About Yankee & Belle

Ind. Engineering & Technology Bldg; Central Michigan University

This is a story about a Yankee and a Southern Belle.

I’m Matt (the Yankee).  In the summer of 1996, after finishing college at Central Michigan University and working for a short time in the Detroit area, I was offered a job with General Electric in Lexington, Kentucky.  Thinking it would be a short 2-3 year assignment, I figured I could do anything and live anywhere for that long.  Soon, I would be back in the Great White North…GE Lighting was headquartered in East Cleveland at the time.  I had no idea what was in store for me.

Norton Center for the Arts; Centre College

Ashley (the Belle), a Lexington native (via Charleston, South Carolina) had just graduated from Centre College with a major in Government and a minor in Theatre.

I was looking for a way to meet people in a new place and started volunteering at a local theatre.  I auditioned for the next show, and God sent Ashley to do the same.  We worked together on that show and started dating after the cast party in January, 1997.  I proposed to her on that same stage in July, and we were married in June, 1998.

Ashley got her Masters in Education, and began teaching Social Studies at Henry Clay High School.  I had fallen in love with Ashley and with Kentucky.  It became apparent I wasn’t going anywhere, so after 4 years with GE, I got a job as a Senior Systems Engineer at American Greetings Corporation in November, 2000.

Emma, 2004

Emma Julien Barbour was born in October of 2003.  Emma (after Ashley’s grandmother, Glenna Emmalene Merriman, who passed away in 2001), Julien (after my great grandmother Julien Bernita Nott Richmond, who was named after Aunt Julien of the Ziegfeld Follies).  She became our life.  The first grandchild on either side of the family.

Ethan, 2006

In March of 2006, we welcomed Ethan Daniel Price Barbour.  Daniel (after Ashley’s grandfather, James Daniel Merriman, who passed away in 1999 and once told me that “every family needs their token Yankee.”), Price (after my grandfather, Richard Leland Price, who passed away in 2001).

We have built an amazing life together.

I’m glad you’re here to share it with us.  I hope I can make you laugh, share some of my experiences, and maybe even make you think a little.

Thanks for stopping by,

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