They just aren't the same anymore


Nancy Jurkiewicz And Scott Graham

October 14, 2001|By Sandy Alexander | By Sandy Alexander,Sun Staff

An Oct. 6 wedding in Federal Hill made Scott Graham and Nancy Jurkiewicz husband and wife, but their 3 1/2 -year relationship had already changed them in other ways.

For one, Scott unleashed Nancy's inner sports fan.

Scott, 33, a corporate sales manager for the Ravens, has always been interested in sports. For their first date, he invited Nancy, 30, to a Wizards basketball game in Washington. As their relationship progressed, Nancy started attending Ravens home games and some away games, including last year's Super Bowl.

A week before the wedding, they followed the team to Denver. The day after their wedding, they treated 35 friends and family members to a tailgate party at the stadium and then watched the Ravens play the Tennessee Titans.

"Before I met Scott, I really didn't know a lot about the Ravens. I wasn't that interested in going," says Nancy. Now, "I love the Ravens and I love going to the games."

Scott spends time with clients during the games, but Nancy can relax with Scott's co-workers and other friends.

Scott has also given more than 100 preseason Ravens tickets to children at Hearts and Homes for Youth, a nonprofit organization where Nancy heads a therapeutic foster-care program.

Nancy has influenced Scott as well, sparking his interest in photography and encouraging him to take his first overseas trip: a vacation with Nancy to Holland and France.

The couple met in 1998 at a Federal Hill bar. Scott, who grew up in Indiana, had recently moved to Baltimore from Charlotte, N.C. Nancy, who grew up in the White Marsh area and attended graduate school at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, had moved to Washington a few months earlier, but was visiting friends that evening.

"I just started talking to the group and ended up talking to her most of the time," says Scott.

He invited her to watch the Wizards play the Lakers and got them seats behind the visitor's bench. Nancy says she enjoyed her first professional basketball game, and hit it off with Scott, but she was less impressed with his arriving late and then not calling for a week afterward.

She canceled their next date, to see Indiana University in the NCAA final 16 basketball playoffs, and left for a family trip to Spain. When she returned, there were several messages from Scott on her answering machine. After that, everything fell into place.

Nancy says she's a "liberal social-worker type" and Scott is "a Midwest conservative," so they balance each other. "I tend to be more uptight about things, he's very laid-back," Nancy says. But, she adds, "We share ... our faith and we really were brought up with the same kind of values."

They also share affection for Baltimore, living in Federal Hill with their Doberman puppy, walking often to the Inner Harbor and trying out restaurants around the city.

Cal Ripken's last game, originally scheduled for a different night, made travel to the St. Mary, Star of the Sea Church in Federal Hill a little tricky, but once everyone arrived, Bishop W. Francis Malooly, who was a priest in Nancy's childhood parish, performed the Catholic wedding Mass.

Scott and Nancy included elements from their heritages in the festivities. Scott's father was born in Scotland, so they had a bagpiper play before and after the ceremony. Nancy's father was born in Poland, so they had a traditional Polish apron dance at the reception at the Sheraton Inner Harbor.

Nancy and Scott are keeping an open mind about the future. They want to excel in their careers, and both want a family someday, but they are flexible about how that will happen and where it will take them.

"I definitely see us growing together and really kind of taking things day by day," Nancy says.

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