Our story, wow, where to begin……
We grew up in the same town; graduated from the same high school; knew some of the same people, but never met until 1998.
We met while Jack was playing the piano and gigging at a local hotel restaurant/bar. I requested a song, I’ve Seen That Movie Too by Elton John, Jack obliged, surprisingly, since it isn’t a song that is regularly heard or performed. From then on, when I would go to the restaurant/bar, within a short period of time, Jack would play the song again.
Our friendship started and from the beginning, Jack was a constant source of support and love. The friendship grew and our love blossomed.
On June 1, 2002, Jack proposed. Asking me to marry him while I was planting a flower and herb garden in our backyard. Dirty, sweaty and exhausted, he still wanted to marry me. For years now, we have celebrated this as our anniversary, because as Jack so beautifully put it – our marriage started the day I said yes, the rest was just paperwork.
In October of 2003, we left early on a Sunday morning and drove to Sevierville, TN. The next morning, we went to the County Courthouse which happens to have a bronze statue of Dolly Parton on the front lawn, got our marriage certificate, went to the middle of a soccer field and got married. Of course, this was all arranged ahead of time with a private hot air balloon ride immediately following our marriage. The scenery was breathtaking as we floated above the foothills of the Smoky Mountains during the Fall, with all it’s natural beauty and explosion of colors.
That’s when our little family became one. We have 5 children – Jason, Skotti, Amoreena, Haylee and Graham; among them we have musicians, piano technicians, a doctor, a nurse, a homemaker and a teacher. Our blended family, is more than just blended. We have a love and respect for each other that is rarely found. It’s not your kids or my kids, it’s OUR kids. We dearly love and are immensely proud of all of our children, the successes they have and the truly wonderful, compassionate, caring decent human beings they have all become.
A few years ago, Jack was playing a song, which needed vocal harmonies. He asked me if I could sing ‘just this part’ for the song. I tried, and it worked! We discovered I have a natural ability to harmonize, and with Jack’s vocal training and gift for arrangements we found a true gift that not many other artist’s are given. Music had always been a part of both of our lives, Jack with his gift of song – singing, piano, guitar and while I had been in a musical production of The Sound of Music in 6th grade, my calling was in dance. Jack traveled the country singing and playing with various groups and I taught dance at a local studio using music in many different forms and interpreting that music through choreography.
We started ‘sitting in’ with friends like Johnny Z, Jim Jersey, Kevin and Alana Beamish and our son, Graham. We discovered that our talent for performing together was not only well received, but embraced and admired. So our collaboration became, ‘Just Lookin’ for Places to Play’. We still ‘sit in’ with some of our friends, and always welcome and encourage our musician friends to join us when they are available.
Very few days pass anymore, where we are not working on a new song, perfecting a song we already perform or adding to our list of songs to learn. We continue to grow and mature as an act and a couple.
Jack and I spend as much time together as any married couple I know. And, through this we have become more and more in love. We have respect, dedication and devotion for each other and the persons we both are. We balance each other in life, as we do in music. We complement each other; we find a weakness one of us has, is a strength the other has. If there is such a thing as a soul mate, we have found that in each other. Recently, after attending a wedding of a dear friend, she told me that our marriage was what she wanted. She wanted her husband to look at her with the obvious love we have. And she has now found that — that one ranks right up there with Best Compliment Ever!
When performing, you may hear a song you haven’t heard in forever, or ever. We like to surprise and reflect. The enjoyment of triggering that memory or feeling you had when you first heard that song; visiting the summer of your 7th grade year, the first kiss, first date, prom – when you met the love of your life. Or, give you that deep track off your favorite album that no one performs. From Rain Song to Puff the Magic Dragon; from Stilleto to Close Your Eyes; from the Goodbye Yellow Brick Road to Abbey Road Medley – our ‘job’ and passion is to entertain and embrace the wonder and passion of music.
Love and peace is in our hearts and minds. We always strive to share that — in all aspects of our lives.
We realize this is a lengthy read, and appreciate all who made it this far 😉