Danville Express

- February 9, 2007

I've got you, Babe

Couples share their stories of love and successful relationships

by Christina Straw

Tracy and Matt Laird: And baby makes three

Matt and Tracy Laird first met in 1992 while attending the University of Arizona. Tracy was working at a swimwear shop in her sophomore year and she wasn't too impressed when Matt stopped in, pretending to be interested in buying a suit.

"I saw her through the window and thought, 'Wow,'" Matt said. "I knew I had to meet her. I didn't get her number though."

They had a few classes together, but no sparks flew.

"She basically ignored me for a few years," Matt said.

After graduation, they went their separate ways - Tracy to the Bay Area and Matt to London for a few months with his new job.

"I sent Tracy a couple of e-mails but never heard back," Matt said with a chuckle.

A few months later, they were both living in San Francisco and ran into each other one night when they were out with friends.

"I liked him, but I was playing hard to get," Tracy admitted with a smile.

"I saw how well Matt treated his family," she added. "I knew he was special. He had a lot of integrity. He liked to have fun but also worked hard."

"She brought so many things to the table," Matt said. "I always admired how she sees the good in people. She's very strong-willed and very intelligent. I learn a lot from her. It makes it better that we're different."

They started dating and got married in San Francisco in 2002.

Having both grown up in the East Bay, Tracy and Matt knew Danville would be the ideal place to raise children.

After a few months of trying, Tracy suspected she might be pregnant. She and Matt anxiously waited for the results together.

"We did a couple of tests, we were so excited," Tracy recalled, and sure enough the results were positive. "Then it took a few minutes to sink in because we were in shock."

Tracy and Matt, 36 and 35, are expecting a boy in June.

"The partnership and friendship has been the best thing about being married," Tracy said. "Whether you're at your worst or your best, that support is always there."

For the first few months in their new house, the couple has been busy unpacking boxes, meeting new neighbors, and getting ready for the baby.

"We're really excited about living here," Matt said.

Dave and Liz Roller: Soul mates

Dave Roller says about his wife Liz: "She was the prettiest girl I had ever seen, but boy, what an attitude."

They both erupt in laughter.

Sitting in the Roller's dining room on a sunny Wednesday morning, one can't help but notice the ease with which Liz and Dave recall the early days of their relationship.

"We met in high school in San Mateo," Liz said. "Dave was a jock. He wasn't really my type. We hung out all summer with a group of guys and girls, so we never really had a first date."

After a few months of dating and going to dances together, the relationship ended.

"We broke up at the end of my junior year, but would see each other all the time and remained friends," Liz said.

After college, the couple met again at a bar in Belmont but Liz was engaged and Dave had a girlfriend.

"I realized I wasn't ready to get married," Liz said. "There was something I always liked about Dave. We always had a lot of fun together."

Not letting her engagement stop him, Dave called Liz and asked her out to dinner. They dated for six years before getting married in 1997.

Liz, an entrepreneur, and Dave, a fire captain with Half Moon Bay Fire Department, are both 37, have two children and have lived in Danville for a little more than two years.

They agree that the best thing about being married is their friendship.

"Having a good friend to share the good and bad times has been the best thing, " Dave said.

"Dave is truly my best friend," Liz said. "We're soul mates. We were meant to be together."

Lesley and Dave Sweeney: The right ingredients

For Lesley and Dave Sweeney, Danville residents since 1974 and married for 37 years, Valentine's Day will probably be spent at home with a delicious dinner and a nice bottle of red.

"We really like to cook," Dave said. "It's nice working together to make something great, with quality ingredients."

Kind of like their relationship.

Employed at the same CPA firm in 1968, Lesley and Dave worked on a project together for a few weeks in Bakersfield. After the first week, Dave called Lesley and asked her on a date. He took her to dinner in San Francisco - and they were married eight months later.

"It was obvious right from the beginning," Lesley said. "We were starting out at the same time, going in the same direction. We were right on the same page. Everything just worked."

"We never had any doubts," Dave added.

They were married in March 1969 and moved to Mill Valley, where they lived for five years. After getting a dog, they decided it was time to buy a house.

"We looked all over Marin," Lesley said. "I grew up in Diablo, so we came out to Danville and found this house the first day we looked."

Now semi-retired, Dave reminisced about the early days of their relationship. "Meeting Lesley, getting the apartment, the dog, the house, having children and working on things together has been the best."

"Meeting Dave was the most exciting," Leslie added. "You're attracted to someone who fills in your gaps. There were things about Dave that I really admired."

Dave shared what he appreciates about Lesley: "She's real patient, understanding, and level headed. She has a real good sense of humor, and she's smart."

With two adult children out of the house, Lesley, 60, and Dave, 63, enjoy their time with their two golden retrievers, friends and, of course, each other. They frequent Hap McGee Ranch Dog Park, take walks in the mornings, and always have dinner together.

"We didn't go into this to try and see how it would work," said Leslie. "We went into this to be a family. It's about looking forward."


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