It Was 20 Years Ago Today …

Me and the love of my life, Tammy Nelson, the sender of the most important message I have ever received. Photo: Jane Vallie Amdahl.
Me and the love of my life, Tammy Nelson, sender of the most important message I have ever received. Photo: Jane Vallie Amdahl.

It was 20 years ago today that my life changed forever.

On Oct. 7, 1994, one day after I received a fan letter from a crazy cat lady in Bloomington, Minn.—it’s true, long story—I placed a call to the woman who mailed it.

I phoned this woman because, naturally, I assumed she was insane. And that was exactly what I was looking for in a woman. You’ve seen “Fatal Attraction.” You understand.

Anyway, the phone call was almost discouraging. She seemed kind of normal. Intelligent. Calm. Well spoken. I kept trying to detect the quirks that generated a fan letter to a columnist at perhaps the most obscure publication in the United States. Couldn’t find any.

But I figured, what the hell, it’s not like women are beating a path to my door at this point. Being a teetotaling local government reporter in Waseca, Minn., actually is not a ticket to romantic glory. A shock, I know. And anyway, she must be a freak, I figured. Who writes fan letters to newspaper columnists? Let’s do this. It has gotta be interesting….

We met for the first time eight days later.

The woman was Tammy Nelson who—I felt quite misleadingly—turned out to be the most normal human being I have ever encountered. Anything but a nut. Initially I was a little put off. Is this what I want? Normal? Nice? I almost sent her home with a two-second hug and an “I’ll call you.”

But for some reason, I didn’t do that. I did call. We met a second time the next weekend. And we kept meeting. Little did I comprehend that my soul was crying out for a normal relationship with an accomplished, competent, loving woman. No more indoor fireworks.

We have never looked back.

Love is a wonderful thing. And Tammy is a wonderful woman. I am a most fortunate man.

Tammy and Snowy, by Kevin Featherly

My partner on this mortal coil, Tammy Nelson.



  1. What a tribute to Tammy! Kevin this is beautiful!

  2. Thank you, Linda. (She liked it, too!)

  3. Awww… So sweet. I remember you talking about that letter.

  4. Becky Brauckmann 03/15/2017 at 2:13 pm

    Love that you saw in her what I do……..she’s a wonderful lady.

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