A love that has endured decades will be consummated in marriage Saturday evening at Green Valley Park.
Roundup reporter Michael Burkett and d'Rachael that's her full name will wed at sunset surrounded by family and friends.
Michael and d'Rachael met 28 years ago on a trip with mutual friends from Phoenix to Los Angeles. They dated for several years before eventually drifting apart. Both went on to marry other people, but remained friends and kept in contact with each other.
d'Rachael moved to Yelapa, Mexico where she spent 15 years living in the jungle outside of Puerto Vallarta. She supported her two daughters by performing and recording as a musician and singer. Transportation to the night clubs was via a boat from her small village, which had no electricity, phones or running water. d'Rachael, an accomplished harpist and flutist, entertained tourists and natives with her classical and jazz music and songs.
Michael was busy in his own artistic endeavors, writing and acting in plays as well as serving as a movie critic, author and syndicated newspaper columnist.
The two saw each other once six years ago when d'Rachael came to Arizona to visit her daughters and learned that Michael was starring in a play in Phoenix.
Time and distance separated them once again as d'Rachael returned to her home, which was now in Puerto Vallarta.
Michael, however, was never able to shake loose from the love he had for d'Rachael.
"That period of time when I had lost contact with her I would find myself admiring a beautiful woman and realize the reason I thought she was so beautiful was because she reminded me of d'Rachael," Michael said.
Having lost total contact with d'Rachael, Michael turned to his newly found faith in meditation in June of this year.
"I meditated for three days keeping an image of her in my head," he said. "On the fourth day, the phone rang and it was d'Rachael calling from Mexico." He immediately booked a flight to Puerto Vallarta for what became "a magical weekend, incredibly romantic," Michael said. "All the old feelings were magnified 10,000 times."
The two love birds proceeded to burn up their frequent flyer miles between Arizona and Mexico.
They will honeymoon on the coast of Mexico south of Puerto Vallarta, where d'Rachael still resides in the town of Pitiall.
d'Rachael, who is now a famous musician in Puerto Vallarta, will continue to perform and maintain her recording studio in Mexico, while commuting to Payson.