Our story – 25 years in the making

Mrs. Bayshore's 1980 - 1981 First Grade class at Booker T. Washington

Our story:

Veronica and Scott first met in 1980 as elementary students at Booker T. Washington in Champaign, Illinois.

While Veronica quickly became famous at Booker T for being the only 8-year-old in art class to draw, color, and paint better than every student at the school, most of the teachers and the entire administrative staff, Scott had trouble coloring inside the lines.

At recess Veronica would play quietly with the rest of the civilized kids, while Scott – the loudest and most hyperactive voice on the playground – ran himself unconscious while trying to squeeze every precious moment out of the daily outdoor playtime as possible.

After graduating from Booker T, the two moved on to Columbia Middle School for 6th-8th grade. However, due to the upwardly mobile nature of the Smith family, 6th grade would prove to be the very last time Veronica and Scott would ever see each other again (or would it?)

At the end of 6th grade, Ronald, Lupe, Ron P. and Veronica packed up their belongings and headed down East…5 miles actually…to neighboring Urbana. Veronica transferred out of Columbia to Urbana Middle School and, while the two towns were separated by one road with about 5 stop lights, to two kids fresh off training wheels it was the same distance from Pluto to Mars.

And so, for the next 20 years of their lives, Veronica and Scott existed in blissful ignorance to the fact that their one true soulmate was only a 5 minute car ride down Kirby Ave.

Flash-forward to 2004.

Marc Nasca, Scott’s oldest childhood friend and Veronica’s high school buddy from Urbana, visited Chicago from Reno where he was living. Marc organized a small dinner party for childhood friends at the all-you-can-eat downtown Chicago steak house, Fogo De Chao. Both Scott and Veronica were separately invited. (The story behind how narrowly Scott came to entirely missing the dinner isn’t important, but trust us when we say it’s an absolute miracle he made it to the restaurant at all…)

However, an even bigger miracle for Scott came about 45 minutes into the dinner.

Sitting silently at the end of the table all night, staring at heaping piles of meat and wondering how he was going to finish it all and if he was ever going to talk to any of the strangers at the party, Scott suddenly looked up to see an inky-haired green-eyed woman with a dazzling smile stroll in (fashionably) late to the party. She seated herself at the only empty chair at the table…the one across from Scott.

The conversation went like exactly this (no kidding, this is verbatim):

Veronica: “Hi there, I think I know you… Scott Levin?”

Scott: “Oh…uh…OH MAN, you’re Veronica Smith!!”

And in an instant, 20 years of separation evaporated into vapor, and Scott and Veronica spent the rest of the dinner catching up on years past, then Salsa dancing afterward, then saying goodbye with the promise to stay in touch.

Six years later, after Veronica spent a year in Mexico and Scott had moved back to Champaign to fix up his childhood home, the two made the decision to move to Anchorage Alaska in the pursuit of fun adventure at least for a couple of years.

Three years after rolling into the Last Frontier to live together for the first time ever, in a town they’d never been to – and knew nobody in – Scott proposed to Veronica. She accepted, and on July 3rd they’ll get married and prepare to embark on a life together that all began in the first grade.

Our first taste of celebrity, and it happened together.

7 Responses to Our story – 25 years in the making

  1. Nancy L Schemanski says:

    Wow–this is so interesting! And I never heard the story, so it was fun to read it!

  2. Charito Calvachi-Mateyko says:

    Dear Verito and Scott:

    What a lovely story!

    For me, and because I didn’t know this story, this brings more meaning to your wedding and the love you have for each other.

    We are looking forward to pour our blessings in that sacred moment of your lives!

    Aunt Charito

  3. Annahita Ghaboussi says:

    I love it! I knew you were both from Champaign-Urbana…but not that you went to 1st grade together, what a great story!

  4. Carol Meyer-Niedzwiecki says:

    This is like one of the coolest ultimately romantic stories I’ve read. I’ll have to get more details on the “after the first (kinda) date” when I see you both…………..soon. Looking forward to a blast of a wedding. It’s looking beautiful down the street here* It’ll be something really special — just like you both* Carol

  5. Thomas Wardhaugh says:

    An adorable story for an adorable couple. Yes Scottie you included.

  6. Donna says:

    LOVED reading your story! ^_^ Soo cute!

  7. Courtney Wilson Severino says:

    Hey Vero, I think it is actually you! And what an amazing (but very you) story. While I now feel like a complete stalker, I can’t pass up this opportunity to say Congratulations! Oddly, I have been thinking of England days lately & wondered what you were up to. Please be in touch if you can. Hugs, Court

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