THE THOM AND DENNIS STORY
It was 6:04 PM Eastern Standard Time on Friday, January 4, 1991 when Dennis and Thom met for the first time. Earlier that week Thom started the position of Controller for the newly built Radisson Suites Hotel in Boca Raton, Florida. Dennis, who two years prior had been transferred to Boca Raton from Poughkeepsie, New York, was a Project Manager at IBM.
While January 4, 1991 was a beautiful sunny day in south Florida it was not as nice in Dayton, Ohio where a friend of Thom’s was flying back to Florida from after visiting her family for the holidays. Thom was going to pick her up at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport after work but due to inclement weather her flight was delayed for two hours. Thom, who lived in Hollywood, Florida, decided to stop for a drink rather then drive all the way home and then back up to the airport. Dennis, who always enjoyed going out for drinks on Fridays after work with his IBM buddies, opted to go out alone this Friday to visit a newly opened bar, “Choices”, in Boca Raton. Thom, hearing and seeing the advertisements for the newly opened “Choices” decided he too would stop there for a glass of wine to kill the time.
As fate would have it, as Thom walked into “Choices” the bar was empty with the exception of one man sipping his screwdriver…. and as Dennis recalls, “Of the other eighty empty stools at the bar he sat right down next to me ….. and ignored me”. When the bartender took Thom’s order, Thom asked for a glass of white wine. The bartender inquired if a California Chablis would be okay. Thom nodded in agreement with that and at that very moment, 6:04 PM, which Thom noted on the clock behind the bar, Dennis broke the ice and spoke to Thom. “Are you from California?,” Dennis asked, thinking since Thom had ordered the California wine that he might be, and as they say, the rest is history.
Fast forward 20 years …… January 4th, 2011. Thom and Dennis were winding up a seventeen day Christmas/New Year’s cruise from Fort Lauderdale to Los Angeles through the Panama Canal on the Seabourn Sojourn in celebration of their twentieth anniversary. On January 4th they were in the port of San Diego and spent the day on Coronado Island at the Del Coronado Hotel, a favorite of theirs. They were sipping pina-coladas on the deck of the hotel overlooking the Pacific Ocean when, at 3:04 PM, Pacific Standard Time (6:04 PM Eastern Standard Time), Dennis, having heard that Illinois was adopting Civil Unions in June 2011, dropped down on one knee and proposed to Thom at the precise time they first spoke. Needless to say, Thom said “YES”! and immediately plans began for our Civil Union.
These pictures capture the happiness of that day, the day that was was truly the happiest day of both of our lives. We thank you for sharing in our joy!