They're a couple, thanks to friend


Jessica L. Widomski And Scott F. Bertozzi

January 07, 2001|By Joanne E. Morvay | By Joanne E. Morvay,Special to the Sun

Jessica L. Widomski met the man she would marry after she made an off-the-cuff comment about Scott F. Bertozzi's good looks to a mutual friend. The friend, Michael Forti, says he should have known that Jessica and Scott would end up married.

"I knew their personalities, and I knew they were a match," Forti says. "And Scott's really serious about everything. When he's got his mind made up, that's it." In 1998, Forti was a frequent patron of the Timonium restaurant Padonia Station. Jessica, who was just starting law school, was his favorite waitress, and the two had struck up a friendship.

One night in September, Michael brought Scott to the restaurant. The two had been buddies since they were students at Cockeysville Middle School and played lacrosse together.

Jessica later told Michael how cute she thought Scott was. "But I didn't think anything would come of it," she says.

As it turns out, Scott found Jessica attractive as well.

Michael arranged for all of them to "hang out" with a bunch of friends at Padonia Station a few nights later so that Jessica and Scott could get to know one another.

Jessica and Scott began to see each other in groups of mutual friends at the restaurant and elsewhere. By coincidence, two weeks after they met, Jessica bought a cottage two blocks from where Scott was living in Towson. Two weeks after that, the couple finally went to dinner by themselves. They were soon inseparable.

By the end of 1998, Jessica and Scott were living together. Jessica's three-bedroom, 1930s-era cottage "was really cute," she says, "but it was a total money pit."

Though having a yard allowed them to get a Dalmatian they named Hershey, Jessica and Scott were becoming overwhelmed by household chores and repairs, compounded by the fact that they both spent most of the week in Baltimore.

Jessica, 24, is now a third-year law student at the University of Baltimore. Scott, 25, is a financial planner with AXA Advisors downtown.

In the fall of 1999, Jessica, Scott and Hershey said goodbye to the suburbs and moved to a condominium in Canton Cove. "Now we're up in the air and we don't even have a flower on the balcony," Jessica says.

The couple (minus Hershey, who's not much on walking) make daily jaunts to Fells Point -- for the exercise benefits and for breakfast. Scott takes the seaport taxi to work. And they've adopted a new restaurant as their own: the popular Canton eatery Looney's Pub. Living in the city also allowed them to spend more time with Jessica's late grandmother, Mary Elizabeth Widomski, who lived nearby.

Though they expected to marry someday, Jessica and Scott say they never discussed it. But on Dec. 16, 1999, Scott took Jessica to the Milton Inn for dinner, telling her he wanted to celebrate the end of that semester's law school exams. What he really wanted to do was propose.

Jessica, Scott says, "tries to see the best in people and the best in situations. She brings out a different side of me."

Jessica and Scott married Dec. 30 in the Tagart Memorial Chapel at Jessica's alma mater, McDonogh School. The groomsmen included Scott's brother Nick as well as the man who started it all, Michael Forti.

Jessica and Scott have already repaid Michael's matchmaking. Shortly after he introduced them in 1998, they introduced Michael to Jessica's longtime friend, Jennifer Baker.

Jennifer, who was Jessica's maid of honor, and Michael are happily dating.


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