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Roadside marriage proposal ends with emphatic answer

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Sara Melton became recently engaged to her boyfriend of two years, Keith Partridge, after he proposed to her early Sunday morning at 1 a.m. when he drove her out to a sign he had painted on Liberty Road. Melton said yes, and saidthey are hoping to get married in early October.

NATCHEZ — He didn’t sing it like country star Jason Aldean, but Vidalia resident Keith Partridge put all the writing his heart wanted to sing on the wall for his Sara.

The Democrat published a photo Tuesday of a marriage proposal written in white spray paint on a Liberty Road embankment reading “Sara will you marry me? You are my world!!!”

For those who were left in suspense — she said “yes.”

The proposal was the handiwork of Partridge, 22, who said he was inspired by Aldean’s song “Tattoos on this town.”

LAUREN WOOD | THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Despite buying 14 cans, Keith Partridge used only four cans of spray paint to write a marriage proposal on an embankment along Liberty Road.

The line that sparked the idea goes, “And to this day up on that overpass even underneath the new paint, you can still see Ali will you marry me.”

The addition of “You are my world!!!” was inspired by his feelings for Sara Melton, though he admits he came up with it on the fly.

“I don’t know where that came from, I was trying to (spray paint) in a hurry before somebody else came down the road and saw me,” Partridge said.

Partridge said he was nervous he could somehow get in trouble for the heartfelt graffiti. His nerves also might have caused him to over prepare. He bought 14 cans of spray paint and used only four.

Partridge said he waited until at 1 a.m. Sunday after Melton got off work to lure her by the embankment on Liberty Road, which is nearly next door to where Partridge grew up.

Partridge told his girlfriend of two years he was bringing her to see a car he was thinking about buying — a fib to get her to go along with it.

“We were supposed to come look at something he bought,” Melton said. “I knew we were on Liberty Road, but I didn’t know where.”

Melton, 20, spent the drive time worrying over what in the world Partridge may have wanted to purchase and why they had to drive into the darkness to see it.

Then Partridge made her close her eyes, drove into an empty lot, helped her from the car, walked her to the road’s edge and changed her life forever.

His friends were already at the scene, shining their headlights on the big question.

“I turned around and saw it and started crying,” Melton said.

“She was surprised,” Partridge said.

The couple has tentatively set a wedding date of Oct. 7, the day Melton’s father and grandfather share as a birthday.

After two years of dating, Melton admits she figured a proposal would come one day, but she didn’t expect it in that way or so soon.

“I was shocked,” she said.

Partridge said he knew he wanted to come up with a special proposal that no one had ever done before for a special girl.

“She was just different from everybody else, she wasn’t like everybody else around here,” Partridge said.

“Everything is special about her — I can’t really explain it.”

So he wrote it.