Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fountain Square Magic

Last night, something pretty special happened on Fountain Square: two of the nicest people you'd ever want to meet became engaged to be married, all while being watched by people they knew, and some bemused onlookers who were no doubt surprised by the mini-drama.

Both the groom-to-be (the GTB) and the bride-to-be (the BTB) are friends of mine. I'm leaving their names off the post, so they can tell their friends and colleagues who weren't lucky enough to be on the Square Saturday night in their own time and in their own way. I've known the BTB for several years. She's one of the nicest (yep, said it again!), most intelligent, hardest-working people I've ever known. I've not known the GTB for nearly as long. But along with the BTB's other friends, I was happy for her when she got involved with the GTB--finally, a man who is worthy of her.

About a week ago, the GTB sent out an email to the couple's friends, informing us of his intention to propose. He invited us to sneak into Rock Bottom Brewery ahead of time (with warnings to be on-time, lest his subterfuge be foiled). He put together a video montage of their life as a couple, which concluded with his proposal, that was played on the Jumbotron. The camera operator then, in real time ("live") , zoomed in on the couple, as their body language made clear that the BTB had happily accepted. (We had snuck out of Rock Bottom to the far eastern edge of the Square, where we were able to watch without the BTB seeing us.) Both the GTB's and the BTB's families were present, as well. Most of the women present teared up.

It was a really nice moment on Fountain Square, and hopefully was a little bit of fun even for those who were just enjoying their weekend and had no idea what was about to unfold. And the men in the gathering were nice enough not to beat the snot out of the GTB, who has now raised the bar way too high for the rest of us single guys. (How do you top that? Get a marching band to spell out a proposal at half-time of the OSU-Michigan game?)

This certainly can't be the first wedding proposal in the history of Fountain Square, but does anyone know: is this the first time the Jumbotron has been used for that purpose?

And it's another sign of how much a part of Cincinnati's life, culture, and community the "new" Fountain square has become.

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