MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 2, 2013

Couple are TV stars for one big night

Proposal plan puts them before camera

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” was a momentous occasion for one Muskogee couple.

Chris Pearson and Hillary Cox spent much of Monday evening captured on television as they waited for the ball to drop in Times Square in New York City.

Pearson’s father, Mark Pearson, snapped a photo of his television screen showing the couple standing with Jenny McCarthy in Times Square.

“They were on screen almost as much as Ryan Seacrest last night,” he said. “There’s a whole video of them kissing and the whole bit.”

After the ball dropped, a quick glimpse of the couple before the show ended didn’t reveal the best part of the evening, Mark Pearson said.

“The most fun is right after the ball dropped — they got engaged,” he said.

He knew his son planned to pop the question in Times Square, Pearson said. But it almost didn’t happen as planned.

Security at Times Square was very tight, Pearson said. As the couple arrived, they were herded into a cordoned section near the back.

Revelers in Times Square were told that if they left their section, they couldn’t return. But after several hours, a restroom break was needed and the couple had to leave their section.

“So Chris told a policewoman, ‘Hey, I’m going to propose, and we want to be down here,’” Pearson said. “She didn’t believe him that he was going to propose, so he had to get the ring out and show her to prove it.”

When the couple returned, the officer ushered them right up to the front, Pearson said.

The camera captured the couple looking at each other briefly after the ball dropped, but not the actual proposal.

But that’s OK with Mark Pearson — his son called and told him soon afterward that Cox said yes.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.