Love Around the Bend

Focus Cover Story | By Patti Parish-Kaminski –

Valentine’s Day is associated with romance and love, but the origin of the day celebrating sweethearts is anything but sweet.  There are several legends shrouded with mystery and martyrs, but the one I choose to wrap up in a pretty red bow, embellish and share goes something like this:

Legend has it that an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting after he fell in love with his jailor’s daughter who visited him during his unfortunate incarceration.  Why he was imprisoned is unclear, but I feel certain he was falsely accused and unjustly held, because why else would the fair young maiden fall in love with him?

I digress.  Before his untimely demise, he wrote a letter to his beloved actually signed, “From your Valentine,” which, of course, was his name, but now is an expression of undying love and devotion that is still used today on the annual holiday devoted to one’s beloved.

Saint Valentine was dubbed a martyr, and the rest, as they say, is history. This Valentine’s Day, we celebrate romance by sharing the historic love stories of some of our friends and neighbors.  Love is in the air Fort Bend – let’s spread some love!

Rita and Paul Cinquemani

We met at a Christian singles dinner and dance 23 years ago, and we have been dancing through life ever since! We enjoy sharing our interests with our families and friends and making the most out of every day the Lord blesses us with living!

Sharon and Stewart Jacobson

My wife and I are both from Chicago, but we met at The University of Texas. I was in law school, and Sharon was getting her masters. To pay my way through law school, I was the RA in the grad student dorm. It was my job to make sure she wasn’t lonely. I excelled.

Dave and Joan Rosenthal

We met in 1992 and got married in May 1994. Dave and I met at a popular restaurant in the Galleria area. I was there with my friend, and he walked in with his friend. Everyone knew each other except for Dave and I. We got introduced and talked for quite a while that night. We ended up going out that weekend, and the rest is history!

Dave got transferred to Louisiana soon after we met, but we kept up a long-distance relationship. He came to Houston to visit me quite often. I ended up moving there before our wedding. We love to do adventurous things and love to travel. One of our first dates was rollerblading at Memorial Park. When we travel, we love to hike, go boating and horseback riding, etc.

My Boo is very romantic! He gives me cards on all occasions and loves surprising me with flowers and presents. Our 29th anniversary is in May this year. I can’t wait to experience all of the wonderful adventures in the years to come.

Kevin Barker and Jeanne Wallace

Kevin and I met while working at the same agency in a small town in South Texas. We both conducted trainings at our office headquarters on the same day. My training was before Kevin’s.  He had a friend of his hand me an anonymous Valentine card.  I had no idea who he was.  We finally met in person at my office in Kingsville a few days later.  We dated for several years before getting married.  It has been a great marriage, and we couldn’t imagine being with anyone else.  I still have that special Valentine card.

Paul Schmidt and Keri Curtis Schmidt

We met in first grade, but I don’t have a yearbook that goes back that far.

Shane Jensen and Kelley Sweet Jensen

How did I meet my husband!?!  1984 – Footloose, Festival 6 Theater in Northwest Houston. I was a hyper 14-year-old!  My big sister’s cool friend had a real live boyfriend, so we got accompany them to the movies. I was the dorky little sister who got to tag along. Then…there he was! Handsome! Tall! Brooding and quiet having zero interest in chaperoning his buddy and this gaggle of girls. I could not stop staring at him, leaning forward in the seat during the movie to peek at him. Subtle, right!?  What a dork!

It wasn’t until two years later when that same handsome man walked into the church daycare where I was volunteering.  No way! I was now a very cool, (or at least less dorky 16-year-old) and I recognized him right away. Certain he had no idea who I was as he dropped his younger siblings off for his mom. How to reach him!?!?!  Ah ha! I put a note in the kid’s lunchboxes. “Hi, my name is Kelley Sweet.  If you ever need a babysitter, call 462-9074.” God was smiling on me, because Shane’s mom called the next Friday and not only asked me to babysit, but would my mom be okay with her son picking me up and bringing me home?  Boy was she!

And the rest, however convoluted and round about it may be, is history!

Happy Valentine’s Day Fort Bend !