WVVA anchor Martin Staunton announces nuptials

A near miss love story
Martin Staunton and his bride-to-be Melissa (Missy) Harmon.
Martin Staunton and his bride-to-be Melissa (Missy) Harmon.
Published: Sep. 23, 2022 at 12:57 PM EDT
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - Veteran newsman and WVVA Evening Anchor/Managing Editor Martin Staunton announced his impending marriage on the evening news Thursday night in the 6 p.m. newscast. He told viewers he’s marrying Melissa Dawn Harman, a Mercer County native whom he met at a karaoke event in Princeton. The wedding is set for Saturday, September 24, 2022 in an outdoor ceremony in Mercer County. The happy couple shared their story from their wedding website. They call it “A Near-Miss Love Story”.

Melissa and Martin were living 50 miles apart passing each other on a stretch of highway between Princeton and Beckley, West Virginia for more than two years, driving to and from their jobs unaware of the others’ existence. She lived in the county where Martin works and Melissa worked in the county where he lived. Two single souls passing one another on a lonely interstate. However, one random decision changed the course of their lives, and now they plan to travel to the end of the road together.

It was a Friday night in late winter when Martin’s coworker suggested a karaoke event. It was a place in Princeton named Danny’s. Meanwhile, Melissa, who normally meets friends there on Fridays, but leaves as the karaoke crowd grows, decided to stay a little longer. Martin walked in just after midnight and went right to the DJ to sign up to sing. Within minutes he was on the stage doing his rendition of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity”. It immediately got Melissa’s attention and out loud she asked her friend “Who the hell is that?” She ducked into the restroom, let her long blonde curly hair down, freshened up her lipstick, and with a toss of her hair, was back in the room. That’s when Martin first laid eyes on MelIssa. It was much more than mutual physical attraction. Melissa wanted to know more about the only man in Danny’s in a suit & tie that night and Martin was equally as curious about the most beautiful woman in the place.

He thought she was out of his league. While belting out the lyric, “…I got to bag it up…no diggity, no doubt…”, he tried to figure out how to approach this vision of loveliness. But when the song was over, to his amazement, Melissa came over to where he was sitting with his coworkers and started a conversation. They exchanged names, but in Martin’s excitement, it went in one ear and out the other. So he spent the rest of their “meet cute” too embarrassed to ask her name again. This unfolded in front of Martin’s coworkers, who he’d never hung out with outside the office. His attention was split. They didn’t speak very long, in fact it seemed she was gone in an instant, but not before mentioning that she might be there the following Friday.

It was a long but exciting week filled with an air of giddy anticipation of a second meeting. It was mutual. Melissa went right to work and shared with coworkers about her encounter with the hot man in the suit. Martin on the other hand, kept his excitement to himself, sharing with neither coworkers nor family. But his hope built every day that the beautiful blonde would be interested in him. It’s a thought that brought a smile to his face every time. Both individually sharing in an unknown synchronicity as they counted the days till Friday. Melissa spent some time working the web to gather information about Martin, she was surprised to find out he was a TV news anchorman. She hardly ever catches the news because of her shifts. Melissa thought she might be aiming too high. What could they possibly have in common?

Melissa followed her same routine when Friday rolled around. She arrived at Danny’s around 9 p.m. to meet friends, hopeful to see the man who filled her thoughts all week. Meanwhile, Martin felt like he was working the longest shift ever! It ended at 11:35 p.m. and he was in the car leaving the lot at work two minutes after that. He arrived just before midnight. Melissa had to work the next day and had no idea of his work schedule. The hours that passed drained some hope. She left sad and disappointed, convinced the man who caught her eye was not as interested in her as she was in him. After all, he did spend more time talking to his coworkers last Friday. Melissa and Martin missed each other by minutes. Disappointment was the uncomfortable bedfellow for each that night.

Melissa was the last thing Martin thought of before he fell asleep that night and the very first he had when he woke the next morning. Determined to meet the beautiful woman, he came up with a simple plan: see her again. She had told him where she worked when they met . He remembered that! All he had to do was go to the restaurant and meet her. It was less than 10 minutes away. He took a gamble on the shift she might work. It’s a large eatery so how to pick the right section with no sight of her? Fate smiled.

Martin left the receipt on the table as instructed by the hostess. When he returned he saw her again. Big smiles were exchanged across the room. Hope rebuilt, fate nodded again because the beautiful woman had written her name on the receipt and she was his server. This time he knew he had to be direct. When she introduced herself the second time his reply was abrupt, fueled by the hope to not let her get away. “Hi Missy. Can I have your number? What are you doing when you get off work tonight?

The date was everything we hoped it would be. So we had another, and another, and another. Are you getting the picture? We have been virtually inseparable except when we have to work. We’re both old enough to know people would not understand how fast and how hard and how truly we fell in love with each other. When we came to that realization we kept it hidden and developed a code. Because we know people would look at us funny when we shared that we loved each other. When we were with our friends, Martin’s code for I love you in public was “You’re my Bubblicious!” Melissa’s reply would be, “You’re my Bubble Yum!” Within months the code words were abandoned because total strangers were approaching us to tell us that it was nice to see people in love. You can’t hide the real thing.

There is no hiding what we have and we want the world to know. We are getting married because the love we have rarely comes around once in a lifetime. Join us as we grab that brass ring and run off into forever together.

The Beginning…

The couple plans to reside in Princeton following their honeymoon in Savannah, Georgia.