In July 2012, Billy Davis had a ring and a plan.
He wanted to propose to his girlfriend in a spectacular way—a very Hamptons-y way.
After all, he and Dawn Aversano—now Dawn Davis—had met three years prior on a Hampton Jitney, and the Hamptons was a second home to both of them.
Their first encounter was during the summer of 2009. He was taking the Jitney home from Bridgehampton, where his family has had a place for years, and there were only a few seats left on the bus. “I see this pretty girl sitting all by herself with all of her bags on the seat,” Davis recalls. He was determined to meet her. “I was going to sit next to this pretty girl and have her talk to me.”
She obliged and moved her bags so he could sit down. They spent the whole ride talking and people watching. “That was basically our first date,” Davis says. They both got off at 39th Street, and he asked her to a movie. He texted her that same night. “I couldn’t even wait,” he says.
When Davis began planning the proposal, he wrote to Hampton Jitney CEO Geoff Lynch to ask if the company would be willing to get involved. He admits he thought he had no shot, but Lynch responded the very next day happy to help. Hampton Jitney charter manager Susan Williams helped Davis put the plan together.
Davis asked his then-girlfriend to dinner at the Blue Parrot. At the time she expected Davis to pick her up from her family’s East Hampton home, a Hampton Jitney pulled into the driveway instead. “Dawn, you’ve been requested,” the Jitney captain told her. When she boarded, there were no other passengers. She took a seat not knowing what to expect.
The Jitney took her to one of the couple’s favorite places in the Hamptons: Sagaponack’s Wölffer Estate Vineyard, where Davis greeted her and she asked what exactly was going on. Before he answered, he brought her to the grapevines, where he got down on one knee and popped the question. She said yes, and next a cork was popped. After they enjoyed wine and cheese among the vines, they both got on the Jitney. But the surprises weren’t over for the bride-to-be. An engagement party with their friends and family, who had all been keeping the proposal a secret, was waiting for them in East Hampton.
When their engagement story came out in Dan’s Papers, Davis says, he heard from friends he hadn’t been in contact with for years. “They thought it was just a great story—that you can meet people in some of the most interesting places.”
They were married less than a year later. “We had a very Hamptons weekend,” Davis says. The rehearsal dinner was at 1770 House in East Hampton, the wedding was at East Hampton Point, and the following day brunch was at The Palm. They celebrated their first anniversary this month.
The couple lives on the Upper East Side are are still frequent Hampton Jitney riders, not just during the summer, but year-round, either hopping on at the 86th Street stop by their apartment or at 40th Street stop right when they get out of work.
To this day, they still get comments on their proposal story