By Angie Bado, TSB Publisher
An evening of hilarity at McKinney Performing Arts Center turned emotional near the end of a performance by the Four Funny Females on Saturday. That’s when comedian Laura Bartlett invited an unsuspecting Linda Cubbage on stage. Cubbage, who had donned a floor-length red dress accentuated with pearls, thought she was in the audience only to enjoy a Valentine’s celebration at the show, followed by an evening out. Little did she know.
Dressed in a Pittsburgh Steelers cap and jeans, Cliff told his wife that he was going to the restroom, but instead, he transformed himself into a gentlman at a formal occasion as he donned a black tuxedo and dress shoes in a makeshift dressing area in the green room as three of the Four Funny Females assisted.
Linda’s evening took a completely unexpected turn when her husband strode from behind the stage curtain dressed in the tux and carrying a bouquet of red roses.Cliff unexpectedly, and in front of the approximately 400 guests in the audience, knelt on one knee and proposed to Linda for the second time, after more than 29 years of marriage, asking her to renew their wedding vows on their 30 anniversary on Sept. 4.
“Linda Marie Francis Cubbage will you marry me again, Honeybun?” Cliff asked beaming.
Wiping away her tears, Linda gave Cliff an emphatic “Yes!” as Cliff declared his love for her and placed a new ring on her finger.
The Cubbages are originally from the Pittsburgh, Pa., area, but they moved to Allen a little more than two years ago to be close to two of their three children. It was in Aliquippa, Pa., where Cliff and Linda met. It happened when she dropped off her car to have some work done at the local K-Mart. Cliff, who worked in the auto department at the store, was immediately smitten and managed to ask Linda for a date. Linda accepted and the rest of the story, so they say, is history. The couple married in 1983.
Linda said, “I didn’t expect this (the proposal to renew their vows in September). Cliff proposed to me (the first time) in the car on the way to the restaurant (Red Lobster). He couldn’t wait until we got to the restaurant. Then I was so excited I couldn’t eat. I guess this time he is proposing in front of people.”
“When I first asked her (Linda) to marry me I did not ask her in front of people. I figured the stage on Feb. 9 in McKinney would be a great place to ask her to renew our vows,” Cliff said.
Laura Bartlett, of Four Funny Females, conspired with Cliff to help him pull off the surprise. She was also able to snag a few donations to make the celebration complete. Bartlett herself donated a gift certificate to Red Lobster in honor of the couple’s first proposal.
Cliff said his love for his wife has grown over the years. He said she stuck by him through hard times that included a crippling injury as a result of an accident at work that has left him unable to walk without the help of a cane.
“To the world you are just a person, but to me you are the world,” Cliff said of his wife.