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Fargo man finds mystery woman

FARGO -- Steve Hicks found her.

Hicks, a 41-year-old Fargo man who went above and beyond to reconnect with a woman he met at a bar there late last month, said he suddenly became quite popular after his story ran in the Herald and hit the Internet.

Starting early Thursday, Hicks said he received countless text messages and phone calls from imposters claiming to be the "Peggy," "Penny" or "Betty" from all over the region and as far away as Colorado. Hicks said he was a little confused as to whether he should believe any of the claims until he got a call from a woman who immediately asked, "Are you looking for someone?"

"I knew right away it was her," he said. After catching up a little over the phone, they decided to meet as soon as they could. "And I'm sitting here right now looking in her eyes," Hicks told the Herald on Thursday afternoon.

Her name is Pegi, by the way.

Chance meeting

A bit of back story:

Hicks and Pegi met at the Tracy Lawrence country music concert at The Hub in Fargo last month. Hicks and his friends, as well as Pegi and her group of friends, all ended up at Cadillac Ranch Country Bar and Dance Hall there. Hicks and Pegi hit it off, dancing to a few songs and talking. But the bar was so loud, he said, he couldn't quite catch her name -- but he knew it was something like "Peggy," "Penny" or "Betty."

Hicks had to give a friend a ride home from the bar, so he and Pegi were going to exchange cell phone numbers. But he didn't have his on him; he told her to just call his phone and he would get the number. He never got the number.

So, to find Pegi, who had told him she was living in Grand Forks but was originally from Crookston, Hicks took out an ad with the Herald's City Briefs earlier this week:

The ad: "LOOKING FOR YOU! Girl who I met at the Hub in Fargo, wearing black shirt with Cancun on sleeve. # didn't show on my cell. 701-799-1384."

He even tried calling the Crookston High School, asking staff to scour through yearbooks from years she may have graduated to find someone who fit his description.

"This probably sounds like kind of a lot," Hicks told the Herald on Wednesday. "I usually wouldn't go to these lengths. There's definitely something different about her."

It worked.

Dinner and drinks

Once the news of his story spread, Hicks said he had to take the rest of the day off work Thursday because of all the calls he was receiving and the attention he was getting from his co-workers.

But then Pegi called. Pegi didn't want to give her last name but offered that most people who know her will know it's her because of the spelling.

Hicks offered to drive to Grand Forks to pick her up, but Pegi told him she'd make the trip to Fargo. They reunited as soon as they could Thursday afternoon and went out for dinner and drinks.

"I don't know what to say. It's just crazy," Hicks said about the very public beginning to their relationship. "But she's loving it. She's more perfect than I remember. She's everything I remember and way more."

Pegi admits she was originally a little leery about meeting someone in a bar but felt a strong connection to Hicks, too.

"I love it. This is the best thing that's ever happened to me," she said. "He's just a sweetheart, even more than I remember. It's wonderful.

"We're going to take it day by day. Neither one of us has ever been married or had kids, so I'm just a day-by-day girl."

Although the couple isn't making plans for the distant future quite yet, they agree, "We will definitely be seeing each other again."

Hicks said all the publicity was worth it. "Like I said before, I am usually in the shadows," he said. "I don't usually like to be in the limelight, but it makes it easy to be in the limelight when I'm standing next to her."