Kerri and I on October 3, 1997

As I write this on September 28, 2017, I am reminiscing about the day I met the woman who would eventually become my wife.  I don’t remember a lot about Sunday, September 28, 1997…at least not much before about 5pm. 

That’s when I met her.  It was right after embarkation in San Juan, Puerto Rico and I was tasked with one of my best friends, Mike Wycoff, to do Bingo card sales just outside of the main theater on the MS Seaward (Norwegian Cruise Line).  That was the first (and only) time we were tasked with said assignment.

As she approached the table, I noticed the Pittsburgh Steelers helmet charm on her necklace:  “Oh, you’re a Steelers fan.”  She smiled that big, beautiful smile and said happily “Yes! I am”… to which I replied…”I’m sorry”

(of note, we Buschmeyer men are famous for odd first lines…just ask Lorrie Wilson Buschmeyer)

I introduced myself to her, then to her mother Kathy who was traveling alongside. We spoke for a couple more minutes…and she walked away.  (No, she didn’t buy a Bingo card) 

As she was walking away, Mike looked at me and said: “You’re Sprung!”

Me:  “What?…No…nah”

Mike:  “Yeah, that’s the one…”  then he paused, looked me in the eye and said sternly: “that’s the girl you’re going to marry.  She’s the one.”

He was right…Joe McGinley (my other best friend on that staff) would later say that he saw it too.

I didn’t see her again until Tuesday evening and we spent the rest of the week “courting,” you might say. There’s a great story about the Chocoloholic Buffet night, but I’ll let Mike tell that one.

When she left, I had her phone number and called her at least once or twice a week until I got home that Christmas.  A brief time flying back and forth from Panama City to Dayton, OH commenced, until I moved to Dayton on July 8th, 1998.  We were married on September 11, 1999…less than two years after Mike called it.  He was totally right.  I don’t know what he saw in me that night, but apparently it is still there.  I still look at her with the same excitement I did 20 years ago today…

We’ve told this story a number of times and I tell people that for me, it was literally love at first sight.   I thank God every day for her, she’s the best part of my life.

…and as for her mom; yeah, I had to schmooze her too.  That was easy because she loved to dance…so we danced.

Kerri and Kathy, formal night dinner 9/30/97. It was after this dinner that Kerri and I would begin our time together.

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