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Lives Connected by a Bridge
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Saturday, March 15, 2014 5:00 AM
Mark Kenney proposed marriage to Rebecca Boldery a few weeks ago on the Madison-Milton bridge. Kenney, an ironworker by trade, met Boldery while working at the IKE plant in Madison several years ago. After starting work on the bridge, he and Boldery renewed their friendship. (Staff photo by Steve Dickersonfirstname.lastname@example.org)
He dropped to a knee on the bridge he helped build ... and she said ‘Yes’ to his proposal.
Mark Kenney helped build the Madison-Milton bridge, and he made a life-changing decision on it as well.
Three weeks ago, Kenney proposed to his girlfriend, Rebecca Boldery, on the bridge that helped bring them together.
For more than 20 years, Kenney has built bridges and skyscrapers. The Louisville native is a member of the Ironworkers Local 70.
He met his bride-to-be in 2001 while working on the Indiana-Kentucky Electric Corp. power plant project.
The two became friends, but their age difference - at that time - felt like a bigger obstacle than it does now.
"I was only 21 at the time," Boldery said.
Kenney was in his 30s and was just coming out of a divorce.
"I always heard she wanted to date me," Kenney said.
"You too," Boldery fired back.
In 2006, Kenney moved back to Louisville, a move he regretted almost instantly.
"I loved this town, but I got jobs back home," he said.
So when the opportunity to work on the bridge presented itself, he jumped at the chance.
"I was kind of excited about that. To be able to see my old friends," he said. "I just love this place."
Soon after he returned to work in Madison, Kenney was walking down Mulberry Street when Boldery saw him from her porch.
She yelled to him as he walked by.
"We started talking that day and exchanged phone numbers. We've pretty much been dating ever since," Kenney said.
That was nearly two years ago.
Kenney worked on the bridge as a foreman and was in charge of putting the largest span of the new bridge - a 4.2 million pound piece - into place.
"That was a 19-hour day from the time we pulled it off the shore," he said
With his work on the bridge complete, Kenney took a job in Harrodsburg, Ky. It was there that he saw a little jewelry store and said an idea just came to him one day.
He bought an engagement ring and called his mother to tell her the good news. He had bought the ring on his mother's birthday, Feb. 26.
He told her that the plan was to wait to propose to Boldery on the bridge, but that he wanted to wait until the weather turned warmer.
"But that ring was burning a hole in my pocket," Kenney said. "As soon as I came home from work I asked if she wanted to take a trip to Madison."
As they pulled up on the bridge around 5 p.m., Kenney told Boldery that he wanted to show her where workers planned to hook into to slide the bridge into place.
"She gets out of the car, and I get her back to where we're going and I drop to one knee and I pull the ring out of my sock," Kenney said.
"I was freaking out. I didn't know what to say," Boldery said.
She said yes.
They plan to get married on May 24 in the gazebo on Vaughn Drive.
Kenney said he also hopes to retire to Madison where he can buy one of the town's historic homes to fix up with his wife.
A magnificent story. It can't get any better than this. Absolutely!
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3/18/2014 5:41:00 AM
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