How We Met

    It was a rainy day in March - March 14, 1999. The Orlando Sentinel (our home away from home) was having its annual employee appreciation event. If it had been the typical Sentinel event - departments having dinners on separate evenings - I would not be writing this now. Everyone and their families were invited to the Orlando Science Center for the day.

    So there I was, standing in the middle of a crowd on the second floor of this five-story building oozing with science and there is not a friend in sight. I have lots of friends at the Sentinel and not one of them is to be found. I've wandered around for about 30 minutes trying to find them with no luck. I was beginning to worry that this day was gonna be a complete bust.

    Suddenly the crowds part and who do I see? Young Matt Steinhoff standing at the giant tree in the middle of the building. I think to myself, "Aha! Someone I know!"

    Then I start having second thoughts. I don't *really* know him. I've seen him in meetings, we talk work sometimes but we're not really friends. And what would I say to him? Then I notice this yellow piece of paper in his hand. It's an exact copy of the piece of paper I am nervously wadding up and then un-wadding.

    It's the science quiz that everyone was handed when they first arrived. The answers to the quiz could be found by going to each of the exhibits. I consider the situation. If I don't walk up to Matt, I'm gonna end up wandering around this cavernous building all by myself and have a horrible time. If I do walk up to Matt, I'll at least having something to talk about. Right? Right! What was there to lose?

    Nothing but my heart, apparently.

    I walk up to Matt and strike up a conversation. First, we talk about the survey and I discover that this guy is smart! Then we talk about the baby alligators that are having sex in front of us and I discover that this guy is funny! Then we go to the IMAX movie and I warn him that I might throw up on him and I discover that this guy ain't scared of nothing. It wasn't too long after that that I discovered this guy is perfect and I'm gonna spend the rest of my life with this wonderful, smart, funny, and brave man.