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Wedding bells toll at Boyle household

Don Leighton

The date was June 9, 2013. It was early and the requested meeting I was to attend only meant one thing. I was mentally ready for what would be one of the biggest days of my life. I was early for the meeting. Always be early so you will intimidate those attending and show them you are ready for what awaits. Since this meeting was at my home, being early was easy.

There was a knock on the door; nobody got up to open it. I took the initiative, since I was the only one there and wanted to get this show on the road. In fact, upon reflection, I just sat there and yelled with authority, “Come in.”

I would show this interloper who was in charge.

This clandestine meeting set in motion a series of events that culminates Sept. 6.

At my age, time flies, and this landmark date will unbelievably be here in a couple of months.

I sat in my chair; he sat on the sofa. It was 6:30 a.m., and getting up this early better be for something important.

Sizing each other up like Ali and Frazier in “The Thrilla in Manilla” small talk ensued.

Small talk is fine but it takes a while to get to the point.

Big talk is to the point.

After sizing each other up, my opponent began with “I would like permission to marry your daughter.”

How’s that for big talk?

Remember, it was early, and I thought this young man wanted to borrow my lawn mower or needed answers from “the wise and aged one.”

Now it was time to get to brass tacks. We discussed at great length as to the “whys” of his request. I went to the basement to get my gun in case I needed it and then realized I didn’t own one. With no weapon, I had to use my incredibly sharp wit and intelligence.

I was at a great disadvantage.

Ben Johnson, beau of daughter Boyle since 2010, requested this private meeting so Mrs. Lance and Alexa would be in the dark until the big question popped in a pre-determined place at a pre-determined time. Oh, the subterfuge, the skullduggery, the deceit and the covertness of his plan made me approve of him even more than before.

This boy has promise.

My answer to his question was an emphatic yes.

The date was June 29, 2013. I don’t remember much about the day; it was 85 degrees, wind from the southwest gusting to 25 mph, relative humidity was about 55 percent.

Nemadji Golf Course was the selected venue, Hole No. 4 on the north nine. What a great plan with everyone in our foursome and gallery in the know except Mrs. Lance and Alexa. My son Chris and his girlfriend Michelle came up from Eden Prairie, Minn., to witness the big event. Ben’s mother, Cindy, held the all-important box. Ben, Alexa, Chris and I golfed with Mrs. Lance, Cindy and Michelle making up the gallery.

With Ben purposely hitting a ball into the woods, he and Alexa were searching out the white dimpled orb whilst I was placing the ring and box into the cup. Oh, no. The box was too big for the cup with the flag in. Woe was me; what to do.

With quick thought, Chris and I hit onto the green while Ben and Alexa struggled to catch up. As soon as they were on the green, Chris pulled the flag and the box fit nicely into the cup. As Alexa walked toward the cup after putting, she saw the box, knew what was happening and was ready to collapse as Ben grabbed the box, and on bended knee, asked “will you marry me?”

They hugged and she said “yes” to tears and cheers.

Needless to say, Mrs. Lance and I are thrilled with this union.

Congratulations to Ben and Alexa. We love you.

“Have Fun or Get Out of the Way” is a column written by Don Leighton and Mike Granlund. Opinions and/or story ideas can be emailed to