When a Port firefighter halted the parade to pop the question, his stunned sweetheart had to say yes
The Fish Day parade took on special meaning for Cassie Smith this year.
Smith was with a group of family and friends at their usual spot in front of the Holiday Inn Harborview Saturday morning when Port Washington Fire Engine 462 driven by her long-time boyfriend Andrew Klopp came to a stop in front of them.
“He turned the corner and put it in park. I thought, ‘This is unusual,’” Smith said.
When Klopp and fellow firefighter Lt. Jim Langford got out, Smith said she noticed Klopp had roses in hand.
“That morning I was joking with him about picking up flowers,” she said. “As he got closer, I saw him pull out a box. Everything else kind of faded away after that.”
Klopp walked up to her, dropped to his knee and asked her to marry him as Langford snapped photos of the proposal.
“I didn’t know what to think,” Smith said. “I wanted to cry. I wanted to laugh. All I did was shake.”
She quickly said yes. Her fiance then told her, ‘OK. I’ll talk to you later,” then hopped back in the fire truck and left.
But as they left, Klopp got on the radio to the other fire trucks and reported, “She said yes.”
The response was deafening, Smith said.
“They were all blaring their sirens and horns,” she said.
There were plenty of tears and congratulations to be had as Smith and her group celebrated the engagement, but none more poignant than the “congratulations” she received from the couple’s young son, Smith said.
“I’m sure it was prompted, but it was really sweet and special,” she said.
Smith said she was shocked to discover that her mother Jane and Andrew’s parents Paul and Tori knew of Andrew’s plans before the proposal.
“They didn’t give anything away,” she said. “I was very impressed when I found out they knew.”
Smith said she and her fiance have been together for five years and had checked out engagement rings, but she never expected a proposal to occur so soon.
“I thought we still had a long way to go before it happened,” she said.
The couple is hoping to get married in September 2014, she said.
Smith, 22, the daughter of Jane Smith of Grafton and Rick (Lisa) Smith of Malone, is a medical assistant at Aurora in Port Washington.
Klopp, 23, is employed at Charter Steel in Saukville. He has been with the Port Washington fire department for 10 years, starting as an Explorer.
Image Information: WITH A RING on one hand and roses in the other, Cassie Smith celebrated Fish Day with her fiance Andrew Klopp. Klopp, a Port Washington firefighter, stopped the rig he was driving in the Fish Day parade to propose to his longtime girlfriend. Photo by Sam Arendt