Rod came over for a house party hosted by one of his hometown friends from high school [in Anniston] who was a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and Melissa’s roommate.
“They were at UAB and a lot of our [mutual] friends were into the party scene and I’d gone by her apartment a couple times for parties and to see my high school friend and cousins,” Rod said, “… One night I went by there and they were all gone, except for Melissa… I had a Toyota Celica back then and I asked her to go riding with me.
Melissa liked that Rod was a genuine guy and “what drew me to him was that he had a very good heart; he was someone who would always try to help people,” Melissa said.
The turn: A trip to visit Melissa’s family in Pensacola, FL in summer of 1992 showed Melissa that Rod was truly the one.
“Rod had never been to Pensacola and I had never taken anyone to meet my family, and the way he interacted with my family solidified that I had made the right choice and that he was the right one,” Melissa said.