KARE 11 weekend anchor Rena Sarigianopoulos faintly wondered why her companion of two years, Scott, was so well dressed for Friday’s excursion.
She asked no questions and put on nice boots instead of the “scumbag” snow boots she had planned to wear.
Smart move, because the medical device salesman was about to pop the question before a crowd.
“We were just going to neighbors and dropping off a birthday present and he said, Well, they are busy with the kids until 6:30 so let’s run up to Terzo and have a glass of wine and grab something to eat. I called ahead and had Kyle save us a seat,” Sarigianopoulos told me Tuesday. “I’m like, ‘Who’s Kyle?’ ” That’s manager/server Kyle O’Hara.
“We go into the restaurant and sit in the seat right in the window. He doesn’t order any food and we have a glass of wine. I don’t drink a lot, so after the second glass of wine I say, ‘I’m going to need to eat.’ And Kyle comes over from the bar and says, Someone mispoured this champagne and we didn’t want it to go to waste, so we thought you could have it.”
This is a THIRD glass of wine, if you’re keeping count.
“I never drank it, obviously,” said Sarigianopoulos. “Scott excused himself to go to the restroom. Then our neighbors — who we were going to visit, whose adorable little girl is one of my favorite people in the whole world — jumped in front of the window. She had a sign that said, HI PRETTY GIRL. She starts peeling away her little signs and they say things like, I’LL BET WHEN YOU WOKE UP THIS MORNING, YOU DIDN’T REALIZE HOW SPECIAL TODAY WOULD BE. Then my best friend Anna was standing there and she had signs that were saying things like, SO GLAD THAT WE FOUND EACH OTHER. I WOULDN’T BE HALF THE PERSON I AM TODAY WITHOUT YOU. Then my mom, Beverly, and her husband, Jerry, and Scott’s mom, Peggy, who flew up from Florida [Scott’s dad, Tom, couldn’t fly in and Rena’s dad, Gus, was there via FaceTime], and then Blake [McCoy] my co-anchor, and Bryan Piatt from the morning show. Sven [Sundgaard] couldn’t make it back but his boyfriend Robert was there. Scott’s best friend from high school, Bart. Nate Anderson, a photographer at KARE 11 and his wife, Beth. There were 15 to 20 other friends there and Belinda [Jensen, KARE 11 meteorologist]. And the very last sign said, NOW TURN AROUND and I turned around and he was on one knee. It was pretty cute.”
In retrospect, Sarigianopoulos should have suspected something. “He had dressed up nice. There were a couple of things that seemed strange but he didn’t seem nervous.”
She expects to marry in 2015 but as for baby plans, Sarigianopoulos said they’ll leave that to fate because “I’m no spring chicken.”
Sarigianopoulos declined my trip down Frog Lane. “Let’s just say it took me a long time to find this guy and he is the right one,” she said. “He’s this incredible, lovely, sensitive human being. I could not be more blessed. He’s as beautiful inside and he is outside.”
Don’t know about Scott’s insides but the first time I saw his exterior at a party, I started asking who he was. I told Rena at the time how fetching her date was.
“Once you gave me the seal of approval,” Sarigianopoulos joked, “I knew I should keep dating him.”
Magers’ happy feet
Former KARE 11 anchor Paul Magers has a happy dance and there’s video. He danced? off the LA set of CBS2 with moves that resemble stomping on puddles that are not close together. Never saw him move so fast.
A blues man’s regret
Multi-instrumentalist-blues artist Guy Davis can talk about the song he has kinda-sorta written about his late mom, the inestimable Ruby Dee, during shows Saturday at the Dakota. He won’t be able to share thoughts on the movie “Selma.”
The son of Dee and the late Ossie Davis, actors and civil rights activists, is performing two shows as part of the “American Roots Revue” produced by Larry Long, the Twin Cities-based singer, songwriter and activist.
About “I Wish I Hadn’t Stayed Away So Long,” Davis said Tuesday, “Let’s just say the title of this song, which was the refrain, also came from talking to a friend of mine, Pete Seeger. I got to be at his bedside before he died [in January 2014]. This friend of mine told me that Pete told him he wished he had been home more often. This was after [Seeger’s] own wife, Toshi, died [in 2013]. I took that statement and morphed it into the refrain for the song. I was there, along with the rest of my family, when my mom died [June 11]. But there were so many times I was on the road, when I got word she was not faring well, that I could not get home.”
This song is not currently on the playlist for the Dakota.
Davis said he has not yet seen “Selma” because “you’ve got to understand, I’m on and off the road. I have been writing songs incessantly since Christmas. I feel like I need to do the things I’m doing. I’m going to go see David Oyelowo in his role. I remember when Selma was happening and my folks couldn’t get down to the march, [they] participated with us as kids in a sympathy march in New York. So feelings around Selma, the several marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, are still real.”
C.J. can be reached at email@example.com and seen on FOX 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.