How volunteers found later-in-life love at the South Plains Fair

Local News

LUBBOCK, Texas — A lot can be said in just one look, and in the case of husband-and-wife Lonnie and Tammy Kirk, a silent glance speaks volumes. Their love story begins at the South Plains Fair, exactly 13 years ago.

“It was just God lining things up … When we met, neither one of us were looking for anyone,” Lonnie Kirk said.

This year, the couple worked the fair together, like they’ve done every year for over a decade. But before they met, each had volunteered independently for years prior. Strangely enough, their paths never crossed until a set-up by some mutual friends at the fair while each was working, unbeknownst to the other, just 30 feet away.

“She was sitting right there [behind the counter at the fair’s restaurant], and she took my mug and gave me a refill … and that’s how it all started,” Lonnie Kirk said.

“He has the cutest dimples!” Tammy Kirk joked about their first meeting.

A glass of lemonade turned into love at first sight.

“We spent many late nights that first week getting to know one another and just talking,” Lonnie said.

“My [children] called me on my cellphone wanting to know where I was because I wasn’t home from the fair yet,” Tammy said.

Just five weeks later, they were married. They said their later-in-life match seemed meant to be.

He’s a pharmacist, she’s a nurse, and they both came with life experience. His wife had died, and she was divorced and about to move to Oklahoma. They were each other’s second act.

“I’m Cinderella, and he’s Prince Charming, and I waited a long time for Prince Charming to come along,” Tammy said.

Between them, they have nine children and 22 grandkids, with one more on the way.

Thirteen years later, they still look at each other like the first day, and they said they will keep coming back to the fair where it all started.

“As long as we can,” Lonnie said, laughing.

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