swinehearts Race, not as a couple but as friends. They dressed up as Raggedy Ann and Andy, won the race and had to wait outside the Shady Lady Saloon in the Snow King lobby to get their prize.
Jenny remembers that all the adults were mad because a couple of kids beat them. She and Mike were mad because they couldn’t go into the bar.