For Valentines Day, I thought I would write about when Willie and I met each other. I also posted the song he wrote and played when he proposed.

Part 1: The Neil Young Benefit Concert, April 1999

My friend Cary and I started The Neil Young Benefit Concerts, a series of house concerts in Provo to raise money for Cary and I to see Neil in concert. We had three concerts and only charged for the 1st, people weren't that into the cause. There was a line up of local musicians and then an open mic.
At the second concert one of my mission companions, Jessica, brought a guy she worked with named Willie. I was wearing jeans and a white t-shirt and most likely Simple clogs or flip flops. I was opening the concert with a few songs and asked if there was someone in the audience that wanted to sing backup with me, I had joked with a friend about it before the concert. Willie jumped up as soon as I said it and came up to the front. I played "Don't Think Twice it's Alright" by Bob Dylan. Willie sang back up and played harmonica. It was a great addition to my song and made it seem like I had more talent that I did.
Willie played during the open mic. I was sitting next to my on and off again boyfriend on the couch, listening, realizing that we had a real musician in the house. Willie was wearing black glasses and had so much energy and a lot of blond hair. He jammed, he was the best musician that played all night. He struck me as a real college boy. Jessica introduced us after the concert. He was handsome, friendly and confident. I'm sure we flirted a bit. I assumed Jessica was interested in Willie and didn't give much thought to seeing him again.
Part 2: The Corner of Center Street and University Avenue, August 1999

I was living in Midway with my mom for the summer. I was in Provo for a poetry workshop group and driving home when I saw a group of guys playing music outside Los Hermanos. I slowed down and recognized Willie. I parked and went to listen, find out if he was with Jessica and if not, flirt.

I sat down on the sidewalk and there were a few other people listening. As soon as they finished their song Willie came and sat down by me. He remembered my name and I remembered his, this was a great sign. We talked a bit and I realized he only saw Jessica at work, so they weren't dating. When he heard that I was in Provo for a poetry group he mentioned that he wrote poetry and would possibly be interested in joining the group. I wasn't bold enough to tell him to call me, but I gave him a piece of paper with my number on it to give Jessica. I also gave him the address of the poetry group (see image of said paper). I thought surely he had enough information to get a hold of me if he wanted to get together.

Willie says he considered calling, but didn't have the guts. Now that I think of it, it wouldn't be his style. He was too busy staying up late jamming, studying, reading for pleasure, hiking, being passionate about the issues, etc.--all things that I like about him. He wasn't that into dating. We started seeing each other around school after this. He would sometimes touch my hand when he saw me in the hall or lean into me on the couch at poetry group. It wasn't long until he asked me out and well, we were married about a year later.

Part 3: The Engagement Song, June 2000

Willie proposed to me in one of my favorite meadows in South Fork canyon. He wrote me this song. I remember lying in the tall meadow grass in each other's arms, newly engaged and totally happy.

Here's a link to the song on the 17th St. Band's myspace page (under construction). You can also find a few rough recordings of some of the band's songs.

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