A Modern Love Story


Newlyweds Esther Crance and Art Messina.

It must have been a divinely inspired connection because Riverside’s Esther Crance only posted her profile information for one day on Catholic Singles.com. After that, she got scared and took it off.

Meanwhile, following a trip to New York to see his sister, Redding’s Art Messina had promised he’d go online and check out the dating website. He happened to see Esther’s profile and e-mailed her immediately.

On Saturday, they were married at St. Anthony’s Church in Mount Shasta. They had an evening reception at Vintage Wine Bar in Redding.

Messina, 76, is a retired manager at Meeks Lumber and Hardware. His three daughters — Linda Brunn, Susan Messina and Patty Weil — live in Redding.

Messina and Crance leave Monday for a cruise to Mexico. After that, they plan to reside in Riverside.

So what was it about Esther’s online information that so intrigued Art?

"She said in her profile that she wasn’t interested in marriage," Messina said. "It gave me a challenge. This is when the Italian goes to work."

The two began exchanging e-mails then finally met for a date in Southern California where Esther discovered that Art really wasn’t "an axe murder" (Art’s words).

The couple have been quite a comfort to each other. Both lost their former spouses to cancer in 2007.

"This is a good story — a true love story," said the beaming Messina.


I missed my friend Marvin Allen’s student concert last weekend at Music Max in Palo Cedro (9472 Cedro Lane), and I’m kind of bummed that I did.

Had I gone, I would have witnessed north state 8th graders Hope Rodgers and Emmy Foglioso performing "Helter Skelter" with Allen and Redding’s Mike Mathis (Madside and many other bands). Allen is one of the area’s long established guitar teachers and Music Max is continuing to utilize its in-house concert space for clinics and performances.

Next up for the store is the West Valley Jazz Band under the direction of Marc Soares at 2 p.m. March 20. At 6 p.m. on April 9, a really nice evening of electric jazz will take place as shop owner and stellar guitarist Al Mires is joined by pianist Cleveland Boney, bassist Rob McQueen and drummer Kenji Kato.

Electric bass wizard Michael Manring will perform at the NorCal Bassix Bass Day on May 1. Manring performs at 6 p.m. and tickets are $10. There was a lot of raving about Manring the last time he passed through town.

is a journalist who focuses on arts, entertainment, music and the outdoors. He is a songwriter and leader of the Jim Dyar Band. He lives in Redding and can be reached at jimd.anewscafe@gmail.com
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4 Responses

  1. What a sweet story, Jim. >sniff< My favorite part (other than the line about the axe murderer) was where Esther said she wasn't interested in marriage.

    Best wishes to the newlyweds. (I remember writing a story about Art Messina when he held a fundraiser at Meek's to benefit the Cancer Society.)

  2. Avatar Grammalyn says:

    Congratulations to the newlyweds. What a sweet story, and what lucky people to find one another.

  3. Avatar Emily Weil says:

    That's my grandpa!!! Congrats Papa S and Esther! XD

  4. Avatar RoseMarie says:

    Life is too short to go it alone!

    What a nice thing to happen. Art has found him one heck of a sweet person.