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Anniversary: November 5

Carl Blando is Vice President of Sales at the San Francisco based textile company Luna. Owen Keehnen is a fiction writer and historian with several books to his credit including the novels Young Digby Swank, The Sand Bar, and Doorway unto Darkness. Many of Owen’s nonfiction books, such as Leatherman: The Legend of Chuck Renslow, Jim Flint: The Boy from Peoria and Vernita Gray: From Woodstock to the White House, deal with the LGBT history of his native Chicago.

Together since 2005: 10 years.
Carl Blando (born Nov. 19, 1963) & Owen Keehnen (born Mar. 25, 1960)
Anniversary: November 5

Owen and Carl had known one another for some time before they started dating. Carl thought Owen was attractive and as a result, he became extremely shy whenever Owen was around; Owen interpreted Carl’s shyness as simple dislike and never knew why “that guy just didn’t like me.” Things may never had changed if it were not for when their paths/profiles crossed on the online dating site. Owen explained, “I think I nodded or winked at him or whatever you did on that site. Carl nodded or winked back. I know I ended up messaging him my phone number and afterwards I regretted it. I was on the tail end of a bad boyfriend streak and I wasn’t really interested in dating anyone for a while.” Carl called Owen the next day and over the course of a half hour proved himself to be an extremely skilled salesman by talking Owen into a date. Carl says, “We went for Mexican food and it was nice. We casually dated for a few months and it was great, very comfortable right from the start. Then when Owen’s birthday came around I decided to take him to San Francisco.” Owen continued, “We always had a good time together and during that trip we sort of got married. Anyway, it certainly qualifies a legit union in my mind. We were down at the waterfront at a farmer’s market and there was a man who had a booth selling jewelry and rings. We stopped in front of his stand and just decided to do it. We bought rings and walked out on the pier and exchanged the bands with only a pelican as a witness.” Carl and Owen ended up moving in together soon after their return to Chicago. That was a decade ago and despite their brief courtship, the two are still together. Moving in together took some adjustments. Owen explained, “We both were single men and in our forties and somewhat set in our ways, so coming together to make a home required a conscious effort by both of us to just let the smaller stuff go and have fun. That has been sort of been our M.O.” Both say the companionship and laughter are the cement that holds them together. “We have so much fun. And we also have two very spoiled dogs,” added Carl. Flannery and Fitzgerald joined the household several years ago. “At the end of the day we are best friends,” says Owen, “and we have a great time enjoying the adventure of life together.” -Owen Keehnen

Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time
ISBN-13: 978-1500563325 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1500563323
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