ToquiNotes: A City Twitty Valentine's Day Love Story

By Jeff Toquinto on February 09, 2019 from ToquiNotes via

Feeling a little big tingly with Valentine's Day officially just a few days ahead of you. Don't be surprised, love does that.
Love makes tough guys teddy bears, turns mean men into gentlemen, and managed to turn Bridgeport’s own personal celebrity Jim Dawson into a crooner.
For those who have never met Dawson, a Bridgeport resident who is a past Bridgeport High School football freshman, girls track coach and BHS trainer, well, it's your loss. I think it goes without saying for those who know Jim that they'll tell you he's a unique bird – and you’d probably hear the same from those knowing him in his current position teaching at South Harrison Middle School.
Perpetually stuck at age 15, Dawson is one of those guys who never seems to take anything too seriously. Yet, there's a soft side to Big Jim. There's a side not too many people know about.
The soft side was discovered by accident. Several years ago, both Jim and his wife Dawn were at a Lewis County-Bridgeport football game. During halftime, I struck up a conversation with his wife.
As I talked, I constantly insulted Jim loud enough that I figured he could hear me. As usual, Jim was too busy involved with cutting up to hear a thing I was saying.
In a nutshell, I was asking Dawn what in the world would ever lead her to say yes when Jim's proposal came years earlier. I was surprised with her response. I was so surprised, in fact, I told her I thought it might make a nice pre- or post-Valentine's Day blog.
It seems Jim Dawson is quite the crooner. And it's his voice that landed him the heart of his wife, starting way back in their days at West Virginia Wesleyan College.
"Jim had the same work experience as my roommate and she fixed us up," said Dawn. "Everything fell into place from there."
Along the first things Jim did for his future bride was sing to her. Unlike most guys who try to belt out a few tunes to impress the ladies, Dawson didn't resort to Top 20 love songs. Dawson went a totally different route.
"He would sing Conway Twitty songs to me. It was part of the wooing process," said Dawn. "That really worked because I am a sucker for a deep voice and you might be surprised to know he sings quite well."
As it turns out, the favorites were Twitty hits "Hello Darlin" and "Darling I'd Love to Lay You Down." Young Jim Dawson had found the ticket to his own darling's heart through the artist called "A Song's Best Friend" by Nashville.
There is a little bit of irony about the couple's love for Conway Twitty. Dawn said there was no Twitty music played at their wedding and he didn't serenade her with Twitty music during his proposal.
Irony aside, something must be working in this very Twitty romance. The two have been married now for more than a quarter of a century. They are the parents to 30-year old Drew and 28-year-old Lindsay with Lindsay living in Seattle.
"If you know Jim you know he has an outgoing personality and not a care in the world," said Dawn. "That's what I like and, even to this day, he'll surprise me by singing a Conway Twitty song. Sometimes, if there's a call and I pick up and hear a Conway Twitty song on the radio I know it's him."
The only sad part about this story is that Jim Dawson apparently has not shared his Conway Twitty-esque voice with the masses. Dawn said that, to the best of her knowledge, he doesn't sing when out clowning with his friends.
"I don't think he's done Conway Twitty on Karaoke and, honestly, I don't believe he's ever sang in front of a large group of people. I really think a lot of people would really be surprised to know that Jim can sing so well, particularly Conway Twitty."
Thanks to the singer born Harold Jenkins, Bridgeport now has its own version of "Louisiana Woman, Mississippi Man" with a West Virginia spin. Here's hoping he shares his gift with the public; at least before Valentine's Day 2019.
Editor's Note: Jim and Dawn Dawson are shown above, while their children - Drew and Lindsay - are shown below. Photos courtesy of Dawn Dawson.

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