TV5 sports guy 'pops the question' in creative way
PACIFICA, CA (WNEM) -
By Chris Hunter
Scot Johnson grew up in Pacifica, graduating from Terra Nova High School in 1982 and going off to college at Humboldt State University.
He's been working in Saginaw, Michigan, at WNEM-TV5 since 1996 and is now the Sports Director at that television station.
As a high school student, Scot played football and was All-County as well as the captain of the team at Terra Nova. He was part of the 1981 North Peninsula League Champions, nicknamed the "Junkyard Dogs." Later, in his 20-year career as a professional sports reporter and broadcaster, he has always championed high school sports. One of the things he is most proud of is the creation of Friday Night High School Football coverage at the various places he has worked. The fans of WNEM Sports benefit from his continued advocacy for student athletes.
But last week, back home in Pacifica, he was thinking about how he was going to ask Merrie Schaar to be his wife.
"I didn't pay attention," Merrie says, chatting in Nick's at Rockaway Beach. "I don't know why he was sweating it."
What she's talking about is the rather lengthy, somewhat complicated, and rather playful scheme Scot dreamed up to propose to Merrie. It involved placing a story in last week's Pacifica Tribune about a possible hidden treasure and it also involved actually burying that "hidden" treasure somewhere on Rockaway Beach.
"I guess I planted some seeds," says Scot, who admits to keeping a small treasure chest and nautical display at his home in Michigan. He has been developing his plan for about nine months, with everything pointing to an eventual proposal. When asked by Merrie what was in the chest back in Michigan, Scot would say, "Oh, just a note to my future wife."
After Merrie saw the Tribune story about an Ocean Shore Railroad crew that discovered lost coins and buried them secretly, she was primed for Scot to take her walking on the beach the next day. A friend had helped to set the stage, wrapping a chest in plastic and burying it near an easily identifiable rock on the beach.
"The idea was that my parents would be late for breakfast and we would go for a walk on the beach," says Scot, who comes to visit his parents, Marvin and Diane, about four times a year.
"I thought he was a little crazy," says Merrie. "I mean, there was a little shovel in the sand!"
When Scot began digging around in the sand, Merrie admits that she thought he might be ruining someone else's surprise. She had not yet figured out it was all an elaborate plan involving her.
It became clear when Scot pulled a small wooden chest out of a pre-arranged hole in the sand, and then, two champagne glasses and a bottle of bubbly. Inside the chest was a smaller chest, with a gorgeous diamond engagement ring.
"I pulled the chest out of the sand, and pretended to struggle with it," says Scot. "I flipped it open."
The rest, as the saying goes, is history. A little hokey, a little playful, the proposal had its desired effect and Merrie happily accepted Scot's invitation to be his wife.
Although they haven't decided on a wedding date, the couple lives in Flushing, Michigan. Merrie is in the real estate business and Scot enjoys working at WNEM-TV5.
His official TV bio says that he "considers himself a Mid-Michigan man despite the fact that he was born and raised in California."
But his heart seems to have been buried in a secret treasure chest on Rockaway Beach. Until last Thursday, that is, when he dug it up and gave it to Merrie Schaar.
She joins his other two treasures, sons Andrew and Matthew. Congratulations to Scot Johnson and Merrie Schaar on a memorable and romantic engagement surprise.
Reprinted with the author's permission. Copyright WNEM 2012 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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