A little over a week ago, The New York Times wrote about the nuptials of Dr. Cooper Boone and Mark Veeder ("Two Men Gone Country and Their Dreamgirls," published July 21, 2016). Cooper Boone, who originally had little interest in a partner, began falling in love with Mark Veeder at a country fair. Now they’re married with children.
In August 2001, Dr. Boone, who has a psychology practice in Manhattan, was laying a bluestone patio, and looking “like a chapter out of 'Deliverance'" when his friend Lynne O’Neill turned up with Mark Veeder. First impressions weren’t overly positive but the determined Ms. O’Neill arranged that they both meet up with her at the Dutchess County Fair in Rhinebeck, New York. That time sparks flew in front of the corn-dog stand. The men decided to start dating.
They were brought closer together following the traumatic events of 9/11, when Dr. Boone lost both patients and friends. After viewing the makeshift memorial, Mr. Veeder, winner of the state’s 1979 apple pie baking championship, chief executive of VP + C Marketing & Events in Manhattan and founder of Farmacy (a company that produces a line of direct-from-the-farm skin products), invited Dr. Boone to move into his loft. Dr. Boone responded with, “I had to leap, I couldn’t run!”
In spite of their full-time careers, they decided to ‘leap’ into a side business of renovating old buildings. With little time to unwind and conflict about their roles in this business they decided to try therapy. This worked really well for them both as they learnt to give one another the necessary freedom “to excel at what each does best.”
While grieving over his father’s death, Mr. Veeder suggested they could start a family to give their lives more purpose. Dr. Boone was slower to agree but they decided to go ahead. However the surrogate they found ran into visa problems and returned to Costa Rica and sadly aborted the twins. The men were devastated.
The second surrogacy was successful, though and twin girls, Celia Rose and Crosby Boone Veeder were born. They are raised in the country by Dr. Boone during the week while Mr. Veeder helps to take over for long weekends. Following the Supreme Court decision that gay couples nationwide could marry, in a typically romantic style Dr. Boone rushed up to New York and proposed, with hand-made bouquet, in the elevator.
They were married in the back garden of their house in Forestburgh on June 25, the first anniversary of the Supreme Court decision.
Main image courtesy of Randy Harris of The New York Times