Nita & John Singleton, Campbellsville University
Sometimes, all it takes is a look.
In 1977, freshmen at what was then Campbellsville College were expected to wear beanies and bow to upperclassmen. When Nita McGee, a senior, saw a handsome freshman crossing in front of the administration building, she was not going to let the opportunity pass.
`Where is your beanie?â€ she asked. `You need to bow to me.â€
But there was something in John Singleton`s demeanor that struck a chord, and Nita sensed that he was the guy for her. `I think I knew right then,â€ she muses.
Yet, they didn`t have much time. It turned out to be the only semester they were both on campus. Within two months, she met his parents. Then, in December, Nita graduated, and John took a position as a youth minister in Cincinnati. So in January, the two became engaged and wed in August 1978â€”one year after that fateful meeting on campus.
`He never asked me to marry him!â€ Nita says with a laugh. `I knew we would be getting married because we decided to purchase some furniture together.â€
These days, John and Nita Singleton are still going strong. They have two grown sons, Matthew and Mark, and always enjoy each other`s company. Nita is quick to point out that her husband has been a tremendously hard worker, holding jobs in the ministry, construction and a stint at Frito-Lay.
As Nita is proud to say, `There`s just a whole lot to love.â€
Lori and Keith Durham, Centre College
Opposites do attract. For every yin there is a yang. Just ask Lori Durham and her husband, Keith.
Although they`d met years before college, the extroverted Lori wasn`t at all attracted to her much-quieter husband until she needed a tutor during her junior year at Centre College. They both were math majors, but the two ran in different circles. It wasn`t until she needed his expertise in a class that Lori began to see some of the qualities she`d been overlooking and started to take note of the quiet intellectual.
`He was a nice guy, and he`s unique,â€ she explains. `He marches to his own drummer.â€
Not long after the tutoring sessions began, the two began officially dating. But the romance had some people puzzled. `We were definitely the odd couple on campus,â€ Lori recalls. `I`m told that one professor saw us walking across campus late for an exam and just shook his head.â€ Â
The couple dated a little over a year and were married in July 1991.
Today, the pair that some had dubbed a true odd couple is still making it work. Keith is a teacher a Lexington Traditional Middle School, and Lori, after teaching high school math in Scott County, is now a full-time mom of three young children. Both offer private tutoring, and Lori is the administrative vice president of the local Mothers Offering Mothers Support chapter. Together, they are living proof that opposites don`t just attract: They can also make life complete.
Ruth and Randy Salley, Western Kentucky University
During her junior year at WKU, Ruth Dearen`s college roommate wanted to head to the local Ponderosa steakhouse for an inexpensive birthday dinner. The roommate called an old high school buddy, Randy Salley, to come along. The roommate didn`t realize it, but she was introducing Ruth to the man who would become her lifelong love. `There was definite interest at first sight,â€ Ruth recalls of the meeting. `I liked his brown eyes.â€
The two began chatting and quickly realized that even though Ruth was a city girl from Louisville and Randy from the small town of Park City, there were many more similarities than differences. `We both had strong family ties and had been raised in the Methodist faith. We just seemed to have a lot in common.â€
Soon, the two were dating. Ruth, a future family and consumer science teacher, did her student teaching at Randy`s alma mater in Barren County, allowing her to learn more about her future husband and his roots. `All the pieces seemed to fall into place. It was all God`s plan!â€ she says.
The couple married in the summer of 1981, but chose to stay on campus and continue their education. Randy took a position as the assistant director of Barnes-Campbell Hall dormitory. The newlyweds lived in a tiny apartment in the dorm while both pursued their master`s degrees. Despite living in a building with 900 men and the threat of roaches, Ruth says it was a wonderful way to start married life and wouldn`t have changed a thing.
Angela and Brett Traver, Morehead State University
Sometimes, your future mate has been standing next to you the entire time.
That`s how it was for Angela Traver and her husband, Brett. Angela had been the managing editor of Morehead State`s Trail Blazer newspaper and Brett was a staff writer. The two were the kind of buddies you see in sitcomsâ€”setting each other up on dates, sharing concerns and laughing hysterically with one another. But when Brett began to see potential in Angela as more than a gal pal, she recoiled.
`I didn`t want to spoil the friendship,â€ she says. `I didn`t want it to not work out and lose my best friend.â€
After six months of Brett`s persistence, Angela finally gave in, and the two began dating. The decision turned out to be one of the best she`s ever made. Although she admits the first kiss was a little weird, she quickly got over it.
`I`m glad I took the risk,â€ she says. `He makes me laugh; he`s easy to talk to. We just have so much in common! We`ve never gotten tired of being around one another.â€
Eventually, the twosome got married in 1993 in a Morehead church, followed by a beautiful fall reception at the city park. Today, the best buddies are living in Wisconsin with their 5-year-old daughter, Josie. Brett is in economic development, and Angela is an account executive. The family of three is laughing and going strong in what Angela calls `The Land of You Betcha!â€
`Brett is still an idiot,â€ Angela muses. `And that`s good!â€
Jennifer and Shawn Shelton, Eastern Kentucky University
Choreographers sometimes create more than dances.
When Jennifer Brooks was rehearsing as part of a dance theater group at EKU, she caught the eye of one of the lighting technicians, Shawn Shelton. Knowing this, her choreographer sent Jennifer on a bogus errand that forced the two to chat. Shawn and Jennifer soon began dating and discovered a multitude of commonalities. While Jennifer was interested in dance, Shawn`s mother had owned a dance studio and had a little training himself. One would think they`d make perfect partners.
But the couple didn`t find their own rhythm right away. It took a few years of on- and off-again dating for the match to stick. `We just needed to mature,â€ Jennifer says. Then, the summer after Shawn graduated, he called up Jennifer and asked her to celebrate his birthday with him. From that point, there was no turning back.
The couple was married in 1990 and is now a family of four with two daughters. `We married our best friends,â€ says Jennifer. `And we make sure we have time for each other. That may be spending time relaxing together on the deck or having simple dates at home.â€
They now live in Louisville and still follow their love of theater and dance. Jennifer has discovered that not only does Shawn have great rhythm, he`s also pretty handy around the house and, more importantly, a terrific father to their girls.
It would seem Shawn and Jennifer are dance partners for life.
Jodi and Ed Krahwinkel, Kentucky Wesleyan College
Even a healthy coat of face paint didn`t stop Ed and Jodi Krahwinkel from noticing one another.
At the start of her second semester, Jodi Parks thought she already knew most people on the small campus of Kentucky Wesleyan College. But while attending a basketball game, she saw a young man whose face was painted purple to show his Panther pride. `Who`s that?â€ she asked a friend. Little did she know that at the same time, Ed Krahwinkel was asking a friend about her.
By the end of the evening, mutual friends had arranged for the two to meet, this time without the face paint.
`I can still see him now, standing there in his black-and-white, button-up shirt, leather bomber jacket, jeans and cowboy boots,â€ Jodi recalls. `I was smitten right away.â€
Once the pair starting talking, Jodi quickly learned there was more to Ed than his good looks. He was also a loyal family man, held fast to his Christian values, and seemed down to earth. `Within the first date or two, I knew I could be with this guy for a long time.â€
She was right. Ed and Jodi dated for six years while she completed her education and were married in September 1996. Although their careers at first took them elsewhere, they were able to move back to Owensboro in 1998, where Ed is now a lieutenant in the police force and Jodi is an optometrist.
`We`re very happy,â€ Jodi says.