Page 25 - Valley Table - Summer 2022
P. 25

veLr After
IKE MANY GREAT LOVE stories, theirs began by chance. Michael
Walsh and a group of friends went out for
a bite to celebrate someone’s birthday, then decided to hit a nearby bar for a nightcap. At that point, Jessica Beige was invited to join by her college bestie, who’d known Michael since middle school. It soon came to light that the two had attended archrival Big Ten schools—she, the University of Michigan, and he, Ohio State. “I simply had to say something,” says Jess.
Some playful trash talk ensued, followed by flirting and dancing. Their chemistry was evident. Phone numbers were exchanged, and Michael asked Jess out on a date.
An 8-year courtship ensued, including grad school for Jess, a series of Manhattan apartment rentals, and a cross-country move. Their love was real.
 An Offer She Couldn’t Refuse
One chilly weekend in November 2019, Michael and Jess went on a planned getaway to Woodstock. Michael knew how much Jess loved the outdoors and hiking and planned to propose at the top of the mountain. “I was convinced it [the proposal] would happen on the High Line in New York City, where we had our first date,” says Jess. “Instead, he saw the weekend away as an opportunity to catch me off guard.”
Inspired by a beautiful vista in a remote area, Michael spur-of-the-moment decided not to wait until they reached the summit to pop the question. He got down on one knee and asked Jess to marry him. No suprise, her answer was a resounding yes.
Overjoyed, the pair decided to keep hiking, putting off their first round of calls and texts to family and friends. “We wanted to keep the moment just between the two of us for a little bit longer,” reflects Jess.
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