How We Met: Many Years Later
17 years after their first meeting Patrick and Jessica found love
Photo above by HQ Studios, photo below by Claudia Pacifico
At age 28, Patrick Venus was already following in his grandfather’s footsteps and running Georgetown Motors, where he began pumping gas at the age of 12. He was still living at home when his sister, Kelly, 13 years his junior, brought home her friend, Jessica Lutrus.
“I was too old for any of her friends,” says Patrick, now owner of the business that he expanded into Georgetown Auto Body, on Catoonah Street. But that didn’t keep him from noticing the cute girl with a confident spirit. He even mentioned her to his sister.
Jessica, 16 at the time, noticed Patrick as well. She commented to Kelly, that she thought her older brother was cute. But the years separating them were too many for either to be really interested.
Eventually, Jessica went off to college, leaving Ridgefield behind, while Patrick, a graduate of Henry Abbott Technical School in Danbury, took over the auto-body business when his grandfather retired. At the same time he pursued his other passion, road biking.
It was nearly 17 years before the two would meet again. By then it was 2013 and Jessica had returned to Ridgefield and immediately became interested in training for TriRidgefield, the sprint-distance triathlon that takes place every spring. Both of Patrick’s sisters tried to get into the matchmaking game and kept hinting that their brother was into riding bikes, but Jessica felt it was too awkward to call him.
For his part, Patrick knew his sisters were trying to fix him up with Jessica, and he didn’t mind. It was just that he didn’t have a moment to spare. Every time his sisters tried to get them together, something stood in the way.
Then one day, on a whim, Patrick decided to take a break. He lived his job 24/7, spending long hours keeping up with technological advances as he continued to expand his business. But for once he decided he deserved a little time off and headed over to the now-closed restaurant 50 Coins for a beer and salad.
By then Patrick was in his 40s and had yet to find “the right girl” who would put up with his crazy work hours. Little did he know that the right girl just happened to be sitting on the stool next to him. He and Jessica immediately struck up a conversation, and he offered to help her train for the triathlon on an early morning bike ride the next day.
At 5:30 the following morning, the two mounted their bikes and spent the next hour riding in the rain. After a soaking wet breakfast at Steve’s Bagels, the two became inseparable, riding and running every morning or evening.
Jessica’s training paid off, and with the bike she borrowed from Patrick, she placed first in her age group at TriRidgefield. On July 4, 2014, Patrick jokes that he finally lost his independence when he married Jessica, a day he says brought him a perfect wife and two incredible boys who already know a thing or two about cars. As for Jessica, she balances her business, Jessica Venus Photography, around taking care of their sons. And in spite of Patrick’s long hours, she feels blessed that they finally got together. As Patrick says, “It was just meant to be.”
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