Frank Gasparovic was a star football and basketball player at Slidell, Louisiana, High School and Kim was on the dance team that performed at halftime. They liked each other, but were always going out with other people. After their 1977 graduation, they went their separate ways.
Frank went to college in Mississippi and wound up in the California Bay Area. Kim stayed in Louisiana. Both married others and started families.
Then came their 30th high school reunion. On the first night of the three-day event, Kim was at the cocktail party at a classmate’s home. “Frank came around a corner,” she says. “I could see fireworks.”
Both were married. But by the time of their 30th reunion, both marriages were coming to an end. The two talked at the cocktail party, Kim was smitten and thought about Frank all weekend.
She next saw him at the Sunday picnic. They chatted until she had to leave. After giving each other goodbye hugs, Kim asked for a kiss, and Frank happily complied.
Once again, Kim thought they would go their separate ways. But a week later, Frank emailed to say hello. That sparked more emails, then phone calls and finally a date when Frank traveled to the South for a weekend.
They continued their long-distance dating, stealing weekends together. Finally, Kim came to stay with Frank at his home in Walnut Creek, California, for a month. Kim put in for retirement and was California-bound.
Over the next five years, they happily settled into life together. They talked about getting married at some point.
Then, during a vacation in Kauai, Hawaii, Frank rushed Kim out to the beach at sunset and knelt in the sand and asked for her hand in marriage. The wedding was on the beach the next night. They’ve been on a honeymoon since.
“We’re both very sentimental. We have the same friends, love the same music, are crazy about football,” she says. “There’s that connection, of going through those formative years of high school together.”
From a story by Martha Ross, in the Contra Costa Times, Contra Costa, California, and
San Jose Mercury News, San Jose, California.