City of Tonawanda Mayor Rick Davis has a marriage proposal story that might be hard to top.
Davis was one of a couple dozen mayors from around the country invited to Washington, D.C., on Monday for their cities’ work on reducing homelessness among veterans. He brought as his guest his girlfriend, Megan Morrow, to the event at the White House.
He also brought a ring.
During a break they made their way over to the Red Room, one of three state parlors on the State Floor, where Davis asked a uniformed Marine to take a photo of the couple next to a display of orchids. Morrow went to place her shawl and purse on a table and when she turned around Davis was on one knee with the ring.
“She said, ‘What are you doing?’ Then it hit her,” he said. “She started to wobble and I was afraid she was going to faint so I had to stand up and steady her.”
Davis, a 9-year veteran of the Air Force, popped the question and Morrow, also a Tonawanda resident who works in advertising at The Buffalo News, gave him an "enthusiastic" yes, he said.
"I just was almost speechless," Morrow said. "I kept repeating myself, 'What are you doing?' I said, 'You're doing this here?' I couldn't believe, of all places, he'd done it there. I was just floored."
The proposal was "intimate," she said, with no one else around besides the couple and the Marine taking photos with Davis' phone.
The couple first met when Morrow brought her Cub Scout pack to Tonawanda City Hall for a tour led by Davis. They saw each other about a year later at a city-wide cleanup event and started dating in August 2015.
Prior to Monday, Davis had sent an email to the White House’s social staff asking for permission to propose at one of the world’s most famous residences. “Much to my surprise, they replied back and said, ‘Absolutely you can propose to your girlfriend,’ ” he said.
Davis had hoped to involve First Lady Michelle Obama, who gave a speech at the conference, in his proposal scheme but her schedule changed.
The plan almost didn't go off without a hitch, however. His surprise was nearly spoiled Sunday morning by a TSA agent inspecting Davis’ jacket in the security line at the Buffalo airport.
“Ring?” asked the TSA agent, according to Davis. Luckily Morrow had moved down the line with their belongings and was just out of earshot.
“I had to shush him,” the mayor said.
Morrow saw Davis, who also works at the airport as a meteorologist, give the agent a thumbs up and say, "Have a good day." She asked if he knew the agent and Davis said he did.
"He later told me he had never met him before," Morrow said.
They went sightseeing Sunday and returned to Buffalo late Monday night after the conference. During his comments at Tuesday's Common Council meeting, Davis thanked the White House staff for allowing him to propose there, and received a round of applause from the audience in Council Chambers.
"Last thing I was expecting," Morrow said Thursday. "I couldn't stop crying, even at night at the airport when we went home. Every time I think of it, even this morning, I start crying. It's really amazing. He's a really amazing guy."