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Thursday, February 19, 2015

'Don't Say A Word' - Las Vegas Valley Couple


Love is in the air. It’s always been in the air for Sun City Summerlin couple Andy and Lee Lawson, ever since the day they met as high school seniors in Arizona.

Andy and Lee attended the same high school in Tucson, but it was so large — 5,600 students — that they didn’t meet until their final year when both were in the senior class show. They started talking during rehearsals, and a spark was instantly struck. At one point, Lee went outside and hopped up on a table. That’s when Andy strode straight up to her and kissed her. It wasn’t a quick little peck.

“It was really special, like, ‘wow,’ ” Lee said. “I never forgot that kiss.”

They wanted to date, but Lee’s father was strict and said only a Jewish boy would do.

Andy was not Jewish.

After graduation, Lee went to Rochester, N.Y., to visit family. She found a job, and Andy followed, hoping to date her. But Lee’s family’s influence was strong. She said she couldn’t date him, so they went their separate ways.

She met a nice Jewish man, married and raised a family. But those moments with Andy still lingered in her mind. Years later, she attended her 20-year high school reunion.

“I (saw) Andy for about 45 seconds,” Lee said. “He started to walk toward me, and he said, ‘Just tell me …’ and his wife walked in the room.”

His wife’s strong rebuke kept Andy from finishing what he wanted to say.

After 20 years, Lee and her husband divorced. She moved back to Tucson and, finding Andy unavailable, married for a second time. Her second husband died 14 years later. Lee had another relationship, but her significant other developed lung cancer and died within four months of being diagnosed.

“I was taking care of him, and I picked up the paper one day, and I read that Andy’s wife had passed away,” Lee said.

It was a turning point. It was a time when both were unattached and free to pursue what might have been. Realizing the parallels in their lives, Lee felt strong enough after eight months of being single again to call Andy.

“He said to me, ‘When are we going to get together? It’s our turn now,’ ” Lee said. “We were both a nervous wreck.”

Two days before their date night, Lee got her hair colored and came home to find red roses waiting for her. The card read, “Can’t eat. Can’t sleep. Can’t wait to see you. Love, Andy.”

Then she got a call.

It was Andy. He had hurried back to town a day early.

“I said, ‘I can’t wait till tomorrow night. What are you doing tonight?’ ” he said.

He arrived promptly at 6:30 p.m., and when Lee opened the door, he put his finger to his lips.

“He said, ‘Don’t say a word, just kiss me,’ ” she said.

“I knew that (would give me) the answer, that I would know, that we both would know, if there was a connection,” Andy said.

They talked and kissed and laughed almost the entire night and never made it to dinner. Both said it was as if the intervening years had never happened.

Their wedding rings are inscribed with “It’s Our Turn Now.” Their personalized license plate reads: DSAWJKM.

It stands for: Don’t Say A Word Just Kiss Me.

— Jan Hogan, Summerlin Area View staff writer

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