Aaron Walton, Co-Founder, Walton Isaacson
In the 1980s I was working in the marketing department for Pepsi on their sponsorships, and had just finished David Bowie's Glass Spider Tour, and was getting ready to hit the road with Michael Jackson [for the Bad Tour]. I said to my friend Nancy, "I just need a break," and she said, "Well, why don't we go to the beach house?" The house was in Kismet on Fire Island, and we're lying on the beach one morning when Andrew jogs by and chooses a spot near us to leave his Walkman while he goes for a swim. I'm just wondering who's crazy enough to leave their Walkman on the sand when a wave comes up and splashes it, so I run over to retrieve it. Now, I always maintain Andrew left the Walkman there as bait -- he says he didn't -- but either way he returns and I looked at him and thought, Wow, this guy is really cute. We started talking, and have never really stopped. For the entire week we just hung out together, and I was like, This is the guy I'm going to spend the rest of my life with. I just knew it. We met in a place called Kismet. If this wasn't meant to be, then nothing in my life was supposed to happen.
Love for me is accepting myself and accepting someone for who they are, warts and all. It is an understanding of how much stronger we are as a unit. It doesn't mean we don't do our own things, but with Andrew I find we're able to be completely free, completely vulnerable, and completely appreciated for who we are without any other expectations beyond just being present. It's just this great feeling of being able to be who you are. It's being able to go home and just crash, do nothing other than breathe. When you're in a car and you've got the windows open and it's that loud rush of the wind and everything is hitting you and hitting you, and then you close the window and you get that moment of silence and quiet that descends -- that's what love feels like. You can just sink into it. You can sink into your soul and who you are, and be appreciated for that.
Andrew Logan, Director
I was staying in Kismet on Fire Island celebrating my father's 50th birthday, and Aaron was there with some friends, and as you do when you're at the beach, we started talking, and that's how we met. We ended up going for dinner that night. The food was terrible, but we found we had so many things in common that it felt as if we'd known each other for a very long time. He was working for Pepsi and had just finished touring with David Bowie, and I was an actor who had done some commercials and TV work, and was segueing into music.
Aaron was pretty persistent. We'd had this random conversation where I'd said that I'd always wanted to go up in a helicopter. Fast-forward a month, he was in Australia, it was my birthday, the doorbell rings, and there's this huge string of balloons with a note that said, "If I was there I'd take you on a helicopter ride." It was just one of those moments when I thought, Wow, I need to look at this again. I'd been ready to say, "Let's just be friends," but the fact that someone was paying attention to something so inconsequential made me appreciate that he was a different kind of person.
He's always 12 steps ahead of everybody, but he's also considerate and loyal and loving -- his priorities are right. It sounds like a terrible cliche, but he believes in me when I don't believe in myself, and I think I do that for him as well, and you need that.
My parents are Catholic and very religious, and my mother took my coming out it a little harder at first, but we've been together longer than all of our nieces and nephews have been alive, and of course they think nothing of it, so I think as my parents watched our relationship with them, it took some of the scariness from it. We had a big commitment ceremony on the anniversary of our 18th year together. It wasn't legal to be married in California, but it was a big wedding with all our friends and family -- it was probably the best wedding I've ever been to. Aaron's mom is a minister and she performed the service. I think that also changed my parents' thinking because when they see you in your natural habitat, with your friends, and no one thinks anything of it, it makes it easier to accept and appreciate.
Photography: Luke Fontana