Since He Got Connie Powers' Number, Long-Distance Operator Scott Luczak Is Hearing a Steady Aisle Tone

updated 03/30/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/30/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

The first time Scott Luczak gave Connie Powers a ring, it was a wrong number, and they really didn't have much to say to each other. The second time it happened, Connie decided not to let him off the hook. Now, the next ring that Scott gives Connie will be round and gold and will go on the fourth finger of her left hand.

Luczak, 34, of Columbus, Ohio, was trying to reach a number in Andover, N.H. one morning last August when he misdialed and got Powers instead. He apologized and hung up. That afternoon he misdialed again and got Connie again. "We're practically friends," she said. "You've called me twice in one day." Powers, 35, who teaches autistic children, says she doesn't usually talk to strangers, but this time she made an exception. "There was something about that voice," she says. "It had stayed with me since that first call in the morning. And he was so polite."

The two talked about what Luczak now calls "the usual la-de-da," but he wasn't just giving her a telephone line; they also spoke about their hopes and dreams. By the time the conversation ended 30 minutes later, they knew about each other's failed previous marriages and that they both loved the outdoors. Scott told Connie he was thinking of quitting his computer job in Columbus, and he asked her to send him literature about New Hampshire.

Powers sent off a packet of brochures and a note, but she didn't include her surname or her address. "I wanted to keep some control," she says. Luczak tried to call and thank her, but he couldn't reconstruct her number. He had to wait until his telephone bill arrived three weeks later. Connie's number was listed on it, and he called her, this time deliberately. They talked for an hour. Soon they were burning up the phone lines for as much as six hours a night. They exchanged photographs, and Scott sent her a cassette of a love song he had written for her. It wasn't exactly Michelle, Ma Bell, but that didn't matter.

By November Connie decided it was time to find out if Scott's touch matched his tone, so she flew to Columbus to meet him. "When I got off the plane, I gave him a big hug and he hugged me right back," she says of their first actual person-to-person encounter. "Everything was good from that point on," he adds. Last Dec. 29, Scott proposed—by telephone, of course.

Luczak and Powers had planned to marry last week, but Connie's father has been unwell, so the wedding has been postponed. You might say it's on hold.

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