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    A wedding date that's hard to forget

    A Clearwater city commissioner and new bride will have to keep their honeymoon short. He has a commission meeting on Thursday.

    [Special to the Times]
    Rebecca Carlson, 50 and Bill Jonson, 57, will marry on 02-02-02 with their adult children by their sides.

    By CHRISTINA HEADRICK, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published January 31, 2002

    CLEARWATER -- Commissioner Bill Jonson is known for his love of details and figures at City Hall, and on Saturday he will even tie the knot with numeric flair.

    Jonson will marry Rebecca Carlson, a hospital infection control manager, on 02/02/02.

    The couple got engaged at a Florida Orchestra soiree just over a year ago on 01/01/01.

    Jonson likes the catchy dates -- guaranteed to be easy to remember -- but the numerical simplicity was actually the idea of his wife-to-be.

    "I thought the dates had a nice to ring to them," said Carlson, who has spent the past few months getting ready for their wedding and their 300-guest dinner reception at Ruth Eckerd Hall afterward.

    The pair proves yet again that love can blossom at any age.

    Carlson, 50, has two sons and a daughter who are in college. She works for Morton Plant Mease Hospital and is divorced.

    Jonson, 57, also has an adult son and daughter, and is a retired accountant and project manager for Honeywell International. He is a widower.

    The pair met in 1998, when they began sitting next to each other in the choir at Heritage United Methodist Church. Carlson is an alto. Jonson is a tenor. The sparks didn't fly right away.

    "She proceeded to ignore me for about six months," Jonson said.

    For the record, Carlson says it was only four months that she ignored him. She assumed that he was married.

    Then at a Christmas party later that year, she learned he was a widower. They began chatting. He gave her a bag of throat lozenges for Christmas (a necessary item for singing in the choir). Eventually, they went to coffee.

    For their first date on March 6, 1999, they had dinner at First Watch, a restaurant in their Countryside neighborhood. Ever since, they have celebrated the sixth of every month as an anniversary.

    At their wedding, they have asked their church choir to sing the Lord's Prayer. Their children will stand at the altar with them as their attendants.

    But after Saturday's events, they'll have to keep their honeymoon short. Jonson has a commission meeting next Thursday. Carlson says she doesn't mind.

    "I'm proud of him," she said, "and I'm proud of becoming his wife."

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