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Bill, 54, aka “Grumpy Bear” is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a self-employed carpenter / handy man who also restores classic cars. Pictured is his 1965 Thunderbird, and his latest project is customizing a ’65 GMC Pickup truck.
When he’s not working on other people’s houses, he’s fine tuning the landscape outside or restoring a piece of furniture.
Martin, 49, is from South Texas, and teaches English full-time at a nearby community college. He also sings professionally in opera and musical theatre companies around the DFW area. He admits to being a political junkie, and is always mining on his iPad for analysis of current events.
Hi Bill & Martin!
How did you guys meet?
Bill: “The old fashioned way — in a bar. That’s the way men used to meet men in 1992.”
Martin: “The Dallas Eagle to be exact. Bill was wearing a California Highway Patrolman’s uniform. I was a bit intimidated, but I went in for a closer look. One look in his eyes and I knew he was a teddy bear.”
Do you have common interests?
“We laugh at this question because we are as different as night and day. Bill loves classic cars and power tools while Martin obsesses over Texas Rangers baseball and musical theatre. We both share a love of Dallas, hanging with the neighborhood bears, and watching a short list of must-see TV shows, including Survivor, Project Runway, and Game of Thrones.”
Do you each have an interest that the other has none in?
“Yes, Bill enjoys restoring classic cars and trucks and will spend hours walking junkyards for customizing parts. When he’s not doing that, he’s watching Car auction shows on cable. (Martin thinks that’s crazy.) Martin not only enjoys going to the opera; he also performs professionally in the chorus. (Bill would rather get a root canal than see another opera.) On the other hand, Martin likes the car shows and Bill doesn’t mind going to an occasional Broadway musical, sung in English!”
What’s your secret to a successful relationship?
“It hasn’t been easy because we are very different guys, but our relationship improved tremendously once we finally quit trying to change each other. We accept each other and love each other as we are — and it all seems to balance out. What one doesn’t bring to the relationship, the other does.”
What advice do you have for dating couples?
“Use your head, but trust your heart. Always play safe. If you think he’s the one, go for it. After 17+ years together, we’ve discovered that sticking by one guy for the rest of your life is not such a bad thing.”
Photo by Hank Henley Photography