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It Happened One Night

Well all of the combinations were right, an eager young man, a beautiful lady, a moon-lit summer evening and a ring. This is the story of how Deborah Ann Turner became my lady and how I became her man. As you read this I hope that you are touched with the beauty of the event and at the same time that the story brings a smile to your lips, a chuckle to your throat, a pleasant memory to your thoughts, and a warm feel to your heart. If it doesn't, then to quote the Eagles, "Get Over It!"

Now on with the story. It all seems so long ago, and at the same time it was only yesterday. Midnight Friday night I return to LAX from a long two weeks on the road. My plane touches down right before midnight and it's almost 2 o'clock before I catch the shuttle and get my self home. A road warrior's private hell. Fly out on your weekend and return way after dark. Oh well, at least it's a living. The clock clicks over 2:00 AM as I pull the covers over my head and try to sleep for the big day ahead.

The alarm goes off at 6:00 AM and I'm up and headed to the shower. See Hazel, I can get up early when I want to! Today is a special day. August 9, 1997, the day that I'm going to get engaged! My baby arrives in town in about 12 hours and I have many miles to go before I'm ready. For those of you who don't know, let me take a moment to explain. My name is Bernie Hunt. I live in a suburb of Los Angeles California. The woman I love lives in Queens, New York. For those of you who are counting, that's about 2,500 miles away as the crow flies. I guess you can say that she's GUD (Geographically UnDesirable). I know what you are all thinking, but I love her and that's all that matters. She thinks she is coming to California for a little vacation. I have bigger plans -- I'm going to pop the question on her.

ring.jpg (45558 bytes)Anyway, I'm up and running early on a Saturday morning because I want this day to be extra special. She's my princess and she deserves the best. So after a shower and shave, I don some comfortable duds, mount up my trusty steed Rozinante and head south. My destination is Leo Hamel & Co. In my humble opinion simply the finest jewelers in the world. They also happen to be some damn fine human beings! My purpose is to pick up the ring. I know, many of you are saying, "Gee Bernie, Don't you think you could have planned ahead and gotten ring a day or two before?" Well unfortunately the UPS strike has taken its toll and overnight delivery has turned into a two and three day affair. The safest option appears for me to drive down personally and pick it up.

After an uneventful two and a half hour drive, I walk in the front door at Leo's to finally meet my new ring. Smiling, Lisa Hamel greets me and is almost giddy with delight. She leaves me in suspense for a few minutes while she cleans it and then finally unveils it to me. All I can say is Wow! A lot of blood sweat and tears went into this ring and if I might say so, it is the most beautiful ring I have ever seen. I understand that a few of you might disagree with me, but hey, it's my ring and I'm entitled to an opinion.

We box the baby up and I'm ready to roll. A pause for a brief moment here. All of the staff at Leo Hamel are great! If you are interested in the finest in diamonds at a price that is unbeatable, you have to talk to Lisa. If fine Swiss watches are your thing, then Barney is your man. Basically if you are interested in jewelry at the lowest prices with the highest quality of service, talk to any of the great people at Leo Hamel & Co. OK, enough with the plug, let's move on. "Hey Leo, I hope you are reading this and hurry up and find me my Patek Phillip!"

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So by now it's about noon and I'm headed back up to LA. I stop by Laguna Beach to check into the hotel and get a lay of the land. I want everything to be perfect. I'll pause for a moment for another quick plug. Yani at the Inn at Laguna was wonderful in helping me get a room. The hotel is spectacular and I really appreciate her pulling a rabbit out of the hat for me. If you are looking for a wonderful romantic getaway, definitely give her a call. All of the rooms face the ocean. As you can see from the pictures the view was incredible.

roses.jpg (60318 bytes)Well with the lodging details taken care of, it's time to get home and finalize the preparations. While I was in Laguna, I picked up some ocean salt water. Debbie is a very gifted lady and is very intuitive. Once I got home I cleansed the ring in salt water to remove any memory from it. I then charged it with my spirit so that Debbie could only feel my energy from it. If anyone is interested in more information on this process, please feel free to contact me directly.

Next thing I know it's after five o'clock and I need to get moving again. I throw my bags in the car and it's back on the road again. OK, OK, OK, I'm finally getting down to the main story. Those of you who know me know that sometimes I get a little off the track with some of these stories but I eventually get back to the point.

I meet Debbie at the gate as she steps off the plane. I kiss her passionately, tell her I love her and welcome her to the vacation of her dreams. As I hand her a bouquet of flowers I tell her that these are special flowers because she is a special person. In the bouquet there are a dozen red roses because I love her and there is one white rose because she's my best friend.

brdwalk.jpg (48498 bytes)We retrieve her luggage and load up the car for our trip south. Our timing is perfect. It takes about an hour to get from LAX to Laguna and during the drive we are able to see the sun set gently down over the Pacific Ocean. As we chat during the drive, my mouth is making small talk and my mind is running miles a minute. I hope I have remembered everything, I hope I have everything prepared. About halfway down to Laguna disaster strikes. It dawns on me that Debbie is wearing comfortable travel clothes. I had showered again and dressed up before I left for the airport. I knew tonight would be special but Debbie had no idea. Using my best people skills I said, "Gee honey, I don't know how to say this best, so I'll just throw it out. Would you please change clothes before dinner?" Well it got cold in the car real quick! She was wearing her favorite overalls and a tee shirt and was comfortable. It was like someone rang the bell for the fight to begin. "Why do I have to change clothes? Are you telling me what I can and can't wear?" "No, I just think it might be a good idea to dress up a little more before dinner?" "What's wrong with what I'm wearing? Why do I have to change?" I realized this was degenerating quickly so I pleaded, "Please trust me on this on!" Inside I'm starting to think, "Fine, get engaged looking like a farmer, I don't care!" Fortunately, I stuck with the "Trust me" line and she decided that OK, maybe I'll trust him. Later on she thanked me.rosegrdn.jpg (94848 bytes)

We got to the hotel and unloaded the car and checked out our room. The balcony from room overlooked the main beach, and the view was spectacular. The pictures don't even start to do it justice. We got changed and started out for dinner, or at least Debbie thought our objective was dinner.

As we started along the boardwalk headed to the restaurant, the view was incredible. The hotel and restaurant sit up on the bluff over looking the beach. Laguna is hilly country and the cliffs lead right up to the beach. The boardwalk is along the tops of the cliffs between the buildings and the edge of the cliffs. 

gazibo.jpg (52022 bytes)Along portions of the boardwalk are rose gardens. Roses are special to every girl, but they are extra special to Debbie. Debbie's father grew roses and Debbie picked up from him that special ability to make roses grow and bloom at their best. As we walked along, Debbie commented on how beautiful it was and how wonderful the rose gardens were on either side of the boardwalk. Little did she know that it was going to get even better.

spot.jpg (61623 bytes)My plan was to take her to a gazebo that overlooked the beach and the ocean and pop the question there. As fate would have it, it was not to be. When we arrived at the gazebo, there were a couple of street musicians playing classical guitar with a small crowd gathered around. I though briefly of taking advantage of the crowd and making it a big event. I erased that thought quickly and decided that I wanted it to be a private event. We walked along the boardwalk past the gazebo and I quickly selected an alternate location. You can see this in the picture marked by the red X. No, there is not a red X on the boardwalk. I digitally added it later for your reference.

view.jpg (41357 bytes)As we stopped at this now magical spot we looked up between the trees to see a wonderful first quarter moon rising above the ocean beautifully framed between the trees. My mind was racing, my body was shaking, and my heart said now is the time!  I held her close and began to speak, and I prayed that I would get through this without breaking down. I began with reminding Debbie of conversations that we've had in the past. I've never planned to be filthy rich in life. My priorities are different. I have been blessed with fabulous abundance and have been given everything that I've ever wanted or needed in life. With this understanding I told her that there are five promises that I make to her:


I will always provide for her, she will never want or need for anything
I will protect her and keep her safe.
I will stand by her always.
I will make her my number one priority in life
I will get up every morning and find a way to love her a little more than the day before.

With this said, I paused and asked, "Will you marry me?" She said yes and we kissed.

Up until this time, I've never outright asked her to marry me. We've talked about it many times and I've asked her what she would say if I asked her, but I had never asked. At this point in the evening she wasn't thinking that this was for real because I didn't seem to have a ring. It turns out that she had checked my pockets looking for the bulge of a ring box. Well I had outsmarted her and back before I picked her up I took the ring out of the box and placed it in the watch pocket of my pants. I had been carrying it around for a couple of hours at that point because I didn't want to risk getting to the spot and have forgotten the ring.

After a brief pause i the conversation I told her that I wanted to tell her a story. The story was about a time of olde when knights were bold and chivalry ruled the earth. When a knight rode off into battle, he wore the uniform of his king. At the same time, he wore a brief plume or banner of the colors of the lady to which his heart was pledged. Many people mistakenly believe that a knight's most valued possession was his sword. Well it wasn't. A knight's most valued possession is his honor, his family name. To signify his honor and his family name, the knight wore a ring with his family crest. This is the ring that he used to sign documents and to signal to others who he is. What many people also don't realize is that when a knight pledges his heart to his lady, he gives her a ring to wear to signal that she is his. Much like the way that the knight wears the colors of his lady.

ringhand.jpg (30974 bytes)When his lady is wearing his ring, it is a symbol to remind her that while her knight my not be there at that moment, he has pledged his life to love, protect and provide for her. It also is a symbol to remind others that this lady while most powerful in her own right, speaks for the power of two, in that there is a knight out there who will come to her every beck and call if she only speaks the word.

With this said, I asked Debbie "Will you wear my ring?" I placed the ring on her finger and the tears began to flow. Both mine and hers because she realized just exactly what was happening!

Well we stayed there a while longer and cherished this important moment. From there we strolled along the boardwalk and began the process of announcing to all that would listen that we are engaged to be married! A wonderful dinner was spent at Las Brises enjoying the future that we have together.

Debbie's mother was the first person that we called to tell. I had asked Mrs. Turner for her permission to marry her daughter a few weeks before but had not told her that tonight would be the night. There was a block party going on in her street and she rushed out to tell all of the great event.

jumper.jpg (68118 bytes)As the sun rose over Laguna that next Sunday morning the cold reality of what had transpired sank in. As you can see from the picture, the soon to be groom tried to throw himself off the balcony upon realizing what he had done. The future bride paused for a moment to think, debbie.jpg (30662 bytes)"Gee, has he signed the insurance papers yet?" And upon reflection, she decided that she needed me around for a little while longer and pulled me back from the precipice. Just kidding, we did have fun thinking about sharing this web page with all our friends and had to let a little of that humor come through.

The last picture is of the happy couple as they revisit that magic site the next morning and start their new life together.

The rest of the trip was special in its own way. We spent the next couple of days touring around Southern California. Our ultimate destination was the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite National Park. There we attended a five day seminar put on by the Masters including a Ropes Course and lecture by Wayne Dyer. This is a whole other adventure of its own.

couple.jpg (46081 bytes)I leave you with the closing thought that Debbie and I are beginning a whole new life together. We want to thank all of our friends for their love and support and I hope that this little story has reminded you of some special times in your life and that one special person that you love, no matter whether you have them in your life now or are waiting on them to enter your life.

God bless you all and we love you.


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Last modified: July 28, 2000