Sometime in November 1998, Cathy was surfing web sites about Christian rock band
Petra, one of her favorite groups. As she was checking out web message boards about them, she made a post on
this board, which happens to be a part of Michael's Petra web site,
A Guide To Petra. Her post mentioned the fact that her dad had catered a meal for Petra back many years ago when Petra was in Tulsa. Michael wrote back and asked if she lived in Tulsa... and as it turned out, they lived within about five miles of each other! In fact,
Cathy's dad's restaurant
(where she worked) was only a few miles from where Michael worked, and many of the people he worked with were frequent customers at the restaurant!
This picture of Michael and Cathy was taken
in a photo machine on one of their dates
Michael and Cathy corresponded daily during December, 1998, via email and
ICQ, and on January 4th they talked on the phone for the first time. That week they spent more than 30 hours on the telephone! They enjoyed each other's company so much that that weekend they decided to get together for a date.
Their first date was a double with Michael's brother and sister-in-law, Kevin and Candi. They went to see The Waterboy, and all enjoyed it immensely, especially since the Joneses (Michael, Kevin and Candi) are all from
Shreveport, Louisiana! After the movie they all went out and played games for a while at a local arcade. All four had a great time, and after that Michael and Cathy seldom went a day without seeing each other.
Michael sings in the chorus of the
Tulsa Opera, and in the weeks and months after that first date it became increasingly more difficult to get together as rehearsal schedules interfered. In fact, the timing of the wedding was based on when they could find time out from Michael's rehearsals!