Back Story – Teens Raised by a Single Father

While getting to acquainted online, I learned from Duane’s profile that he had three children – teenagers!  My own children had friends who were expert in the art of sabatoge. One young lady ruined the girlfriend’s laundry and keyed her car, among other devious acts designed to break up her dad’s budding relationship.

Duane was raising his son and daughters and seemed like a great dad, but I really had no idea what his children would be like. I only had my second-hand experience and imagination as a guide. Then he sent me this picture, with his commentary found on page 61 of our book.

teen glamor pannellbytes

“Do these kids look too good to belong to a guy like me or what? Don’t let their good looks fool you; they’re quite rotten. I have promised them that because of their evil ways I’ll marry a wicked stepmother. You don’t know any wicked, single women I could *hook up with that happen to be LDS, do ya?” 

When I met Emily, Mallory and JR, I got to know another wonderful thing about their dad. They were bright and funny and happy, not at all like the teen terrors we hear about all too often. And they welcomed me into their lives without reservation.

As a step-mother who never had occasion to help raise them, I have the deepest respect for Duane and the wonderful job he did as a single father. It’s amazing to me even today, that not one of those teens was ever disrespectful or unkind to me in any way. As adults, they are still really cool, fun and incredibly caring and thoughtful. All step-parents should be so lucky.

After a stint in the Air Force and some time in Utah, JR is back in Virginia, working and being a devoted dad. Mallory is in Kansas, married to a helicopter pilot and makes being a stay at home mom to two little boys look easy. Emily graduated from college with two degrees and lives and works in Washington state with her husband and their golden lab.

*Hooking up back then did not mean what it means today!!

~Selena Pannell, co-author of 3,000 Miles To Eternity: A True Internet Love Story



Back Story – Chick Pics

Writing a true story seems to be a call for more information. Some of our readers, once having gotten to know the ‘characters’ send us questions like these; what do they look like, where are they now, and how do they feel about being part of our published story?

Well, how they feel will probably be scribbled down in some therapist’s notes and kept in a locked filing cabinet somewhere. But as for how they looked, well, today’s little nugget brings a smile to my face.

On page 59, I told Duane:

“Thought I would send you a pic of my little chicks. Auriana is in braids on the left and Savannah is wearing the yellow shirt.”

3,000 Miles To Eternity Little Chicks pg 59

Duane’s response on pg 60:

P.S. Do you have eyes like that? Did they get that look from you? How will I ever know without a picture for reference? If I can post a picture of me eating a live mouse, you can share a picture of you that features your eyes!

Auriana has become a photographer whose creativity manifests especially with still subjects, like food and scenery. And Savannah is busy saving lives as a registered nurse.on a neuro ICU in northern Alberta.

3,000 Miles To Eternity Little Chicks Grown Up

~Selena Pannell, co-author of 3,000 Miles To Eternity: A True Internet Love Story

Back Story – How Not To Attract A Typical Wife

With online dating becoming more mainstream, a great deal of attention is given to creating a great profile that will not only garner interest from quality, potential soulmate candidates , but give an accurate portrayal of the spouse-seeking individual.

Duane included this picture in his online profile album.  It took a special kind of, uh, special to overlook the obvious and find the amazing man on the other end of that mouse. .

*We pulled it out of the archives because we’ve had requests for pictures to go along with some of the stories in the book.  Happy Throwback Thursday!

~Selena Pannell, co-author of 3,000 Miles To Eternity: A True Internet Love Story