By HOLLY YELTON
Allen and I have known each other forever due to the fact that Allen’s dad and my parents went to school together in Mt. Juliet. We also attended school together and graduated together in June of 1988.
From there, I went on to college and became a teacher and Allen went to work for the Road Commission. During all this time we remained friends and kept in contact through our families. We would see each other occasionally out in town, but we were just friends. Jump forward to the winter of 2003. Things changed. We began seeing each other and dating.
June 7, 2004 is Allen’s birthday. His mom was cooking a birthday supper for him and I was invited to attend, as was the rest of the family. So, I was just planning on going to supper and enjoying a nice evening. Well, things took a turn in a different direction.
Allen called me and told me he was stuck in a field down past his mom’s house.
He needed me to go get the tractor and take it to him. This would involve driving the tractor on the road. He knew I did not like driving the tractor on the road. I almost didn’t go. Little did I know, this was all part of his master plan.
As I arrived at his house, I noticed the tractor, which is usually parked at the shop, was parked beside the back porch. The door to the cab had been opened and yellow caution tape had been placed over the doorway. Slowly, I walked up to the tractor. As I walked, I realized I was walking on rose petals that had been placed on the freshly mowed grass.
On the first step of the tractor was a beautiful bouquet of roses and a letter.
A flood of emotions came over me at this point. I was curious, puzzled, yet very excited about this unique situation. The letter instructed me to continue to Step 2 if I was happy.
The next step had another box with another letter. The box contained a toy boat. If I was “in the boat” the letter said to go on to the next box.
Step 3 was another box with another letter. This box contained a set-up sequence of toy farm implements that depicted the types of farming Allen was involved in throughout the year. The letter read, “the way it is”. He wanted me to be sure I understood his work. The letter with this box said to continue to the last box located on the seat of the tractor if I understood “the way it is.” I understood his work-still not completely comprehending this whole event-but I moved on to the last box.
The final box was a John Deere tin. The letter began, MRS. At that point I knew this was a marriage proposal. I opened the box to find a little toy John Deere tractor with a loader bucket attachment. In the bucket was a 2-carat diamond solitaire ring. I just stood there-frozen. Finally, I looked around and realized I was by myself. I had accepted a marriage proposal alone!
Allen came walking out of the house with a huge smile on his face. We spoke for a few moments and he slipped the ring on my finger. I asked him through teary eyes where everybody was. He pointed to the house and suddenly I saw my future in-laws waving and smiling from the windows. As it turns out I was not alone after all. They had been watching and taking pictures the whole time.
We were married December 17, 2004 at Cook’s United Methodist Church. The rest, as they say, is history.
Allen and Holly (Cook) Yelton have lived in Wilson County all their lives. Allen is from LaGuardo and Holly is from Mt.Juliet. Their parents grew up here as well. Holly’s dad was Lex K. Cook who was the chairman of the Wilson County Election Commission until his death in 2006. Allen works for the Wilson County Road Commission and Holly teaches third grade at Byars-Dowdy Elementary School. They have one son, Gus, who is three.