18 February 2003
(happy birthday, Peggy!)
What a lovely birthday. I arrived home to a stack of e-mails and
e-cards from people wishing me a happy birthday, my boss gave me another raise as a
birthday gift (meaning I've had 3 raises in 4 months, which ain't bad!--I told him it's
the "gift that keeps on giving"!), I received notification that Funny the World
has been nominated for a Diarist Net Legacy Award (vote early, vote often ), and Walt went out to buy cracked
crab, my favorite food in all the world, for dinner. All in all, a very nice way to turn
But where was I when I stopped the tale of our weekend last night.
Oh yes...the wedding. What a lovely event it was. You know....there are wedding which cost
a fortune, where the bride is wearing a multi-thousand dollar dress, they've spent tons on
flowers, they've rented the fanciest place in town for the reception, the caterer has laid
out a spread worthy of Martha Stewart, and the cake looks like a fairytale castle. Those
are lovely events to attend. You feel like you've stepped into another world, a little
piece of fantasy to start the bride and groom off.
And then there are the homespun weddings, where the whole thing
seems to be wrapped in a huge cloud of love. Ned & Marta's wedding was like that. Paul
and Audra's wedding was like that. And Steve and Heather's wedding this weekend was like
The thing I love about our children's circle of friends is that they
are always there for each other...and they're all so damn talented! Ned flew down with a
suitcase full of electical equipment (it weighed 73 lbs!), Jeri flew out from Boston (in
"the storm of the century") with all of her instruments to help provide music.
All of the rest of the group came to LA to help put together a lovely wedding.
The kids (yes, I know they're adults, but I'm 60. I can talk like
that now) spent most of the day at the rec hall where the wedding was going to be held.
They turned a bland utilitarian room into a lovely, romantic venue for the joining of two
lives, with chandeliers made out of Christmas tree lights strung together on wire frames,
and candles everywhere.
One of the best parts of the day was seeing all of those Lawsuit
guys with their babies. I loved the huge grins as those guys interacted with their
kids...and the babies and toddlers were just amazingly good. A delight to be around. All
Dave and Alexendra (Alex)
Kag and newborn Henry
Adrian and Clara
These events are so hard for me. I see all these guys
who are growing up and having their own families and I think of how Paul and David will
never have that chance. I think about how both of them loved little kids and how
they would have loved playing with all of their friends' babies.
I was doing ok, mostly--a little misty eyed when Audra, Paul's
widow, arrived. But there was a delay in the start of the ceremony. I'm not
sure what the problem was, but the bride didn't get there till 20 minutes after they
expected things to start and poor KC and Adrian (both members of Lawsuit) were playing the
pre-wedding music and so were stretching for things to play. Suddenly came the
familiar strains of "Funny the World," and I lost it. There we were in the
back of the room--me, Walt, and the parents of the groom, all trying to control tears
about the people who weren't there.
(Actually, it was a perfect thing to play--it kind of made the kids
part of it, even if not physically there, but still it was a jolt.)
I was the videographer, using the groom's father's video camera, so
I had my work cut out for me, and no time to get all morose, which was good.
The ceremony was home grown and unique, with readings from Sonnet
116 by Shakespeare, from Metamorphoses by Ovid, from Kahlil Gibran, and from The
Unbearable Lightness of Being. Ned and Marta sang a Talking Heads song ("This Must Be
the Place") backed up by Jeri and others on flutes, guitar and bongo. The vows were presided
over by the best man and maid of honor and then a rousing recessional full-out by all the
There was a "short" reception in the hall after the
ceremony, while photos were taken and while the guys who had worked all day setting up the
place were taking it down, racing up the ladder they rented at Home Depot, taking the
lights they'd carefully hung down (Jeri was the best dressed stagehand!)
Ned and Marta kind of took on the job of running the show--telling
the people marching down the aisle when to start, and then after it was all over and the
photographer was taking pictures, Ned was the guy who was getting everyone lined up and
keeping their attention focused so that the photographer could get a good photo.
When the immediate after-ceremony reception was finished, we all
drove to a club near the motel where we were all staying. (Easy parking--just park
in the motel and walk!) There was a lovely Chinese buffet, a beautiful cake
decorated with deep red roses, and music from CDs that the groom had put together (played
by the groom's brother, who acted as DJ).
The little kids came to the club too and the good behavior continued
through the second reception as well. I was also pleased to have an opportunity to
get caught up with Audra, whom we hadn't seen in awhile.
The party was still going strong when we left, but the old folks had
pooped out--and we had an early flight to catch. But the day was lovely, and it was
a beautiful, feel-good wedding. A nice way to start my 61st year!