Tooti and Charlie Congdon

11/16/2008 12:00 AM

11/12/2008 7:55 PM

Tooti met Charlie at a pool party in 1990, when she was dating another guy.

The pool: Charlie noticed me playing pool volleyball in what he called my bumblebee bathing suit. It was yellow and black. I saw him a week later at a pub, where my date had taken me for dinner. But as soon as we arrived, the date left my side for the entire evening. This hurt my feelings.

The gentleman: I didn't have transportation, so I stayed at the table and pretended I was fine. Charlie could tell the guy wasn't really interested in me, and, being a gentleman, came over and asked if I wanted something to eat. I said OK. We talked about family, love and friendships. Charlie picked up the tab.

The pickup line: The next day I went to the pool, and there was Charlie. He said, “Hi, gorgeous. How are you today?” Of course I'm thinking we had a great chat last evening, but this seems like a pickup line. After several hours of chit-chat, Charlie asked me out to dinner. From the night of our first date, we spent as much time together as possible. We knew we had found our true soul mates.

The accident: In March 1991, we were involved in a serious car accident. I was sent via helicopter to a trauma center, where they worked to save my life. Charlie was less severely injured and promised my mom he would take care of me. After several months and numerous surgeries, I was able to return to work. One afternoon, Charlie asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes. The wedding was October 25, 1991.

Kathy Haight

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