50 years later, vow renewal comes with surprise proposal at Thurby

By PHYLICIA ASHLEY | WAVE 3 News

The Pegasus Parade isn’t the only big Derby-week event that took place Thursday. Oaks has reached Derby-like crowds, that has turned Thurby into Louisville’s day at the Downs.

One man never got the chance to propose to his wife, officially. Today at the very spot where they met decades ago, he surprised her by getting down on one knee right before a vow renewal.

Exactly 50 years ago, Bob and Rebecca Haire got married, but the proposal didn’t go as planned.

Thurby proposal
Exactly 50 years ago, Bob and Rebecca Haire got married, but the proposal didn’t go as planned. They got it right the second time Thursday at Churchill Downs.

“We had an argument because she was flirting with a whole bunch of military guys,” Bob said. “I said, ‘Are we going to get married or what because I’m tired of this.'”

During Thurby, Bob surprised Rebecca in the same spot where they met during their blind date at Churchill Downs.

Bob proposed the way he always imagined, with the woman who has always been by his side.

“We’ve had ups and downs and ups and downs and ups and downs,” Rebecca said.

Through their challenges, there are two words that kept this Thurby couple together.

“Thank you,” Bob said. “I’m telling you, say thank you for making the bed, thank you for making coffee, those two words. Don’t take advantage, just thank them for the little things.”

Bob got lucky 50 years ago at the Downs, and said he hopes that luck continues through Thurby night.

The Haires’ son married the couple right after Bob proposed. Their daughter said Thursday’s event was surprising because their parents aren’t the lovey-dovey type.

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