To celebrate Beranek’s fortieth birthday, the couple flew to Hawaii. There he proposed, and she accepted. They returned to find their story chalked on the sidewalk between their homes—prompting congratulations from neighbors up and down the block.
Park, forty-six, is small and trim. She came to Ann Arbor in 2002, moving from D.C. with a former boyfriend, and liked the city so much that she stayed on after they broke up. Beranek, forty-two, a sturdy-looking guy with light brown hair, came from Boston in 1990 to take a job at Ford.
Asked what attracted them to each other, Beranek looks embarrassed. “Her zest for life,” he says. “We just like to have fun together.” “He’s just one of the most considerate people I’ve ever met,” says Park. “I saw how he was with his friends.”
Although both their careers require scientific savvy, Park says her spouse’s field is a mystery to her. When she lived in the D.C. area, all her friends and dates seemed to be “lawyers, political people, academics. I didn’t even know anyone who was an engineer!”