The winners of the Vail Daily Tell Us Your Love Story contest |

The winners of the Vail Daily Tell Us Your Love Story contest

Caramie Schnell
Joe and Shirley White.
Special to the Daily |

Love isn’t always kind, it’s not always patient and it doesn’t always endure. But when it does, there’s nothing quite as beautiful. We believe in love, and we hope you do, too.

Cheers to the winners of our Tell Us Your Love Story contest. Happy Valentine’s Day!


This is a love story that has lasted for almost 48 years and is still going strong!

My husband and I were born on the same day in l941, only 165 miles apart, and we didn’t meet until we were 24 years of age. We both loved to dance and, as life would have it, we met at a dance hall in Withrow, Minnesota, back in l965. It was an instant fit,

He led and I followed. We seldom danced with anyone else after that night.

At the same dance hall, about six months later, he invited me to a Halloween dance, but we had a little spat and left early. Unknown to me, he had my engagement ring in his pocket and then, in the middle of the road, he said, “Do you want to marry me or not?”

I said “yes” with tears in my eyes. Not the most romantic proposal, but I had known from the first time he kissed me, he was the one I would always love.

We married in April l967 And then moved to Oklahoma so he could advance himself in the aviation field that he had been in when serving our country in the Air Force. However, plans tend to change, and we had the joy of expecting our first child. He did finish his studies, and we returned to Minnesota for 10 years. Next we moved to Texas for 17 years and now here in beautiful Colorado for the last 15 years. During those years, we were joined by two more children, so now there were three. Of course you know that he still led and I followed.

Our family is spread out now in Minnesota, Arizona, Texas, California and my love and I are still here in Colorado.

This Valentine’s Day, we will again renew our vows at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Eagle.

We have had good times and trials and illnesses but the blessings we receive every day far out number everything else. Would we marry again? Yes and yes!

Our favorite song — “Could I Have This Dance” (for the rest of my life) — says it all.

— Joe and Shirley White, Eagle residents and winners of dinner for two at Splendido at the Chateau in Beaver Creek.


She was a quiet, shy California girl and daughter of the assistant principal and he was a loud and tough Colorado boy, a frequent visitor to her father’s office. Somehow in the romantic halls of the late 1970s Battle Mountain High School, they fell in love. He was a year older than her and constantly worked at Piney River Ranch (the guest ranch just north of Vail that his parents founded). She played volleyball and made the honor roll every year. When she was a senior, they decided they absolutely knew they would spend the rest of their lives balancing one another. She graduated as Susan Ortiz in June and was Mrs. Roby Forsyth at the end of August. Bets were placed at the wedding on how long they would last.

Teenagers dream of being high school sweethearts, there are songs about that kind of love, and parents dread that kind of young commitment. But the extraordinary part of this high school sweetheart story isn’t that they fell in love at 16 and have been married for 33 years. The extraordinary part is that their love grew and changed as they grew and changed together. They raised my brother and I without ever using harsh words to one another in front of us. They managed to place their love for us and one another above everything else in the world. They grew and morphed from high school love to the kind of love that is enduring and life altering. They have set an example of love that doesn’t move mountains, but spreads softly and lightly into the hearts of the people around them. They have taken turns being a calming presence through loss, cancer treatments and day-to-day trials. Never once has their love for one another wavered.

This contest was posed as “tell us about your love story.” And I am doing just that; because this love story is not just theirs, it’s mine too. It’s my brother’s. And it will be our children’s, too. I aspire to build a love like my parents. One that trickles through generations and inspires others to cherish the love they are lucky enough to find.

— Submitted by Summer Forsyth in honor of her parents, Gypsum residents Susan and Roby Forsyth, winners of a one-night stay at the Westin Riverfront Resort in Avon.


one month after meeting each other, Katie and I moved to Australia together in search of a life-changing adventure. We had both been working 9-to-5 office jobs, feeling as if our lives were withering away, and we needed to experience other worlds. Friends and family took bets on how long we would last in a foreign country together. The max was two months. We made it 363 days, two days before our one-year working visas expired. From staying in over 40 cockroach ridden hostels, picking various fruits to earn gas money, avoiding everything that can kill you and living out of a van for three months, we spent every waking moment side by side, and I could not have done it with anyone else.

It was Valentine’s Day 2014 when I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this girl. We had been stuck in our van for the past three days (parked in a Flying Fox Sanctuary) due to a severe tropical storm. With only $12 to our name (due to being scammed by an employer), we could not afford wasting gas to move. But it was our first Valentine’s Day, so it needed to be special. Among the various things we learned while backpacking, following the employee at the grocery stores who had the reduced-to-clear sticker gun was essential. He would mark food that was expiring the next day down 50 to 80 percent. During the one-hour period where it stopped raining, we ran to the store and bought two dented cans of chili, a loaf of day-old bread, a smushed cupcake, a bottle of wine and paper (so we could make cards for each other) for under $6. We rushed back to the van just in time, right before another torrential downpour. We spent 15 minutes in opposite corners of our van (4 feet apart) to write Valentine’s cards for each other. We lit our citronella candle in the van (which is extremely toxic) and had our romantic candlelit dinner on top of our twin mattress. We spent the rest of the night playing Scrabble on our makeshift paper Scrabble board. It was the most unique and memorable Valentine’s Day I have ever had and I love Katie even more for putting up with that. We eventually got paid, immediately sold the van and went on a 10-day vineyard tour in Southeastern Australia to make up for the past three months of surviving in a van together.

— Micah Starkey and Katie Cassin, Vail residents and winner of two passes to the upcoming Vail Film Festival.


I was living in Glenwood Springs working with the orthopedic group and Andy was living here in Vail working with McMahan and Associates. We met on and decided our first date was going to be a mountain bike ride in Carbondale. It was planned for a Friday in June 2009. I was in the operating room in Basalt and was running two hours late. As soon as I was able, I called him, expecting him to be long gone and back in Vail. To my surprise, he was still hanging around Glenwood Springs. I rushed back home and met him for the first time in scrubs, a ponytail and no makeup. I thought I was out of my league for sure when I saw this tall, dark and handsome guy step out of his Jeep. We introduced ourselves and then headed up to Carbondale to ride.

I was new to this sport and only knew of one trail, which I know now is a downhill-only mountain bike trail. It was very steep on the uphill. One part of the ride, I started riding up a hill and fell backwards, through a cattle fence and into Cattle Creek, still clipped into my pedals. Andy rushed down to help me and pulled me out of the creek. Despite my massive leg bruise we continued our ride with me wet and smelling like cow manure. We ended the ride in the dark because of our late start. We headed into Carbondale for pizza and beer. It was then that I looked across the table from me and knew that I would marry him someday. After dinner, we were saying goodbyes when he told me that he would be out of cell service for a few days on a river trip. I was thinking to myself, sure .. this guy is running as far away as he can. But two days later, I got a call from Andy when he was at the Wolcott exit. He said…. “If I turn left, I will head to Vail but if I turn right I will end up in Glenwood; which direction should I turn?”

I said “turn right.” And now we are getting married, almost 6 years later!

— Lindsey Mockenhaupt and Andrew Larson, Avon residents and winner of a couple’s massage at Allegria Spa at the Park Hyatt in Beaver Creek.

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