Local Love Stories
● By Kendra Kaiserman
How We Met
Erin & Craig Friedman
“It was 1977, when disco was all the rage, and I was 16 years old. All the cool kids were talking about a teenage disco on Van Nuys Boulevard called ‘My Uncle’s.’ A girlfriend and I went to check it out, and it was kind of a drag—until a cute, kind of awkward, 17-year-old boy asked me to dance. Craig and I fell in love on the dance floor and we’ve been together ever since."
Jessica & Josh Root
“My hubby and I have been married for 13 years. We went to school from kindergarten all through high school. We lived on the same block growing up. He went to the military. I started writing to him as a friend while he was gone. When he came home, he was a grown man and very handsome. The rest is history, three children and 13 awesome years later.”
Linda & Tony Kilcollins
“My husband Tony and I met on Match.com. We had so much in common (worked in law enforcement at the time, love to entertain, cook, wine taste, kayak), yet our paths would probably never have crossed. Tony is from Chico and I’m from Redding. We have since retired from our full-time careers and now share our love for entertaining and cooking with others as the proud owners and innkeepers of Old Thyme Bed
and Breakfast on Placer. We opened our business on Valentine’s Day 2014.”
Brenna & Paul David
“I met my husband when I inquired about having a vendor space at the Redding Bridal Show. After talking over email about business advice, I met him for coffee to hire him for social media. We have been together ever since – we were both single parents and blended our family of seven when we married in May 2016.”
Jenny & Peter Young
“Peter and I met during my bachelor’s program. He walked in the classroom of my third class and said, ‘Are ya ready, kids?’ in the pirate-sounding voice anyone with kids is familiar with, and I softly said, ‘Aye Aye, Captain.’ He was excited and shocked that someone had responded and continued forward with the whole SpongeBob theme song. We had an office hour six months later to discuss master’s programs that I was interested in, and sparks ignited. We discovered that we lived six doors from each other, that we both had a love for God and strong desires for connection and depth. We were married the following year in a crazy romantic wedding that included everyone walking down the aisle on crutches due to my broken ankle.”
Janette & Blake Cull
“I’m the youngest of four kids, and much to my older sister Jenn’s annoyance, I followed her around everywhere. I’d look around her room at all her pictures with friends in admiration. There was one picture in particular that I had my eyes on, which I thought had the cutest boy in it. His name was Blake, and Jenn went to school and church with him. Fast-forward 15 years… after graduating high school, I went on to pursue my passion in cooking and to achieve my ultimate dream of one day owning my own bakery.
After he graduated high school, he went on to play baseball at Shasta College, Simpson University and then the Colt 45s. He was then signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks but was later released when they found a torn ligament in his elbow. After surgery and therapy, his baseball career took him to numerous places before he landed back in Redding.
Two weeks later, we happened to stumble upon each other on the Internet. When I first saw his message on the screen, my heart stopped! We decided to meet up, and I remember calling my sister to tell her the exciting news.
The next day, we began to catch up, and what seemed like minutes turned into hours. By the end of the night he asked me to officially be his girlfriend. A week and a half later, he told me he loved me, to which with no hesitation, I said it immediately back. A month and a half later, in front of all of our friends and family, he proposed at Big League Dreams, on the softball field after his game. By four and a half months, on a very stormy October day, we said, “I do.” The weather was a disaster but it didn’t matter. Nothing could stop me from marrying the man of my dreams.
Life is so crazy sometimes. I never would have imagined my little schoolgirl crush would eventually become my husband, but I am
so thankful for life’s unpredictable surprises. We have now been married for two years and couldn’t be happier. I fall more in love with him every day.”
Melissa Fraizer & Greg Thorson
“It was a cold December night. I was on my phone sitting in front of the TV, busily swiping left and right on a dating app. I came across a cute face whose two-line profile said he was a professor from Colorado. “Cute and intriguing,” I thought to myself. We texted for one week and planned to meet on a Tuesday. I backed out. My nerves got the best of me. We decided to meet the following week. We talked about dinner and a movie. We both decided that if the conversation was going well that we would skip the movie. After finishing our MOD pizza, Greg set his napkin down and said that we better get to the theater. My heart sank. About halfway through the movie Greg put his hand on my knee. I knew then that I was still in the game! After the movie Greg asked if I wanted to go get coffee. We sat in Denny’s for a couple hours, talked about ourselves and laughed about life. Greg has been my best friend since that night. We still laugh to the point of tears, we are able to communicate our needs and wants, and even after a year of dating, my daughters say that we still act like teenagers in love.”
Tim & Becky Quigley
“I was a flight attendant with an airline company that transported fire crews around the states during the fire season. Tim was a smokejumper here in Redding and our first encounter was when he was on one of my flights. The summer of 1985 I was here in Redding to give another flight attendant days off. Another jumper invited me and another co-worker for drinks at DeArmond’s. Come to find out, it was a bachelor party for a jumper that was getting married the next day. It was later that night that I really noticed Tim and wanted to know more about him. He later asked me on a date, and on that first date he brought me by to see the new home he was having built. It was just a slab of concrete with pipes sticking up and as he showed me where rooms would be, I sat there and watched. After, he asked what I thought, and my response was, “Personally, I would never want to live here.” He asked me why, and I told him I wasn’t fond of the garage being the focal point, no windows other than the slider facing north and the kitchen window facing west and the living room being in the back where you couldn’t see what was going on out front. Well, never say never! We moved in to that house in November 1985, got engaged in October 1986 and got married in October 1987. We raised two beautiful girls in that house and they both are now grown and have moved on. Tim has retired from the Forest Service and we are starting the next chapter of our lives, in the very same house, after 31 years.”
Travis & Samantha Klein
Travis’ Story: One of the earliest memories I have of Samantha might sound bad, but I thought she was sooo annoying. Mark (my stepdad) has been best friends with Herb (Sammi’s uncle) since before we were born. We used to go over to Herb’s all the time for family dinners. I remember Sammi following me around like a little lost kitten, and just as annoying. She would always try to talk to me, sit by me, play with me… ugghhh, I wanted nothing to do with her! Keep in mind I was probably 7 or 8, and she was 4 or 5. She used to always tell me one day she was going to marry me.
As I grew up and got involved in sports and other activities, we went over there less and less, which ended up turning into not going over there at all for years.
Fast-forward about 12 years to November 2001. I was home from college for Thanksgiving break. Emily (my younger sister) asked me if I wanted to go play miniature golf with her and her friend, and I agreed. What 19-year-old doesn’t like miniature golf? I should have known she was up to no good. Emily started giving me directions to her friend’s house to pick her up. I was starting to become suspicious, as most of her friends lived in Palo Cedro. I started asking questions, but by the time I had figured it out, it was too late, I had been tricked and I didn’t stand a chance.
I remember pulling into Sammi’s driveway followed by the longest walk ever up to her doorway. Thoughts and old memories were racing through my head. All I could remember was how annoying she was, and this was going to be awful. I knocked on the door, and this beautiful young girl answered. We both kind of paused for a second, and I distinctively remember the look on her face, as it was probably the same as mine – wide-eyed, mouth partially opened – “WHOA.”
Miniature golf was closed, so we went to a movie. Of course, when I sat down, Sammi had to sit next to me, just like she used to, only this time it wasn’t as annoying. I remember Emily getting up to go the bathroom, and Sammi turned her head toward me and kissed me – I was done for! We started officially dating a couple of weeks later at Sammi’s Sweet 16 birthday.
On Valentine’s Day 2013, I asked her to be my wife. Twelve years before we starting dating, I couldn’t stand to be around her. Twelve years after we started dating, I can’t stand NOT to be around her. Without a doubt, Samantha and I were meant to be together, even if at first it seemed like a curse.
Samantha’s Story: My first memory of Travis was when I was about 4 or 5. We were all stuck inside. Travis (around 7 or 8) was sitting on my aunt’s couch watching TV. I was infatuated with him... he was a BOY and sooo cute! All I wanted was to talk to him, so I got closer, and closer. Travis kept moving the other way. “What was wrong with this boy?” I thought. “He hates me!” Now I know It wasn’t the right time for him to notice me. I’m glad he ignored me. If he hadn’t, maybe I wouldn’t be writing our story today.
Travis disappeared; he stuck his nose in books and focused on school. But I never forgot about him. Travis was away at Cal Poly and he came to town for his 19th birthday and Thanksgiving. Emily, my cohort, and I planned a fun day mini golfing and she asked Travis to drive us. I admit, it was a set up. But, I was finally going to see this boy I thought of so often. He knocked on the door and just like I remembered, he was perfect – everything I thought he could be! It was just our luck the mini golf course was closed. I thought, “Oh no! My chances are shot!” Then we decided to see a movie. I remember sitting through the movie smiling ear to ear. We talked on the phone every day for the next month.
Travis surprised me on my Sweet 16 birthday with a dozen pink roses and we finally made our relationship official. My dad was not so happy on this day—a 19-year-old boy showing up with roses. But it didn’t take long for my dad to figure out Travis was an amazing young man. My dad recently told me he prayed I’d find a man like Travis. Travis became an instant part of my family and that is where he will stay forever.
Travis and I got married in July 2014 and it was truly the most amazing day of my life. We celebrated 15 years of being together in December 2016. I’ve spent half my life with this man and I love him more every day.