In the mildly distant past (1990s), Mary Stradford worked as a paralegal and traveled from Federal Way Transit Center to the downtown Seattle courthouse early in the morning on the Route 174. Brad Purfeerst, an electrical foreman, was also an early commuter on the Route 174. He and fellow rider Janet typically sat in the seats in front of Mary, and it wasn’t long until the three of them engaged in friendly morning banter on a regular basis.

One frequent topic? Mary’s dating life.

“They both would hear my stories and laugh with me,” says Mary.

One day, as the three amigos were walking out of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel and about to go their separate ways, Brad pulled out a slip of paper and said, “If Mr. Wonderful doesn’t work out, give me a call!”

Mary was leaving for a business trip over the weekend but took him up on his offer when she returned.

“Our bus buddy Janet and her husband went on our first date with us!”

Mary and Brad were married in Hawaii in 2000. They have since traded riding on the 174 for riding off into the sunset, as they’re now retired in Florida. To celebrate their 20 year anniversary this year, they’ll be enjoying a new form of transit: a two-week cruise to see Ireland, France, and Iceland.

Mary and Brad Purfeerst