Planting seeds of romance
It took some manoeuvring to get the relationship started, but then opportunity blossomed
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 married for real.