Richard and Amy Nearhood were on their boat during the Ribs for the Red Cross fundraiser Aug. 7 when country music star John Michael Montgomery came aboard. He even gave a name for their boat-- Life's a Dance.
TEMPERANCE -- Amy and Richard Nearhood got a special treat when they docked their boat in downtown Toledo for the Ribs for the Red Cross fund-raiser Aug. 7. They left the festivities with a name for their beloved craft that was supplied by a celebrity.
Here's how it happened:
On Sunday, the couple backed their 32-foot Marinette into a slip behind the Promenade Park stage where their favorite country singer, John Michael Montgomery, performed.
The couple sat in the the boat and enjoyed the star's singing.
Then they watched as he left the stage on a golf cart. When he returned a little later, they caught the singer's attention by playing his music over their sound system.
Mr. Montgomery signaled his approbation by raising both arms, at which point, "we invited him on down," Mr. Nearhood said.
To their delight, the singer came aboard and chummed around with them and their guests for several minutes.
"He's a very nice guy, very polite," Mrs. Nearhood said.
Country singer John Michael Montgomery, wearing a black hat, came aboard Amy and Richard Nearhood's boat and spent some time with them.
When the Nearhoods mentioned that they needed a name for their boat, the singer grabbed a marker and wrote "Life's a Dance" along with his autograph above the patio door and below the flybridge.
"Life's a Dance" was the title of Mr. Montgomery's triple platinum debut album in 1992 and a hit single that peaked at number 4 on the Billboard country chart.
It's also among the Nearhoods' favorite songs. They plan to have the name painted across the stern of their boat. They also intend to preserve Mr. Montgomery's cursives with a lacquer.
The Nearhoods have been married for 30 years and are lifelong residents of Bedford Township. Mr. Nearhood, 53, a Jeep retiree, is a marine officer for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and works as a car salesman in Toledo. Mrs. Nearhood works for the Bedford Public Schools They have a grown son, Ryan.
The couple bought their boat three years ago and keep it at Ottawa River Yacht Club in Point Place. They enjoy using it on weekends and especially like berthing at Promenade Park because there are no docking fees.
Mr. Nearhood notes that their pastime is expensive. A recent run to Kelleys Island cost $300 in fuel alone. Still, they have no plans to curtail their boating.
"I like being out on the open water," Mrs. Nearhood explained.
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