|When Don and I first became acquainted on June 4, 1995, we had no idea that it would lead to marriage! We were on CompuServe "chatting" on what used to be called "CB." We met on a channel called the "Porch." It was a sad day, as several friends online were mourning another online friend who had died that morning during surgery. Her "handle" was *Tenderheart*. I had chatted online with her for a couple of months, and she was a really sweet lady. Don had never been online to chat, and didn't know if this was real or not. After being assured that it was, he quoted these verses:
"To every thing there is a season,
It was the perfect thing to say and gave comfort to a lot of people that day. The words were from a favorite song of Don's, "Turn, Turn, Turn," by the Byrds. The lyrics are taken from one of my favorite Bible scripture passages in Ecclesiastes chapter 3.
You can see and hear some of our favorite music HERE. (SMILE)
Don's "handle" was *Framus*. My "handle" was *Silly Ole' Bear*, like a "Pooh Bear," "a bear of very little brain." (SMILE) I later changed it to *Silly Ole' AK. Bear*, to make me an "Alaskan" bear. Don called me *SOAKy*, *SOAK* or *SOAKBear* for short. The name stuck. Although no longer on CompuServe, I do try to occasionally go on Internet Relay Chat (IRC) to chat with friends where my "nickname" is always *SOAKBear*. I am also "soakbear" on AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ, as well as many free e-mail accounts; hotmail, juno, yahoo, excite and eudora....
I think I probably started the conversation the very first time we actually chatted. I had noticed that Don was logged in from Fresno, California, which is near my parents and some of my siblings. (He was actually in Coalinga, California but had to call a Fresno phone number to access CompuServe.) We casually chit-chatted about California weather and such. Within a short time we found we had a lot in common. In fact we had grown up just an hour from each other in the central valley of California. He grew up in Firebaugh and I grew up in Clovis. He was 40 years old and still a bachelor. For many years he had been "married" to a Computer Tech job, traveling all over California. It left him little time for a social life. I was 41 and separated, getting the paperwork ready for a dissolution. After a few weeks of casually talking, our converstions started to be of a more personal and serious nature. We discussed our life situations, religious beliefs, political views, likes and dislikes. It seemed we were very compatible and we realized we needed to meet, to see if our growing feelings were "real" and worth pursuing any farther.
(photo © 1995 Barbara Logan)(drawing compiled in 1997 by Barbara Logan)
Online relationships are not easy, to say the least! But there can be a deep communication if people are truthful and honest. In some ways it is easier to "be yourself" and not feel hampered by things like how you look and what you should wear! (SMILE)
At that time, Don was a Correction's Officer at a California prison. He was due for a vacation, so he up flew to Fairbanks to meet me on July 17, 1995. From the moment we met at the airport, it was as if we had known each other our entire lives. We played tourist and visited places around Fairbanks together, including Denali Park. While he was here he gave me a gold necklace that he had bought when he was 21 to give to the "right" woman, when he met her... (SMILE) He had had that necklace a long time. Six days later it was hard for him to return home. After that we were inseparable, online chatting or talking on the phone, spending more and more time together. We sort of planned that I would come down to California at Thanksgiving and we would marry then and there, if all my legals ends were tied up here.
SONG: Beatles, "And I Love Her"
(photo © 1995 Grace Farstad)
CompuServe went through some fee changes in September 1995 and a lot of people, including us and our online friends, were leaving for "internet" chat. We decided to have an "online" wedding on CompuServe before the change, and invited all our CompuServe friends. Of course it wasn't a "legal" ceremony, but it was a very moving and spiritual occasion. On September 6, 1995, a friend in Scotland, who is a real priest, officiated at our online wedding. Throughout the reciting of vows and Scripture readings, 70 people joined us on the Porch. Don sent me a dozen (real) red roses... and he still sends me roses several times a year.... (SIGH) A few days later Don decided to come to Alaska. The phone calls were getting frequent and expensive. It just didn't make sense to give all that money to the Phone Companies....
You can read the transcript of our online wedding HERE. (SMILE)
(photo © 1999 Barbara Logan)
Don moved to Fairbanks September 25, 1995 and the next day, my birthday, he proposed and I accepted of course! (SMILE) He gave me a beautiful engagement ring. He had already asked me to marry him when he visited in July, and SEVERAL times online, but this was the "official" proposal. When all the legalities were finally settled and I was finally able, we were married December 12, 1995 at the Alaskaland Chapel in Fairbanks. We used virtually the same Scriptures and vows we had used at our online ceremony. It was a wonderful day, and the honeymoon has never ended. (SMILE)
(photo © 1995 Vicki Mowrey)
Were you wondering why I have a puzzle for the background of this page?? (SMILE) In one of Don's EMails he wrote something like this : "we weren't the popular kids in school, they being like the bright colored patterns in a jigsaw puzzle and easy to fit together, no, we were like two sky blue pieces among many, that when finally found and fit together will make the puzzle complete...." I thought that was great the way he put it, and so sky blue puzzle pieces mean a lot to me.
(photos © 1995, 1996 Barbara Logan)
(photo © 1995 Grace Farstad)
Cutting our wedding cake at the reception
|We know it may sound crazy to some people to have met this way, but we are very happy to have found each other, no matter how it happened. We now know several other couples who met this way and are also very happy. (SMILE) Just to name a few :|
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