Christopher Rosacker
crosacker@theunion.com

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December 25, 2013
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Man proposes to girlfriend in Grass Valley newspaper ad

Part of Emma Robards’ family’s Christmas tradition involves reading the newspaper. On Christmas Eve morning this year, her father, Chris Robards, casually showed his daughter a peculiar advertisement of page A3 of Tuesday’s edition of The Union that featured a picture of her boyfriend, John Alexander, holding a sign that read “Emma, Will you marry me?”

“It totally caught me off guard … I was shocked. I don’t even know what I said,” Robards said. “I was nervous and so was he. It was incredible. That is all I wanted for Christmas.”

“It went great,” said Alexander. “The whole family saw the ad in the paper, and they were at the house. I gave her the ring and popped the question. She said yes.”

Robards, 20, is from Grass Valley, where her family lives. Alexander, 30, from Ventura, said he saw her outside a Grass Valley store a couple years ago and struck up a conversation.

“We met up here, randomly walking through town one day after work,” he said. “I saw her and wound up talking to her.”

The couple now lives in Reno.

“That is all I wanted for Christmas,” Robards said of the proposal. “I’d like to think I’ve been waiting patiently.”

Alexander bought the ring a year ago, Robards said, noting she had been searching for where he hid it, but he had stashed it at her father’s home.

“It was important for me to get her dad and mom’s permission,” Alexander said. “They helped me put (the proposal plan) in motion.”

In addition to her parents, Chris Robards and Tami Kesel, Emma Robards’ siblings also helped facilitate the proposal, contacting The Union’s advertising department to get the photo printed.

“It was a big family thing,” Alexander said. “Her mom and her dad were all nervous about her seeing it or that somebody would text her.”

They weren’t the only ones who were anxious. Alexander was also worried.

“I hadn’t slept in like a week, I just wanted to ask her and get it over with,” Alexander said.

But the proposal was not spoiled and went according to plan.

“Everyone in the whole town knew about it before hand except me,” Robards joked.

The newly engaged couple garnered much attention through Alexander’s tactic with friends calling, texting and taking to social media to celebrate the occasion.

“I’m the happiest guy alive,” Alexander said.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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