“Will You Marry Me” Lip-Dub Marriage Proposal

Someday, Amy Frankel and Isaac Lamb’s children will ask Dad how he asked Mom to marry him. Dad will then chuckle, maybe plug in a thumb drive, or navigate to this link.

And their kids will immediately realize their Dad rocks.

Champagne and rose petals? Cliche. Diamond ring baked into a dessert? Please. Suddenly, the new standard for a creative marriage proposal includes secret rehearsals of 60+ people, borrowed marching band uniforms, and parents from afar linked in on Skype.

Oh, and a video that burns up the InterWebs.

And to think, he pondered not even videotaping it.

“A lot of people talked me out of that,” says Lamb. “They said, so much work went into this, we want a record of what happened!”

In an interview Saturday with KATU News, Lamb and Frankel stood in front of his parents southwest Portland home, on the street where this musical theater all played out last week.

Lamb says he started mulling over the idea of a lip-dub proposal back at Christmas-time, when he asked Frankel’s parents for permission to marry her.

“I knew when I got around to asking, it would have to be something incredible and special, because that’s how I feel about her,” he explains.

“I’ve always had sort of a flair for the dramatic. I’m a musical theater actor. I think in those terms a little bit.”

Both are involved in theater as members of the Third Rail Repertory Company. They have also watched and appreciated the entertainment of lip-dub videos, like this one, from the good people of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

“It’s such a special thing, it expresses a whole city’s heart, so I thought what a perfect way to communicate to her how much I love her,” explains Lamb.

He mapped out a plan and enlisted the help of their friend, Gina Johnson Morris to choreograph. She owns Radish Underground Clothing in downtown Portland, and used the entryway of her store during off hours for group rehearsals. She also made instructional videos recording herself doing the dance moves, wrote detailed instructions, and sent that homework out to the friends and family members participating so they could practice at home.

(Yes, she’s the foxy brunette in the red dress. And sorry guys, she goes home every night to that bearded guy swinging her around in the video, her husband.)

Was Lamb worried about having an audience for this highly personal moment? Nope. And he has the perfect reasoning for that.

“I really do believe marriages exist as a part of a community and I feel like you need that community, that support. That’s why you celebrate marriages with your community, so I thought it was very important for that be a part of the proposal,” Lamb says.

The group had one three-hour rehearsal last weekend, five days before the performance Wednesday. Lamb lied, telling Frankel he was somewhere else.

“I knew something was up. We’ve been talking about getting married, so I knew someday a proposal would happen,” Frankel says.

But the day of the proposal is when things got really weird.

Lamb sent Frankel to pick him up in downtown Portland at six o’clock at night, through traffic, only to text her once she arrived telling her he was at his parents home, and to go there instead.

“She was a little mad about that,” he says, laughing.

“He made me drive back through traffic, but they were doing that to keep me away from the setup to keep me safely far away from them all gathering.”

By the time she arrived, everyone was in place. They’d parked their cars elsewhere and were hiding in arranged spots. It was Lamb’s large and commanding brother who was in charge of getting Frankel to sit in the SUV. She put on headphones, which would serve as the soundtrack; the street, SW Marigold, became the stage.

“I did not expect 60 people to start dancing in front of me as the car moved down the street, it was amazing. It’s completely overwhelming,” says Frankel. “I’ve been in the theater profession, and this was hands down the most incredible thing I’ve ever experienced.”

As the car traveled slowly down the street, Frankel was wondering how she could ever top this, thinking there’s no way.

“Just wait till you have a baby,” joked Lamb. “You could birth a human being. I’ll make a lip dub video about it!”

She cracks up at that.

Lamb thought their friends and family would get a kick out of the video, and that it would be a great document to show their kids someday. He never expected it to go viral.

“What’s been most special about that is everybody posting about it is talking about how touched and moved they are by it. To know we contributed a little bit of love and positivity into the world that way — injected that into people’s lives — is really pretty special. That’s rare I think, something to be cherished. It means a lot to me.”

And at the heart of it all?

“As crazy and fun as this all has been, truly, the most thrilling thing is that she said yes and I get to spend the rest of my life with her. She makes every day brighter just because of who she is. She is a beautiful person and a beautiful soul,” he says, gazing at Frankel.

Yup. You’ve done it Isaac Lamb.

You’ve raised the bar even higher.

For all of us.

Turning to her future husband, Frankel says, “Life is so exciting with him.”

And it’s only just beginning…

What’s with these teachers and coaches?!

Scott Zeigler, Oregon coach charged with sex crimes

I don’t get it.

For the umpteenth time in my 12 years as a reporter, I’ve covered another coach/teacher/teacher’s aide arrested and accused of having sex with an underage student. For 12 years, it’s been different people, same story line. Man in a supervisory role with access to kids abuses that trust and commits sex abuse. Sometimes, it’s a woman. Sometimes, it’s a church. Nearly every time, it is an adult parents have placed their confidence in who winds up violating a sacred boundary.

As reporters, it’s easy to use the word “relationship” to describe these crimes, especially when the timeline of what’s taken place spans one, two, or three years. But isn’t it important to remember what these incidents really are? Neil Goldschmidt taught us that. A grown man doesn’t have a sexual relationship with a minor. He abuses that minor. It’s sex abuse. Let’s not romanticize it.

Arrests like this remind us that the vast majority of molestation doesn’t happen when a stranger grabs your kid off the street. Chances are, you know the abuser. Your kid knows the abuser. The abuser has access to your kid.

The vast majority of teachers, coaches and educators are hard-working, ethical people for whom boundaries aren’t an issue. Sadly, abusers of this trust give other mentors who share their title a bad name.

Let’s celebrate those among us who are the champions of children.

Let’s keep our eyes peeled, our ears tuned to the signs of abuse.

Kids are our most precious investment.

Let’s protect them as such.

Crash

Maybe you’ve seen the movie.

I saw the reality of it today, as I sat in Dean Pace’s home. With his wife of just eight months by his side, he showed me the ten-inch long purple scar down torso, accentuated with the dots where the staples once punctured his skin.

I watched as he got winded just standing, and lamented his inability now to rough house with his 5-year old stepson, Roman.

I observed as a man who has every reason to be angry and bitter toward the 14-year old police say hit him in a stolen van, instead, extolled the virtues of positive thinking.

Dean realizes he has many reasons to be grateful.

He’s alive, out of the hospital, and loved by his family who painstakingly cared for him.

He wonders still about the stranger — a man, he thinks — who came up to the window of his SUV shortly after impact, and asked if he was okay.

But he can’t help think about what was lost. “All of February,” he says. And Valentine’s day. And Roman’s fifth birthday. All transpired while Dean fought for his life in the hospital, with the help of doctors and nurses at OHSU.

The teenager who hit Dean Pace faces felony hit and run charges. See, after the crash, police say he fled from the scene on foot. Investigators say a post on social media led to his arrest the next day, at Sam Barlow High School, where the kid’s a student. The boy’s dad tells me his son’s never been in trouble before. Also, that the family’s had to move because of this.

He says they pray every day for Dean Pace and his recovery.

When I tell him Dean is out of the hospital and mending, a relieved sigh comes through the receiver.

Two families. One fateful afternoon.

Dean Pace shared with me text messages he and his wife, Olga, exchanged that day as he left work. (Olga is freshly emigrated from Russia. They were married just six months when the crash occurred.)

Dean: I’m coming home. I love you!

Olga: I wait you. I love you too.

Olga: Bad traffik?

Olga: I worry. You ok?

Olga: I worry.

Olga: I worry.

Olga: I worry.

Olga: I worry.

By then, Dean was en route to the hospital, via LifeFlight.

Deadly Force

This is a report I filed for K-2 examining the training for Oregon State Police troopers when it comes to deadly force, and the criteria they use for deciding when to use it. It followed a man’s 2006 attack on an officer with a knife in La Pine that resulted in the man’s death at the hands of Deschutes County law enforcement. It was also shortly after traffic stop turned shoot-out in Albany between a trooper and a driver he’d pulled over.

It came to mind as I covered the Aaron Campbell shooting settlement, and his family’s cry for change with how police are trained.

Oregon inmate indicted on murder charges

Inmate indicted on murder

James Samuel DeFrank, Jr. appeared in Malheur County Court Wednesday via video from the Snake River Correctional Institution, according to court sources. He’s charged with murder in the death of fellow inmate Chris Soren Lange.

DeFrank was convicted of murder in Multnomah County back in 1990 for the death of a Vietnamese immigrant during a robbery gone wrong.

Lange’s beating and subsequent death occurred in May but only came to light in August after another incident at Snake River in which an inmate was shot and wounded by a corrections officer.

I asked Jeanine Hahn with the Oregon Department of Corrections Public Affairs department about the agency’s policy on releasing information about inmate deaths.

This was her response: “The Department does not have a policy that speaks specifically to releasing information about inmate deaths, but it is our practice to be transparent on inmate issues and incidents that would be of interest to the media and the public. In this case our office missed the release. There was quite a bit of time between the actual assault and inmate Lange’s death, and our office was involved in several projects during the May/June timeframe, and we truly just missed it. I take full responsibility for this oversight. As soon as the media/we realized the error, we have attempted to communicate as much information about the incident as possible without compromising the integrity of the investigation.”

See the grand jury indictment against James DeFrank here.

Fake Doctor Arrest

This is one of those days when I have so much more to report than the minute-30 I’m given within our local newscast.

My report:
http://www.katu.com/news/local/124465354.html

I watched today as Lucas Ebert, just 21 years old, faced a judge on charges of theft and criminal mistreatment. He’s accused of tricking a Beaverton woman into thinking he was plastic surgeon at OHSU who could do the gastric bypass surgery she’s desperately been wanting for years.

I watched as he tried to control the situation from the Inverness Jail. Sometimes defendants appear on video from the jail, as was the case today. He seemed keenly aware of the media presence in the room, and made it a priority to ask the judge, former U.S. Attorney Karin Immergut, to remove the pool camera there to record the proceeding.

That’s a moment in which, as a video journalist, your stomach turns. You kinda need that video to make a television news story happen. Luckily, in this case, Judge Immergut told him the unique circumstances that call for the removal of a camera didn’t seem to apply.

I noted with interest that the attorney Ebert retained was Russell Barnett, not present. See, Barnett was busy across the street in the Multnomah County Courthouse, defending Brian Cole against murder in the death of his wife, Mallory. A conversation he had with our reporter covering the Cole case confirmed his representation of Ebert, but Barnett refused to discuss finances. He also said, “There are some charges against clients like Mr. Ebert that you don’t accept a check for.”

It’s fascinating to go digging into someone’s recent past and discover their missteps.

As I talked with employees of the Carr Chevrolet in Beaverton, I learned the details of their encounter with this Luke Ebert. The sales manager, Scott Chauvet, tells me Ebert’s mother got hurt in the front of their store last year, an accident that broke her ankle. She wound up buying a car from them.

Chauvet says Ebert showed up a month ago, telling them his mom was back in the hospital after a bad car accident that broke the same ankle and she needed a new car. He says Ebert picked out a used car, a Cadillac SUV, and left saying he wanted to discuss it with his mom. Chauvet claims Ebert wanted to write one his own checks to the dealership and transfer money from her account to his.

The dealership’s efforts to verify this information Ebert’s mother fell through. They eventually learned from the bank the account didn’t exist. The original check was for $39,000. Chauvet says Ebert showed up with another check, this time from his mother’s bank account bearing her signature. He wrote that check for $42,000 — this time including as part of the deal an extended warranty for the SUV.

Chauvet says they sent a sales person to the address, who had Lucas Ebert on the phone as he drove to the house, with Ebert telling him was at his job as a surgical tech assisting with operations.

As the sales associate pulled up to the house, Chauvet says Lucas pulled past him and didn’t see him.

When they finally got ahold of his mother, at her job, she was shocked to learn what her son had pulled off. She was in good health, not in the hospital. When she’d kicked her son out of her house the week before, she told Carr Chevrolet, she’s given him a signed check to pay for a week’s worth of motel rent.

According to Chauvet, Ebert told the dealership’s sales associates he was in school to become a doctor, and was assisting with cosmetic surgeries. Also that he was frequenting strip bars. If that’s true, one has to wonder what sort of “services” he was offering strippers?

Appropriate, I suppose, that one of Ebert’s favorite TV shows according to his Facebook page is “Nip and Tuck.”