Around the Rim Country we remember Morgan O’Haver as the affable teenage softball star who waited patiently in the wings as pitching backup to Brenna Zumbo and Rachel Ray before finally receiving her opportunity to shine.
When she finally became the Lady Horns’ mound ace in 2005, Morgan made the most of her opportunity, compiling a 15-6 record and leading PHS to second place in the rugged 4A Grand Canyon region.
For her efforts, she earned a softball scholarship to Paradise Valley Community College where she said she was going to major in elementary education.
In preparing to depart Payson for college, Morgan — true to her genial nature — was ever so gracious saying, “I would like to thank all of those who supported me in both school and softball. My coaches, my parents, family, and the community were all there to help me.”
Fast-forward to today and we learn Morgan has married and is now known as Morgan Borkowski.
She’s also fulfilled her goal of earning a degree in education and is teaching fifth grade in Avondale.
Morgan’s marriage on May 12 at Chaparral Pines was an event for the ages, even though she admits she almost forgot some of her vows and she and her husband came close to not remembering to exchange rings.
While the ceremony was an event for the ages, it’s what occurred directly after that is the stuff great memories are made of.
It seems, before she and husband to be, Tom, were married she told him of her grandma’s 1952 Chevrolet pickup that she had always yearned to drive and possibly someday own. It had a special place in Morgan’s heart because her great-grandfather had originally purchased it.
“My grandma told me stories about the truck and how her dad used it to drive back and forth to their fruit stand on Apache Blvd. in Tempe,” she said. “I loved that truck without ever being in it.”
As the years passed, the O’Haver family moved from Gilbert to Payson, leaving the truck behind with a neighbor.
After Morgan turned of driving age, she went in search of the truck, asking her grandmother what had happened to it.
“She told me she gave it to our neighbor and he had sold it to someone else,” she said.
“I was a little heartbroken but I knew why she gave in the truck, we had no means of towing the truck (to Payson).”
Morgan continued to search for the old Chevy, writing her neighbor and asking what had happened to it.
But the man didn’t respond and the ex-Lady Horn star was convinced the truck would never be a part of her future.
What she didn’t know, however, was that after she met Tom and told him the story of the pickup, he and her father, Raymond, jump-started their own search for the missing Chevrolet.
The two didn’t have to go far to find the truck, they learned almost immediately it was still parked in the neighbor’s back yard but covered by a canopy and hidden from sight.
The neighbor had completely restored the old Chevy, replacing the upholstery, repainting it and rebuilding the worn-out motor.
Soon, Tom and Raymond negotiated a purchase price with the neighbor who said he was happy to return it to the original owners.
But buying it was just the beginning of the intrigue of keeping the truck a surprise wedding gift for Morgan.
“They parked it at different houses to keep it hidden from me,” Morgan says.
Finally, wedding day arrived, the ceremony was over and Tom walked Morgan through the reception area to an outdoor grassy area at the golf club.
All the while, he told her to “Keep your eyes closed, you are going to love it.”
Once outside, Tom handed his new bride a wrapped gift that when opened was a black and white picture of Morgan’s grandfather driving the family pickup.
Staring with tears in her eyes, she soon noticed the guests, who had gathered in a group in front of her slowly beginning to part revealing, much to Morgan’s surprise, the refurbished truck.
“I was so ecstatic, emotional and excited,” she said. “Over half our guests knew about the truck and not one person leaked the surprise.”
With the wedding now in the rear view mirror, Morgan is set to return to her teaching career and might possibly next school year be seen proudly motoring to and from school in an antique truck that’s sure to draw stares of wonderment and admiration.