On June 10, while visiting Jana in Miami for her 20-year reunion, Mark convinced her to meet him in Atlanta (where they met) to celebrate during the long July 4th weekend. Mark arrived from Cincinnati, OH late the afternoon of June 30, 2005. Upon arrival, he met with the Director of Special Events at Atlanta’s Fernbank Museum to provide various items of note from their relationship. He also met with caterers and the camera crew to prepare for the proposal. On Friday, July 1, Mark picked up Jana for the Atlanta airport and whisked her to the place where they would stay during the memorable weekend. Unknown to Jana, Mark had also arranged for Jana’s parent’s to be in Atlanta. After a brief nap, Mark and Jana went to Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion restaurant in Buckhead for dinner.
During dinner, Mark convinced Jana to go to Atlantas Fernbank Museum for after dinner cocktails and a movie at Martinis @ IMAX. Mark selected this place because Jana had taken him there for a special evening out earlier in the relationship. Mark and Jana left for the Fernbank Museum. Because of an earlier storm and a tree in the road, traffic was backed up, then rerouted, making travel to the museum a real chore. After finding an alternative route, they arrived at the museum to find that the storm had knocked out the power.
Because of daylight savings time and a light-friendly environment at Fernbank, not all was lost. Upon arriving, Mark went to make sure everything was set up, notwithstanding lights and the camera crew (stuck in traffic). After drinks and light conversation with newfound friends, Mark checked to see if everything was in place for the surprise. Since the camera crew had not arrived, Mark found a camera crew that was onsite filming a pilot for Latin American Pay Television (LAPTV) and secured their services to capture the special moment. Once Mark found the display case containing their items, set up by the curator of the museum, he asked the husband of a woman in conversation with Jana to take a walk with him.
During their walk, they moved the display case from the unlit room into the lighted hallway. Upon returning, Mark asked Jana to join him for a walk around the museum to see some of the interesting displays. Jana followed him into the Star Gallery and World of Shells display areas. After coming out of the World of Shells display area, which was hard to see, because of the power outage, Mark and Jana turned toward the lighted hallway, which held the display case containing their items. As they walked, Jana noticed the display case in the hallway, paused and said Baby, look; that (ceramic) motorcycle in that case looks like the one that I made you when you worked at Harley-Davidson, Mark replied, lets see.
When Jana looked into the display case, which was setup as a chronology of their relationship by the curator, she looked back at Mark puzzled. At that time, with the cameras rolling, Mark dropped to one knee and said, With the blessings of James Franklin Rutherford and Joyce Ann Bradshaw Rutherford and on behalf of Albert Craig Hatcher and Lois Mae Isom, make me the happiest man alive and say that you will be my wife. Jana covered her mouth, hugged Mark and began to cry. After a brief pause, she said Yes and they embraced again. Mark and Jana left the museum and headed to his (college roommate) Dennis home to share the news.
On the way, Jana and Mark called family and friends to tell them of the news; frustrated Jana cried that she wanted her parents. Upon arriving at Dennis home and being redirected to the clubhouse in his subdivision, their friends greeted them. After realizing that this was a surprise party for their engagement, Jana fell to floor in tears of happiness (again), only to rise crying for her parents (again). At that point, James and Joyce Rutherford (Janas parents) and Albert Hatcher (Marks Dad) emerged from the back room, which brought Jana to tears once again.
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