Back when Varney’s was still open, there was a bar in Aggieville called Dark Horse. On Feb. 7, 1983 — or maybe 1984 — Ron Russell was celebrating his birthday. That’s when he met his wife Connie by chance.
Kristin Russell, senior in management, said her parents have been together ever since. She said she always thought her parents had met at Varney’s; it wasn’t until she started attending Kansas State University that she learned it had been a bar instead.
The beginning of this relationship was before cellphones, Kristin said, so her dad would call on the party line to talk to Connie at her sorority, Sigma Sigma Sigma, which is no longer at K-State.
Ron was a senior and set to graduate that spring. Connie was a junior with another year ahead of her. After graduating, Ron got a job in Nebraska and moved, but kept in contact with Connie.
Distance wasn’t for him, Kristin said, so he soon moved back to Wamego to be near Connie.
Soon after, Connie graduated and the couple was still going strong. Ron got a job in Dallas and the two moved there, but they did not live together — Connie’s family was Catholic, and it was frowned upon.
A little down the road, Connie’s mother got sick and the couple moved to Wichita to be closer to her. At that point, they began living together and seriously thinking about their future together.
Kristen asked her father when he knew that Connie was the one for him, and he said as soon as they moved to Dallas together, he knew.
The couple married in 1990 after several years of dating. They waited another three years before having a child.
“Because of them, I always knew that I would be going to K-State,” Kristen said.