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11 years later, she still lights his fire

by Tom Hasslinger
| November 25, 2010 8:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - Eleven years ago Friday Craig Brosenne had a lot on his mind.

Then the director of facilities for The Coeur d'Alene Resort, Craig was in charge of making sure the 1999 Coeur d'Alene Resort Holiday Light Show went off without a hitch.

A nerve-racking responsibility for the young man who had just moved for the job from Seattle.

What if they didn't light?

What if 30,000 people waited for 1 million lights to flare and it just stayed dark?

Oh yeah, in Craig's pocket - as he stood on top of the Hagadone Corporation office that night choreographing the end of the parade with the beginning of the fireworks and the countdown to flipping the light switch - was a diamond ring.

So there was that to worry about, too.

"I was a little nervous," Craig said Wednesday. "I got this big diamond ring in my pocket and I need to high-tail it after all that."

'All that' is the fireworks show, the countdown and the million bulbs that lighted the night. 'High-tailing it' is the sprint Craig did coming down from the top of the office after his job was done and weaving through the crowd to propose to Angie McComb, watching the ceremony with her friends and family from The Resort pool deck.

Fast forward to 2010, and everything went off without a hitch.

The lights lighted and McComb - now Angie Brosenne - said yes.

"When the lights came we were elated that everything worked the way it was supposed to," Angie said, remembering the "pandemonium" of the celebration with her friends and family in the crowd. "That's what we were celebrating when Craig came through the crowd and pulled me aside."

In the crowd and commotion, Craig dropped to a knee.

"And then all time stopped," Angie said.

This year Craig, general manager of Hagadone Marine Group, is the ceremony's guest of honor. He'll be pressing the button that will light 1.5 million bulbs spread over 250 displays.

An honor, Craig said, to be a guest on a night that is great for families.

"With a little snow on the ground, we'll make it special," he said.

The couple now has an 8-year-old son, Cole. And every year at this time Angie wonders if it's happening to someone else.

She wonders if the crowds and parade and fireworks and lights serve as the backdrop for another couple banding together. So she keeps her eye out.

"And I've never seen anyone else," she said. "It seems to me you might notice if you came across it in the crowd."

The ceremony draws in around 30,000 spectators, though, offering plenty of nooks and corners to hide. Even in the commotion of their own proposal, Angie and Craig's friends and family didn't notice Craig on his knee.

So it can happen to anyone, anywhere.

"Every year," Angie said, "you can't help but cry when the lights come on."

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