By Kim Hone-McMahan
Beacon Journal staff writer
June is traditionally the busiest month of the year for weddings. And since creative, ultra-romantic wedding proposals are now all the rage, we became curious about how readers popped the question to their sweethearts.
Last month, we asked readers to submit their proposal stories. Today, we present some of our favorites.
“[Jason] performs as a magician on cruise ships in the Bahamas. Every so often I would fly down and stay with him and also perform a mind-reading act with him.
“This past Nov. 20 was exactly a year from when we started dating. I was nervous that we were performing a new version of the mind-reading act. He was going to go out into the audience and have three people select playing cards; I would then guess what they were. As I sat blindfolded I began guessing the cards.
“From the sounds of it everything was going well. The last card I was supposed to guess was the ace of diamonds. To add effect I would have him put the card in my hand. When he placed the last card in my hand, it wasn’t a card” — it was a ring box instead.
June 1 was their wedding day. To watch a video of the proposal, visit http://youtu.be/e2cHzOVSSLI.
Stacy and Jason Alan Greenamyer
Comedy of mishaps
“It was 1970. I took my life savings ($100) and bought her a $95, one-quarter carat diamond ring.
“We decided to do a day trip to Niagara Falls. We left early and made it to Erie, Pa., before our muffler fell off our car. Waiting an hour before the shop opened and two more before the car was fixed, we were ready to go.
“Finally arriving about noon, she wanted to go on the Maid of the Mist boat ride. Tightly guarding the ring in my pocket, my biggest fear was I’d lost it …
“Surviving the ride, soaking wet, but laughing, we walked up to Queen Victoria Park, where I planned to have her sit on a bench, then kneel down to propose. Just as I was ready, the landscapers started mowing and cutting the grass all around us.
“Finally, with little time left before our return trip to Akron, I asked her to marry me.
“Last January was our 40th wedding anniversary.”
Tom and Nena Pittinger
“In February of 2004, Amy and I flew out to Colorado with a group of friends for our annual ski and snowboarding trip.
“The next morning we awoke to nearly 2 feet of fresh powder. We got out early, knee deep in the back bowls. I had the ring tucked away safely in my backpack. Now, it was just finding the opportune time to spring the big question.
“By early afternoon, Amy and I broke away from the group… I conjured up something quick. Riding down the China Bowl, I managed to get ahead of Amy a bit then pretended to fall. I quickly pulled off my backpack and frantically looked for the ring box.
“I held the box in my hand until Amy sat down close to me. That’s when I presented her with the box. At first, Amy quickly put up her arms and said, ‘no,’ thinking it was a snowball in hand. You see, the box was white. Once she realized what it was, I asked her to marry me, and she quickly said ‘Yes.’ ’’
“Flying to Hawaii with 14 singles and an engagement ring pinned inside my pants pocket. Thinking and thinking of how and where to propose to Kathy on the beautiful island of Oahu. With the help of several people traveling with us, I decided to propose at the Don Ho show.
“Don Ho and his daughter were quite gracious and set it up for me. As we were sitting with about 250 people listening to Don Ho sing, he called me and Kathy up on stage. He asked if I had anything to say and I dropped on one knee and told Kathy she was the love of my life and asked if she would marry me.
“Don Ho told me to dance with her as he played the Hawaiian Wedding Song.”
Earle and Kathy Bailey
Cuyahoga Falls, married March 2, 2001
“Thirty-one years ago my husband (Mark Murphy) proposed to me.
“He was getting ready to leave for training camp (he played in the NFL) and I would be starting my student teaching. He would be in Green Bay, and I would be in Canton, Ohio — 12 hours away.
“He was coming over one evening and had brought me a cookbook that I had wanted. I gave him a hug and thanked him and laid it on the couch. I proceeded to tell him about my day and he stopped me and asked if I was going to look at the cookbook. I said sure and started flipping through the pages.
“On Page 37 (his number in football) was an engagement ring taped to the page with white athletic tape. He got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was so excited and of course said ‘yes.’
“We were married the next spring (had the big fat Greek wedding) and will celebrate our 30th anniversary in March 2013.
“The cookbook is outdated and worn, but I still have it and have shown the exact page to our kids many times. The tape is still there. It is a day I will never forget even now.”
“We dated through the summer of 1954. Dick lived in Ravenna and he had a long drive home after our dates. Before he headed home, we usually enjoyed a cup of tea together. It was just before Christmas (1954), as we were having our tea, that he sent me out of the room to turn off the TV.
“When I returned and took a sip of my tea, I heard a ‘clink’ and, what do you know, there was my engagement ring in the bottom of the cup. That was his proposal.
“We were married in February 1955. This year we celebrated 57 years of marriage.”
Bonnie and Richard Eroskey
“I was working my way through the University of Akron and was smitten by a young co-ed, Generose Gill. We’d been dating for a few years, Christmas was coming up, and I wanted to ask her to marry me.
“I had a Saturday job in the stock rooms of O’Neil’s at the time and came up with an idea of asking her to marry me without going through the motions of really asking.
“I had the ring made at a diamond wholesaler on the second floor of the old Flatiron building and took it to work at O’Neil’s that Saturday. I purchased a pair of long black gloves (women and young ladies wore gloves back then) and asked the clerk if she’d wrap them. I gave her the ring to place on the ring finger of the glove. She covered it up with the right hand glove so that when the box was opened, the ring was not showing.
“As Generose opened the box, she thanked me for the gloves. It wasn’t until she went to try the gloves on that she discovered the real gift.
“Actually the gift was mine, as we’ve been married nearly 52 years.”
“We were early for a movie… so we decided to go for a stroll around the mall. We had talked [about] getting engaged. I was walking past a jewelry store with a lovely display of diamond solitaires in the window. I wandered over and saw a really nice deal in the window on a full carat brilliant-cut diamond.
“I told my boyfriend (Terry) what a great deal it was on this particular diamond. He says to me, ‘I will make you a deal. If you walk in and the ring is your exact size, I will buy it for you.’
“Well, I walked in that store and it was my exact size and we instantly became engaged, with him getting down on bended knee in the store.
“A week later, we passed a Mercedes dealer and I said, ‘Honey, I think that Mercedes would fit me just fine.’ He hit the gas and kept going. Nice second try, eh? Needless to say, he has never made that offer again.”
Brenda L. O’Brien
Portage Lakes, married since 1994
“Driving back from Toledo after visiting Gary’s family, it began to rain. As we started to leave the turnpike at Exit 12, Gary suddenly pulled the car over to the side of the road. I thought there was car trouble.
“He walked around the car, opened my door, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was a shock, but I said ‘yes.’
“As a sideline, when he knelt down, the zipper on his pants broke, and his fly was gaping open. We had to go and tell my parents about it. So Gary sat on the couch with a pillow in his lap the whole time.”
Kathy and Gary Eaton
Stow, married 41 years
“In 1950, my future wife, Eleanor, and her mother took the Greyhound bus to New York City to visit relatives. For some reason, she (Eleanor) had to come home early and… (I) found out that on her trip home, she would have to change buses in Pittsburgh, Pa. I decided to drive to Pittsburgh to surprise her at the terminal.
“I was standing there when she got off the bus. We walked to the car, got inside and that’s when I asked her to marry me.
“I was so nervous, I pulled out of the parking lot and went the wrong way down the road. The police stopped me and when I explained the situation, they laughed and let me go.”
Akron, married Eleanor on Jan. 27, 1951
A bit o’ Irish
“On April 21, Josh Fulton of Litchfield and Erin Kelly of Stow went out with friends to celebrate Erin’s 26th birthday. On the agenda was dinner at Zócalo and a show at PlayhouseSquare. The show was Flanagan’s Wake, an interactive Irish wake, where the audience participates in the telling of the story.
“Upon entering the theater, a cast member handed Erin a name tag as she made her way to her seat. Josh, meanwhile, stayed behind to let the cast know that this was the girl being proposed to, having already planned everything with the cast.
“As the show continued, the cast contemplated the best use for the deceased’s land. This led into the intermission, during which the cast walked through the audience looking for suggestions, stopping at Erin’s table.
“As the show resumed Erin was invited on stage to share her suggestion with the audience. After sharing her idea, she remained on stage, as a cast member asked the audience if there was anyone else who would like to make a claim. From out of the audience came Josh’s voice as he approached the stage shouting, ‘I’d like to make a claim!’
“As he stepped onto stage he declared, ‘I’d like to claim this girl as my bride.’ There in the middle of the stage he dropped down on one knee and pulled out a stunning Claddagh engagement ring.”
“On the day we got engaged, I went to my wife’s parents’ house to pick her up for a date. We sat and talked for awhile before leaving and she noticed a small thread on my shirt pocket. She removed it and when she did it turned out to be a little longer than she expected. As she pulled, out of my pocket came an engagement ring tied to the other end. She said yes and has been checking the threads on my shirts for more surprises for the last 50 years.”
Terry and Judy Swearingen
“As a G.I. in Germany in the early 1960s, I wrote to my sister as my enlistment was drawing down and asked her if there were any girls still single who I might write to. She sent me a girl’s name whom I hadn’t seen or talked to since we were very young. So I dropped her (Sandy Webb) a line.
“We dated through letters…
“Before my tour was up, I sent her a set of rings and asked her to marry me. Her mother freaked out and nixed the whole thing. When I got home, Sandy met me at the airport and gave me back the rings. But before the night had ended, I put the one ring back on her finger.”
Akron, widower of Sandy
Field of dreams
“Twenty years ago I mowed ‘Marry me Jackie?’ (the ‘J’ was 150 feet tall) in a field with a tractor. I chartered a plane and took her up to ask the question. As we flew over the sight, she got the message. She said ‘yes.’
“I guess that was a high-flying proposal.”