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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Wyoming’s First Encounters

Every February we ask the Wyoming community to contribute personal stories for our Valentine Issue. We have covered “Wyoming High School Sweethearts”, “College Sweethearts”, “Best Proposals”, and the list goes on. This year we wanted to learn more about Wyoming couples’ romantic beginnings with “First Encounters”- how couples first met one another. 
Enjoy this fun annual feature, and email us ( with ideas for 2019 or let us know if you would like to be featured in the future!

Note: Every couple shared their first encounter in their words, therefore, the style and tone varied from couple to couple to reflect their individuality. 

Bryan and Marie Palmer-Smith:  Chocolate Easter Eggs

“It was Easter 1955,” Bryan recalled. “Our church youth group had a tradition of hiking overnight and arriving at church for the Sunrise Service. I had taken a hollow 10" chocolate Easter Egg to eat as we rode the bus back to church. We stopped to rest at midnight, and a 13-year-old girl sat on my egg and broke it. I was mad - VERY mad at a careless girl who didn't look where she was sitting. However, that moment was my introduction to my future wife!”  
Nine years later, Bryan and Marie were married in 1964. They lived in Wyoming from 1984-1995 when Bryan served as the pastor at Friendship United Methodist Chruch. By Easter 2018 they will have been married 54 years!

Bryan and Marie beaming with joy on their wedding day in 1964.

Bryan and Marie are still beaming with joy 54 years later!

Kenny and April Fent:  Romance as an Art (Class) 

“Ken and I met in our high school art class,” April shared. “I commented on all his art work and talent (which is really good!), but also to flirt, and he was oblivious!” So a mutual friend stepped in to help Kenny and April out with the initial connection – for Kenny’s sake. April added, “I knew right away he was the man I was going to marry - we’ve now celebrated 20 years together, we’ve been married for 16 years, and three kids later.” Kenny and April established their roots in their Wyoming home nine years ago – so almost half of their lives together have been spent in Wyoming.

Kenny and April were high school sweethearts after meeting in an art class.

The Fents have lived in Wyoming for nine years, and they have three children (one being just a baby!).

Leonard and Camille Robinson:  Kindergarten Buddies

“My husband, Leonard, and I grew up in a small community in Birmingham, Alabama” explained Camille. “We attended the same elementary school before moving on to the same middle school 30-minutes away from our neighborhood. We went to the same high school as well. So, we've known each other since kindergarten!” Few couples can boast knowing each other for as long as Leonard and Camille, but the romance didn’t start in kindergarten, “we (officially)became high school sweethearts in tenth-grade.” And they’ve been together ever since. Camille and Leonard have lived in Wyoming for three and a half years.

Mrs. Guyton’s first-grade classroom Birmingham, Alabama where Leonard and Camille Robinson would have first crossed paths – although they don’t really remember a time they didn’t know one another.

Camille and Leonard have lived in Wyoming for three years, and Camille is the President of the
Wyoming School Foundation.

Roger and Kathleen Batsel:  And the Song Plays on…

While Kathleen and Roger did go to high school together, they actually met each other in their hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky a few years later in 1993. After graduating from college, Kathleen had lived for a year in Hawaii but had recently returned to her hometown. Roger was back in Bowling Green after having attended college in Lexington, Kentucky. 
As a musician and "singer songwriter", Roger enjoyed performing at local music venues. While out with her girlfriends one evening at a local coffee house, Kathleen was touched by the young man singing and playing his acoustic guitar on stage. Impressed by his performance and song-- an original-- she asked her friends if anyone knew him and quickly added, "I think I love him." 
A couple of weeks later, Kathleen was out again with her friends at another local venue. Her friend told her, "The boy you fell in love with while he was singing ... he just walked in the door." A few moments later, without invitation, Roger walked directly up to Kathleen and introduced himself.  
Twenty-five years, two children, and many adventures later, Kathleen and Roger's song still plays on.

Roger and Kathleen met in 1993 in their hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky. 
Roger and Kathleen moved to Wyoming six years ago with their two children.

Rich and April Robles:  It’s All Greek to Them!

Rich and April first met in 1999 at a Fraternity Advisor’s conference in Denver, Colorado while they were both in graduate school for degrees in Higher Education. “We connected again at another conference in the spring of 2000, but didn't start dating until September” April remembered. By that time April was living in Georgia and Rich was living in Cincinnati – a long distance relationship. Then April moved to Cincinnati in 2001 to become the Sorority Advisor at Miami University while Rich was at the University of Cincinnati as the Fraternity Advisor. April added, “it’s all Greek to us!” They got married in 2003, but in keeping with the theme of their relationship that kept them moving, they got married in Las Vegas. April and Rich have lived in Wyoming for four and a half years, and they will celebrate 15 years of marriage this year.

Rich and April were married in 2003 in Las Vegas.

April and Rich are celebrating 15 years of marriage in 2018.

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