Tonya Phillips recalls wedding proposal made 10 years ago Friday in Lawrence
Editor’s note: Tonya Phillips submitted this story for Valentine’s Day for the Matters of the Heart section. Shawn Phillips is Tonganoxie High School’s boys basketball coach. Shawn proposed to Tonya 10 years ago: Feb. 13, 1999.
The day before Valentine’s Day, we sat at a candlelit table in the basement of Paisano’s. The waitress came to our table and told Shawn he had a phone call, leaving me to sit there alone.
Sitting there alone amongst several empty tables, I was soon given a single rose and a piece of paper by the waitress. Confused, I read the note, which appeared to be the beginning lines of a poem about how Shawn and I had met!
Next, Charles VanMiddlesworth entered carrying a saxophone and he brought me another rose and a slip of paper revealing the next part of the poem. He began to play romantic music while everyone looked on in interest. Several more roses and slips of paper were brought to me one at a time by important people in our lives, including Jeremy Snapp (Shawn’s roommate), Karla Henke and Paty Cutting (my best friends from high school), Murrel and Lucille Phillips (Shawn’s grandparents), and Ron and Pam Phillips (Shawn’s parents).
Finally, Shawn strolled in wearing a suit and tie and holding a large bunch of roses! He read the final part of the poem, which ended with, “Will you marry me?” Of course I said, “Yes!” and we embraced while everyone around us cheered and clapped! The Paisano’s staff pulled together all the empty tables surrounding us, and our family and friends joined us for a memorable dinner!