Image Of The Week—A The Lake Of The Ozarks Engagement

Image Of The Week—A The Lake Of The Ozarks Engagement

After staying with Brett Manire, the co-owner of Performance Boat Center in Osage Beach, Mo., and his daughter McKinley, for the dealership’s Fall Run Run five years ago, I didn’t expect to be invited back. You see, I raided his refrigerator that Friday night and kind of made a mess.

Full disclosure, there wasn’t much to raid. Still, having flown across the country that day to cover the event, I had skipped dinner and was determined eat something.

So I compressed some shredded cheddar cheese between two pieces of wheat bread and—sandwich in hand—wandered off to my room.

Performance Boat Center co-owner Brett Manire, his daughter, McKinley and Kaitlyn Kristal are a loving beautiful trio.

Problem was, I left of trail of shredded cheddar all the way to my bed.

Still, when I told Manire I was coming to cover last month’s Spring Fun Run, he insisted I stay with him again. This around, it was at a home he had since-purchased overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks and just four minutes from Performance Boat Center headquarters.

Anyone who could tolerate a midnight-cheddar-crumbing of his kitchen—and OK, living room—was my kind of host I. Plus, his girlfriend Kaitlin Kristal was living with him and I wanted to meet her. (She had good Yelp! reviews among his friends.) Three of us, plus McKinley on Sunday, hung out for the weekend and a fine time.

“Thanks for having me, buddy,” I wrote in a text message to Manire when I got home Monday. “And Kaitlyn is a freaking gem.”

“Yes, she is,” he responded. “I have a ring appointment Wednesday.”

Not knowing if he was serious, I began to respond. But then my phone rang and I got distracted and never followed up. Then in typical fashion, I completely forgot about it.

Flash forward to this Saturday, where Manire and I had a shared Saturday evening extended-family event to attend and—once again—he invited me to stay at his place. He even picked me up at Lee C. Fine Airport, a small airfield just 15 minutes from his place.

A generally high-energy pup, Sunny could not be bothered to wake up for this photo-op.

As soon as I walked into the house Kristal extended left arm. Her hand sparkled in light and eyes sparkled with them it, thanks to her new engagement ring.

I’m not saying I had anything to do with Manire’s proposal to Kristal. Fact is, I know I didn’t.

But I do know this: During both of my stays with the soon-to-be-married couple, I left no trails of cheddar crumbs.

And that has to count for something.

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