They do: long distance love finds its way home

Editor’s Note: Evanston RoundTable is pleased to introduce: “They Do.” This new column is a glimpse into the love stories and celebrations of commitment from local readers and their relatives. A chance encounter in a supermarket checkout line, the dog park, an ashram, an Uber Eats delivery, a blind date, speed dating, Tinder, Match, Bumble….kids, pets, blended families.

To marry? We want to hear all about your love story and share it with the RoundTable community. This is a free storytelling service by Roundtable. Please contact us if you have a marriage announcement you would like to share and include your name, your partner’s name and an email address. We’ll be in touch to spread the love.

When she headed the stage crew for the Brillianteen production of Musical High School in 2013, Anna Hamrick had no idea that the teenager who jumped on her dead battery would someday be her husband.

Teddy Keenan was the technology chief for the 2013 production, and the two worked closely behind the scenes. Brillianteen, a student-run musical sponsored by the Evanston YMCA for over 65 years, has since ceased production, but the theatrical setting provided a perfect backdrop for the budding romance.

“We like to say that we met doing a high school musical in Musical High School”, said Anne.

After Brilianteen, the two, now both 26, maintained their semi-casual relationship until Anna graduated from ETHS and left for the University of Texas at Austin. The first official encounter took place when Teddy drove the 800 miles from Carbondale, Illinois, where he was at Southern Illinois University’s Flight School, to Austin, Texas, to visit Anna.

Anna Hamrick and Teddy Keenan pose in front of the fountain at the Chicago Illuminating Company at their June 25 wedding. Credit: Photo sent

At the time, Teddy didn’t have a car, so he knocked on dorm doors looking for someone who would agree to drive him to Texas. Brandon Hall, a complete stranger to Teddy, agreed to be the driver, and the two quickly bonded during their nighttime fling. After a weekend together, Anna and Teddy decided to make their relationship exclusive and thus began their long-distance romance.

“We got really good at seeing each other every five to six weeks and traveling home to Evanston for the next three years,” Anna said.

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