Plant­ing seeds of ro­mance

It took some ma­noeu­vring to get the re­la­tion­ship started, but then op­por­tu­nity blos­somed

Grand Magazine - - COUPLES - By Carol Jankowski

AS A MAN for whom ed­u­ca­tional seminars and chat­ting with strangers is a big part of his job, Bob Wild­fong was un­ex­pect­edly tongue-tied when asked to tell a new vol­un­teer about his work in con­serv­ing Canadian her­itage veg­etable seeds.

“I could hardly talk to her, and I had no idea what was wrong with my mouth,” Wild­fong says now, re­count­ing his un­com­fort­able in­tro­duc­tion to Sue Wahl back in 1997.

And Wahl, a re­cent grad­u­ate in oc­cu­pa­tional ther­apy at the time, re­mem­bers try­ing to fig­ure out what his speech prob­lem might be. A phys­i­cal or cog­ni­tive is­sue?

Was it that he was daz­zled by an in­stant at­trac­tion to Wahl? “An in­stant some­thing” is all Wild­fong can say af­ter all th­ese years.

For­tu­nately, that same evening a group de­cided to go out for a beer. With the pres­sure off, Wild­fong or­dered a good, lo­cally crafted beer and Wahl no­ticed, think­ing to her­self “maybe I’ll keep an eye on this one.”

It was a ten­ta­tive start to a re­la­tion­ship, and the next step wasn’t much eas­ier. Wild­fong and Wahl each had a car, but she lived in her par­ents’ ru­ral Puslinch home and worked near Toronto; he was based in Water­loo and didn’t have con­tact in­for­ma­tion for her. >>

Bob Wild­fong and Sue Wahl visit the church at Doon Her­itage Vil­lage where they were mar­ried in 1999. Well, not ex­actly mar­ried. Their 1914-style wed­ding (shown up­per left) was de­signed to show­case the his­toric church. Later that same day they were...

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