Lori and Marty

How We Met

Well, I’m a sports writer. He was a high school baseball coach. One of my co-workers at the daily paper had covered his very successful baseball team back in the day. Then the Coach got a divorce. I was still single and looking for the right guy. One night we all happened into the same New Orleans bar after a big coaches meeting. My co-worker introduced us. We danced. We kinda liked each other. He asked me what baseball game I was covering a few days later. It was a good one. He said, “Maybe I’ll go see that one.” He didn’t. But I found myself watching the gate for him all day.

I didn’t see him again for a few months, then we were at the same bar. We were both regulars by then. We danced. We got to know each other. He asked me to go to a Saints game with him. I told him I couldn’t because I was going with my mom. He sold his tickets. A few days later, mom called to tell me she was taking her friend instead of me. I told Marty I was free. He scrambled to buy back his tickets.

As we approached the Superdome, the crowd got thick. I put my hand in the crook of his arm and it was just a ZING. We both felt it. I still feel it to this day.

During the game, he was heading downstairs to use the bathroom. I told him to bring me some chocolate. He asked, “What kind?” I said, “Surprise me.” He came back with one of everything they had.

Image 1 of Lori and Marty

That’s how I knew he was the right guy.

how they asked

After about a year of dating, going to sporting events, meeting family (he had two children from his first marriage) and defying the odds, we kind of just decided to get married. We picked a date a year away — Dec. 17, 1994. (I called the High School Athletic Association to find out when the annual championships would be held and we picked the weekend after.)

So we planned a one-year countdown party to celebrate on Dec. 17, 1993.

Now, it’s Dec. 16, 1993 and he still hasn’t formally asked me! I still have a Walmart ring! I told him, unless he’s planning on asking me at the party, I was canceling.

Instead, he told me to get dressed up — warmly, because it was freezing and rainy — and get in the car. He drove me to New Orleans’ City Park, which has its annual Celebration in the Oaks lights display. We walked around the lights, through the Christmas trees and Storyland to the little amusement park. He bought us tickets for the antique carousel.

So, instead of getting down on one knee, my man put me up on a carousel horse, pulled out the ring he had gotten made (to match my Walmart ring) and slipped it on my finger.

One year and one day later we were married on the front porch at Laura Plantation in Vacherie, Louisiana. It was cold and rainy that day too.

Today is the 23rd anniversary of our engagement and tomorrow will be our 22nd wedding anniversary.

Sadly, I have no photos of the actual proposal. Just a photo of us from the party the next day.

Image 2 of Lori and Marty

We have gone back to the Celebration in the Oaks many times either on the 16th or the 17th with our daughter, whom we adopted in 2001. My stepson also gave me a carousel horse figurine for Christmas one year, which started a huge collection of them around my house.

By the way, my husband’s first wife is the Godmother to our adopted daughter….