“I was casting for a production and I was hired to find people to dance for a musical about the Tulsa Race Riots,” Jamin Brasongré says. “I went to her house to work on choreography.”
Brasongré knocked on the door and saw Gina Bradford’s father for the first time. “Mr. Bradford is a giant man, about 250 pounds,” says Jamin. “He was wearing large overalls that were extremely tight—like a swimsuit—and a Green Bay Packer jersey and a 1940’s war hat.”
“I think my dad met Jamin at the door with a gun,” Gina Brasongré smirked. She was more than familiar with her dad’s routine from the few men that had dared visit her.
“He shows them the gun room and then he takes them out back and shows them how to throw a knife.”
“I named a couple of guns on the wall, and I think he thought I was alright after that,” laughed Jamin.
Gina, however, has a different take.
“He had a real problem with Jamin at first. But as he spent more time with Jamin over the next couple of months, my dad started liking him.”
After repeated rehearsals, however, Gina realized that Jamin was becoming more than just a dance partner.
“We were in that ‘friend zone’ for quite awhile, but it got to the point where I realized that I liked him,” says Gina.
On an emotional spur of the moment, she made a phone call and professed her true feelings to Jamin.
“I thought you didn’t want to date anyone!” replied a surprised Jamin. She corrected his misunderstanding.
They began seeing each other, and both admit that their relationship struggled over the course of the first two years, and even culminated in a break-up.
“His parents thought culturally we didn’t fit well,” she remembers. “My parents saw the turmoil in our past relationship and they didn’t want to see me go through that again.”
Fortunately, the bond created between man and weaponry ran deep. Before long, the couple had an ally.
“Out of the four guys I’ve dated, Jamin is the only one that my dad has liked,” said Gina. “He was the most supportive of us getting back together.”
Jamin and Gina married in December of 2007 at the International Gospel Center (which, if you can’t guess from the name, is not a gun range, as both men in Gina’s life might have preferred).
This article originally published March 13, 2011