Mary looked around the crowded Irish pub and saw only two empty chairs hugging a small round table. She led her parents and aunts to that table, hoping to find additional chairs. As she approached, a man sitting nearby got up and began collecting extra chairs for her. That September evening in 2000, Gerry Buckley was with his brother, visiting his Irish homeland for the first time in years.
He had moved to South Africa when he was a teenager and currently lived in England. Soon Gerry and Mary and their families were sitting together, having wonderful conversations. When a group of local dancers performed, Gerry took pictures and promised Mary he would send them.
They exchanged phone numbers and addresses. As she continued her Irish vacation, Mary often thought of Gerry. When she returned to Kansas, those photos were waiting for her. She immediately called Gerry. He was thrilled to get her call. Soon they were talking and mailing regularly. Gerry occasionally left Mary a love song on her answering machine.
“Come to KC and look around,” she invited and he did, in January 2001. He returned in March. When he left for England, I told him, “If you come back, bring your stuff because I won’t want you to leave again.” Mary says. He returned, with his “stuff”, and they were married in June 2001.
As part of their travels, they have returned to the pub where they met. The staff gave them a wonderful welcome and a free “pint”. Travel was an important part of their lives, so they bought The Complete Traveler in downtown Overland Park which they took over in October, 2003. They since expanded the services to include travel arrangements.