February 14, 2020

Newsy Today

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Couple writing 30 years of love letters

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Imagine not only love your life to reach a bar to use the next day, and then see that person again months later. For Bret and Susan Fenske, one night of "instant chemistry" went into two children, daily love letters and 30 years married.

On her 18th birthday, Susan ran from her troubled East Tennessee house and moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to live with her sister. She started dancing at a club to earn money, and one night she met a man of her dreams.

"It was an immediate chemistry," she said.

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Susan Fenske shifts through her own notebooks and her husband, Bret, filled with love notes at their apartments in Clarksville, Tenn., On February 4.

She worked as a dancer at a cocktail bar …

In 1990, Bret, Army Ranger, was based in Fort Bragg and was enjoying a night out in the town before being deployed.

"I went to bar one evening and saw Susan and I fell in love immediately," Bret said. "We talked for a while, and I stayed with her after she retired and she met her in the car park. We swapped a kiss, and the next day I was being deployed to Panama."

While Bret was deployed, he wrote Susan's love letters every day, but never received a letter back. He discovered that they had been pumped in the military post office, without ever making their way to Susan.

Bret said that he had written so many letters to allow Susan that he had never been interested, even though they had only spent one hour together. The letters mainly related to incidents and Bret wanted to explore with Susan when he returned.

Bret and Susan Fenske celebrate their 30th anniversary in October.

After two months, Bret returned to Fort Bragg and went to the same bar that Susan worked, hoping to find, but closed the bar. "I thought I wouldn't see her again because we had no exchange numbers."

Bret and his friends decided to go to another bar that night. When parking their car, another car pulled them up.

Honestly, Susan.

Bret said that he remembers her name when she saw her face. "It was like a sketch from a film."

Bret and Susan Fenske fill multiple notebooks with notes about everything from love to forgiveness.

30 years later, love is still going

After Fort Bragg, Bret went back to Cleveland, where he grew up, but he said he was not going without Susan on his side.

"I brought her home back to me, and history has never been since," Bret said.

One year after their transfer, Nick had a son, 29, now, and married. Five years later, their daughter, Julia, was born 24 years old now.