Love Through Volleyball
In July 2000 Linda George had no idea of what was coming when Jeff Pereira, whom she had been dating for several years, suggested they drive out to Gooseberry Island, near Westport, Mass.
It was overcast. They were strolling along, idly picking up shells. While Ms. George was distracted, Mr. Pereira hid something inside a mussel that he asked her to pick up. Inside, she found an engagement ring. Mr. Pereira dropped to his knee and asked her to marry him. Tears ran down her cheeks.
He reached into his backpack. She thought he had brought lunch. Actually, he had a bottle of Champagne chilling in ice in a Ziploc bag. He had stuffed Champagne glasses inside a pair of winter gloves so they wouldn't break. They drank a toast to their future together. There was no one else around. The sea was calm. "It was right out of a Julia Roberts movie," Mr. Pereira said. "It was the best moment of my life."
Ms. George, 27, a buyer for TJX, lived in Westborough, Mass., and was on her way to a buying trip in Los Angeles aboard Flight 11. Athletic and with countless friends, she had met Mr. Pereira on the volleyball court; they played on the same team in the company league. She was captain. Their first date had been on New Year's Eve in 1997. They went to see "Titanic." Their wedding was arranged for Oct. 20.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on January 6, 2002.