On June 21st, the first day of summer, Earl and Ingram planned their first date after a couple weeks of texting. They met for a beer at Keagan’s Irish Pub in Middletown, CT, where Ingram was living at the time. Earl had recently moved back to Connecticut to help run the family business, American Carting Company based in Guilford (Earl’s hometown) for 70+ years, after having lived in New York and New Jersey. The date went extremely well, of course, and was followed by dinner at Eli Cannon’s down the street. There was a instant spark, and the two of them continued to see each other, ultimately planning trips to a number of places, including Vermont, New York City, Cape Cod, D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Jersey Shore where Earl once lived and still held his properties in Asbury Park. When not traveling, the two enjoyed exploring hidden gems in Connecticut and spending time on the Shoreline, Litchfield Hills, and everywhere in between. In October 2016, Ingram bought his first home and moved to Farmington, where Earl would move in August 2018.
After Earl and Ingram moved in together, they began looking at buying a house. Initially planning to settle in the Hartford area close to Farmington and Ingram’s job at ESPN, something kept pulling them farther south to look for homes in Guilford. They came across a farmhouse (built in 1896) that was in the early stages of a massive renovation. After working with the builder’s talented team and picking out finishes for months, they were able to move into their dream home on November 16, 2019. Adding final touches, decorating for the holidays, and hosting game nights with Earl’s childhood friends quickly helped turn the new house into a home. It was also a good time to explore Guilford’s historic town center as restaurants and shops began dressing for the holiday season. For the night of December 6th, Earl suggested they go into town and enjoy a nice dinner at Chapter One overlooking the Guilford Green where the annual tree-lighting ceremony was taking place. It was as if a Norman Rockwell painting came to life - carolers and families were out and about, the town was decorated throughout, and lanterns lined the walkways of the Green. After a delicious dinner and the crowds had died down, Earl suggested they walk over to see the tree. It was a peaceful night, and everybody had left the Green to go home or elsewhere so it was just the two of them. As they got closer to the tree, Earl and Ingram marveled at how excited they were to live in Guilford, and then Earl began naming things he was excited about — finding their forever home, living in their forever town, and how Ingram was Earl’s “forever guy.” It was at that moment, right in front of the tree, Earl dropped to one knee, pulled out a ring, and asked Ingram to spend the rest of his life with him. The night continued with excited phone calls to share the good news and a night celebrating in New Haven with drinks and dancing. It was the perfect way to kick off a beautiful and exciting life together.