Man surprises wife for 10th anniversary with billboard he used to propose to her

SAN DIEGO - When you've already proposed using a giant billboard, how do you top that for your anniversary? You use another billboard, of course.

The 48-foot-wide billboard on state Route 94 in Rancho San Diego near Campo Road was already eye-catching before it was revised with a banner that reads, "Happy 10th Anniversary!" 

"I figured, why not? I did it 10,11 years ago. Let me do it again," said the man behind the billboard, Robert Zakar.  

He said it worked the first time because it "kept her around for 10 years."

Zakar popped the question using the original billboard which says in big letters, "Valerie Kassab, will you marry me?" and includes pictures of Zakar, Kassab and a sparkling ring.

Zakar said he hung onto the original billboard for sentimental reasons.

"I've had it in my garage," he said.

You already know how their story begins. She said "yes," they got married and 10 years later, they have two beautiful children.

To mark the milestone 10th anniversary, could he get the same space when he needed it?

"It just so happened that the availability was from April 29 to May 26 and my anniversary date is May 25," he said.

He even managed to keep it a secret from his wife. That is, until minutes after it went up, he began getting messages from family members such as, "Are you putting up a billboard again?" and, "OMG, you did!!!"

Zakar said, "I'm sure if they're texting me, they're also texting her."

Word spread so fast thanks to social networking that his wife called while 10News was interviewing Zakar.

"She asked me what I did and she said, 'Oh my God,'" he said.

His wife may be stunned, but some passersby were impressed.

"That's cute, that's romantic … I don't know, everyone has different ways," said Erica Jacobsen.

"He's definitely making it hard because I forget my anniversary all the time," said Ernesto Marquez. "I'm inspired, yeah. I need to bring my game up a little bit."

Zakar says he has a simple goal.

"Keep it fun, keep it exciting and hopefully share the rest of our life together," he said.

He says in order not to become predictable, he will definitely change things up for future anniversaries to keep his wife guessing.


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