by Aaron Porter
On September 23rd 2011, Buddy Guy’s Legends became the setting for one of the most magical moments in Michael Tolins’ life. The long time fan of Buddy Guy and Legends took to the stage to sing his girlfriend Nichole, “Happy Birthday”. What came next is something that will bring a smile to the staff and patrons of Legends for many years to come.
Bluesletter: Michael what made you decide to propose to Nichole here at Legends?
Michael: I was born and raised in Chicago but her first ever trip to Chicago was for St Patrick’s Day in March 09. On her first night in the city I took her to Shaw’s for an excellent dinner and afterwards we went to Legends for a great night. Buddy was even in town and got up on stage for a quick appearance. We both love music and I wanted to make it a night she would never forget.
BL: Where you nervous when you got up on stage?
M: I will admit, I didn’t think there would be that many people in Legends but I wasn’t really nervous, more anxious. After months of planning I wanted to see her reaction. According to Nichole my behavior all that day was abnormal, so I guess I was nervous about her saying “yes” but not so much when you get on stage. You just have to let go and be yourself.
BL: Nichole, what were your initial thoughts when you saw him on stage?
Nichole: Well, I did have a feeling that tonight was going to be the night he popped the question. However, when they called me up on stage and started to sing “Happy Birthday” I thought that I had been mistaken. When he got up and started to talk about how we met I knew and thought, “Wow, this is really happening!” and of course I said yes!
BL: Did everything go as planned Mike?
M: I can honestly say yes. It went as planned, actually even better than I planned. Everyone at Legends was so helpful and I think just as excited as I was to make this celebration a reality. I never would have thought it would have turned out so perfect.
BL: So Nichole, was it the best birthday ever?
N: Definitely! I told my family and friends that this was the best birthday ever. I am not sure how this birthday could be topped.
BL: So how did you originally meet, and did any funny stories pop up along the way?
M: We met in Pittsburgh while I was doing a long-term project for the company I work for. She was working in the restaurant at the hotel I was staying at as a server and bartender. It was several months before we really talked and we just saw each other in passing. Prior to us going on our first date, I stopped into the restaurant she worked at for a quick breakfast. I ordered my food and then my ride for the day showed up, so I had to leave before my food arrived. I did not have a chance to tell her to cancel the order and when she showed up with my food, I was gone. We still talk about this and laugh! One night, I went down to the restaurant and got up the nerve to tell her what room I was in. I asked her to call up to the room when she got off work and was shocked when she actually did. We went out that night. That was actually the first night I told her I loved her. She was not impressed by this and thought I was creepy. I am not really sure what made her continue to talk to me. And now here we are almost 3 years later, living in Indiana and engaged!
Many of us here at Legends felt tremendous excitement for Mike and Nichole before the proposal and great joy for them after she accepted. It’s not everyday you get to witness something as special as the engagement of two people. We wish them well on their journey and hope for many fantastic adventures. Go get em!