The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

May 5, 2014

Long-distance marriage

He hopes to bring Thai bride back 1 1/2 years later

SHARON — Darrell Wicks’ second flight to Bangkok won’t be as nerve-wracking as the first one two years ago.

On that trip, he married a longtime pen pal he had never seen in person before the two-week trip that included their wedding on Nov. 12, 2012.

The Sharon man had gotten to know Pathama Hansujin – and she got to know him – through letters they wrote each other for several years. Later, they talked online as frequently as they could after both began to see themselves as much more than friends.

Wicks, a Pittsburgh native, had already told her about himself including the drug dealing conviction and a parole violation that had put him in prison for four years.

Through their letters, each knew the other had never married nor had children. They exchanged photographs of themselves, their families and other friends.

Wicks said he sent his poems and the two pen pals -- he’s 55 and she’s 52 – wrote to each other about their interest in reading the Bible.

“The more I got to know her, I began thinking, ‘Wow, here is somebody I feel comfortable with. I don’t have to pretend,’ ”  Wicks said. “By then I knew she felt the same way.”

As lovely as letters can be, there’s nothing like seeing someone you care about and hearing their voice. For Wicks and Pathama, whose name means “a flower that grows near water,” that happened online for the first time five years ago.

“We mostly just looked at each other and smiled,” Wicks said. “I found it hard to believe I was seeing and talking to someone on the other side of the planet. It was all imagination until I could see her actually talking to me and smiling. She’s got a beautiful smile.”

Wicks said he began to see a new direction in his life while living in a halfway house in Sharon for inmates who are preparing for their release from prison. He settled here when he got a job.

Wicks has since bought himself a house on the West Hill. It’s the one at 443 Logan Ave. where two flags fly – one American and one Thai in honor of his wife.

Mrs. Wicks had lived for 10 years as a girl in Texas with her aunt and her Caucasian uncle who was in the Air Force. She’s fluent in English but she returned to Thailand at age 21 and works as an office administrator for a British national who is a money manager for international clients.

Wicks, who works at Hermitage Bakery, said he’s grateful to Paul and Kathy Sotile for believing him six years ago when he said he had turned his life around.

A few years later, they supported him again when he told them he needed time off to get married.

“My boss gave me two weeks off and said you go do what’s in your heart,” Wicks said. “She said, ‘Your job will be here when you get back.’ She’s been behind me all the way.”

Wicks will be leaving next week for another visit. He’s been picking gifts for his wife, his mother-in-law and some Thai friends he has gotten to know.

The couple last year started the immigration paperwork so Mrs. Wicks can get a visa that will enable her to return to the United States with her husband.

There’s no telling how long that process will take but Wicks said married life will be worth the wait.

“I never had anything in my life that motivated me in this way,” he said. “It’s like having something to fight for and it’s worth it.”

 

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hearing changed in starving case

    The time and place for the preliminary hearing of a Greenville mom accused of starving and beating her 7-year-old young son has been changed.

    July 26, 2014

  • Schell working on mural Drawn to Mexico

    Jason Schell probably is not exaggerating when he says that millions of people have seen his art.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Farrell man, 24, arrested on warrant in connection with April shooting

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April shootout in Sharon.


    Pinkins, 24, of Farrell, is in Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond on gun charges.

    Additional details to follow.
     

    July 25, 2014