Next stop, Paris
by: Bob Schoenberg, Sigrid and Dick Roberg had to elope to get married, not because their parents disapproved, but because some of their kids did.

It's Valentine's Day and the couple are wearing matching red sweat shirts for the day. Married almost a year now, it was a whirlwind courtship after meeting for the first time as next door neighbors. The widower and the single woman next door.

When they moved into condos next to each other, it was not too long before they were going to the same cocktail parties in King City and showing up at the same dances in the Town Hall.

Then, taking the initiative a year ago in December, Dick Roberg bought a pair of tickets to the big News Year's Eve dance. He had plans to invite his neighbor to the party. Make it a date.

Within a few months of the date at the dance, the couple were making plans to get married, a marriage that was not approved of, by some of the bridgroom's kids.

But all ended well for the pair as for Valentine's Day a year later - the red sweatshirts and a kiss? The couple are finally planning a honeymoon in Paris.

But it was the announcement of the marriage after the quick courtship that caused the trouble. Welcomed by most of the Dick's family, some of his kids didn't like the idea of it, as it was so close to the loss of their mother and Dick's wife. Moving to the condo was a result of the sale of their home after she died.

It all started shortly after moving in and making friends here. Dick's new neighbor, Sigrid, who had moved in just about the same time, accidentally locked herself out of her condo.

With all the neighbors contributing to solving the dilemma, it was Dick to the rescue climbing the borrowed ladder and letting himself in through her bedroom window.

When he fell inside it was on top of her bed, and that, said Sigrid 'we all thought of as an omen.' She then laughed at the thought of it.

After the rescue, they saw each other at dances and at parties around town.

It was Dick though who had made the first move committing to the relationship. He bought the two tickets and told mutual friends what he was up to, and it wasn't long before Sigrid knew it too.

'That's when I decided that we would be more than friends,' said Dick. Sigrid coaxed him on.

'Come on honey, what do you tell me?'

It came out easy and clear. 'I told her I was in love with her since the first hello,' he said.

By the end of the winter and spring was in the air, the pair had wedding plans. But some of his kids tried to put a halt to the plans and prevent the marriage.

This pair, though, knew that unlike a younger couple just starting out, time was not on their side.

They felt they had only one choice.

'We ran away,' said Sigrid. 'We eloped.'

Driving to Victoria, British Columbia the two, 'feeling like kids again,' said Sigrid, got a hotel room and then asked around for information on where they can get married.

One of the hotel staff said they would have to go to City Hall and get a license. The staff at City Hall said it was the wrong place, they had to go down the block to another building holding the Vital Statistics department.

At Vital Statistics they ran into more problems, they wouldn't take American money. So it was off to find a bank to exchange for Canadian money - 12 blocks away.

Back at the hotel with the license, the couple picked a wedding commissioner from a list of officials given to them in Vital Statistics. But then there was more trouble after the wedding commissioner arrived for the ceremony.

Here they were, in their hotel room with the wedding commissioner, license in hand and ready to go . . . but they needed only one more thing, well, make that two things. They needed two witnesses.

Finally then, they got married after rounding up a hotel maid and a janitor. The wedding was on.

However, getting back to King City they had to sell the condos and move into mutual quarters.

Sigrid said, 'there were seven women that came to look at the condo when I had it up for sale. One asked why I was selling it and moving and I told her that I had met the neighbor when I moved in and now we were married and moving into a townhouse. She wanted to buy the condo right away. She was thinking it must be a lucky condo.'

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