Naked and Afraid executive director shares love story
Tracy and Jim Morton are a local couple with their relationship rooted in love and Auburn tradition.
They moved to Auburn in 2011 from Southern California and were married on New Year's Eve in their home because Tracy was told not to get married in the fall due to Auburn football.
“I’m like one of the biggest Auburn fans known to man,” Tracy said.
It was soon discovered that Auburn was playing in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve, so they had to get married during halftime. Once Auburn won, the bridal party and family rushed to Toomer’s Corner in their formal wedding attire to roll the oak trees.
“It was the strangest wedding, but everyone loved it,” Jim said.
Jim’s job as executive director of the survival show, Naked and Afraid, requires him to travel often. Five to six months out of the year he is out of the country giving the couple a long-distance status.
“For three months I didn’t see him, I barely talked to him, the phones were so bad,” Tracy said.
When Jim returns to his housing from a dangerous day of work in a desolate area, he communicates to Tracy that he has made it back safely.
Despite his dangerous work, Jim said Tracy is a very loving and supportive wife.
“She wants me to go out there and do what I do because she knows I love it,” Jim said.
Their love continues to grow stronger each day.
“I love this man,” Tracy said. “I love him more now than I did yesterday and the day before. He’s literally my best friend. I couldn’t imagine my life without him.”
Ross and Melissa Blair
Two Auburn University employees, Ross and Melissa Blair, went from being strangers at a University of Virginia student mixer to growing a family together.
Melissa was a year ahead of Ross in their Ph.D. program at the University of Virginia. They were introduced at the mixer but were able to reconnect at a party later.
“One of our friends had a birthday party a month later and I remember we both got up at that party and we just talked for a long time. Then we kept hanging out over the next couple of months," Melissa said.
Ross and Melissa met in August and began dating in October 2003.
In June 2007, they tied the knot. Since, they have grown their family, welcoming their daughter, Margret, and their son, Owen. Over the pandemic, they adopted their “pandemic pet” cat, Colby.
In 2017, Melissa and Ross moved to Auburn to work for Auburn University. Melissa is an associate professor in history and Ross works as an academic advisor in the College of Liberal Arts.
“We didn’t have a washer and dryer at our first place where I was like, ‘I will take the clothes to the laundry mat if you clean the bathroom.’ That has been our deal ever since," Melissa said.
Ross and Melissa began valuing their system of “deals” when they first moved in together. These were meant to keep them accountable and organized.
Ross and Melissa also provided tips for couples on how to better and maintain a loving relationship.
“Be honest with yourself before you can be honest with someone else," Ross said. He mentioned that honesty is crucial with your significant other, along with being honest with yourself.
Ross said that their family makes each other laugh everyday, which he emphasized to be important for any family.
“We laugh every day,” Melissa said. “He (Ross) makes the other three of us laugh every day.”
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Becca Benner, senior in public relations with a minor inmarketing, is a culture writer at The Auburn Plainsman.
Piper Bosart, junior in journalism, is the assistant culture editor for The Auburn Plainsman. She has been with The Plainsman since January, 2022.