Sparks fly in 1959, still remain today
August 9, 2017
The concrete bench that sits across from the student affairs office has been apart of Robinson since the school’s opening in 1959. But for married couple Bonnie and Kenneth Fuqua, the bench is much more than just a seat.
“This is the spot, this bench,” Bonnie said. “This is where he proposed 52 years ago.”
Bonnie and Ken were part of the first graduating class of Robinson, where they met and started dating. This past Tuesday, they drove over from their home in Lakeland to celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary at the spot where it all started.
“It’s wonderful to be home again.” Ken said.
They met at the innaugrual Robinson verse Plant football game, where the Knights defeated the Panthers. The night after the big win, the students attended a Victory Dance in the cafeteria. That was where Head Starlet Bonnie decided to ask Band Captain Ken to dance during Ladie’s Choice. Bonnie said she decided to ask Ken to dance because she thought her title as Head Starlet would convince the Band Captain to say yes.
“Luckily he said yes,” Bonnie said with a laugh. “And that began a romance that has now lasted 52 years.”
After the dance, they went on to date for six years, despite attending different colleges. After they graduated college, Bonnie and Ken decided to pay Robinson a visit. While back at their alma mater, Ken got down on one knee and popped the question on April 26, 1965, right beside the concrete bench.
“It was so exciting,” Bonnie said. “I said yes, of course.”
After the wedding, they settled in Lakeland; Ken practiced as a pharmacist and Bonnie became a special education teacher in an elementary school. But they never forgot their Robinson roots.
“We still own our yearbooks,” Bonnie remembered. “They’re signed by all of our friends and classmates.”
Although the school now looks quite different than it did in 1959, there is a constant in that concrete bench, sitting just across from student affairs.
Macy McClintock is a senior and Sports Editor. She was named the Florida Emerging Young Journalist of the Year in April of 2017. Outside of reporting,...