2000:We Get Gassed
2001: Celibate Old Men
2002: I Hate Steve Schalchlin
2003: Healing Signs?
2004: What's in a Name?
2005: On Our Toes
2006: I Don't Understand People
2007: I Remember--A Father's Day Memoir --how appropriately timely that this turns out to be inspired by Tim Russert's book.
IN MY OPINION
Books Read in 2008
at these videos!
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BEEN TO A WEDDING!
17 June 2008
They are married. Really, truly, legally married. Sanctioned by the State of California and married by the County Recorder of Yolo County (who also paid the fee as a gift to them).
The day was...uhhh...interesting. First, I decided to get my hair cut, knowing I'd probably be on TV. I was just going to run to the cheapie place a couple of blocks away, but when I got there, it was gone. That's OK--I figured I'd just go to Supercuts, downtown. I parked at Supercuts, went in, and noted that the place was completely redecorated. The gal at the desk said she could fit me in at 4...but I needed to be in Woodland at 4. That's when I noticed that this was no longer a Supercuts, but a private salon. So I went to the OTHER cheap place in South Davis, stopping en route to buy a book at Borders in case I had to wait. I figured that if I'd gone somewhere and forgotten my toothbrush, I would make an emergency stop at a drug store. I wonder how many people make emergency stops at Borders! Thankfully, the third place was still in existence and I only had to wait a short time (2 chapters) and got my hair cut.
By then it was so late I only had time to come home, change into better clothes, and drive to Woodland. This was going to be the "small, private ceremony" with only about ten invited guests. Yeah. For one of the most visible couples in the fight for gay marriage. Right.
My parking angel was with me and miraculously I found a space to park directly across from the courthouse (thank you, Gilbert), neatly sandwiched in between the huge trucks from all the local media in the area and the guys setting up signs to tell us we are all going to hell.
I made my way to the clerk's office, where a small group of friends and a large group of media was gathered. Melissa told me that Ellen and Shelly were filling out paperwork, and she directed all the invited guests (the "wedding party") into the Betsy Marchand Room, a small room where weddings were held.
It was a small group, as Ellen said, about 10 people. And then another 10 or so media, cameras, etc. Lemme tell you...by the end of the day I know how Angelina and Brad feel. There were several "friendly" media people (people with whom Ellen and Shelly had a good relationship), and then a host of cameras and reporters from other media, who weren't invited in, but who waited in the hall and photographed through the window.
And of course everyone in the room, whether media or not, had a camera.
As time passed before the ceremony actually began, the temperature of the room began to rise, until it started to reach the condition of a sauna. But we didn't care. We were there to celebrate a happy occasion. Shelly & Ellen's friend had made lots and lots of white ribbons for people to wear and passed them out generously to everyone.
Ellen's daughter, Laura, was able to be in attendance. She's a wonderful singer and sang one song before the ceremony started.
That got everyone in a very emotional mood,
Finally the ceremony started. County Recorder Freddie Oakley (who kept her promise of many years ago, to pay for the license for Ellen and Shelly when gay marriage became legal in California) started by invalidating the certificate of inequality she sadly gave to them a year ago, on Valentine's Day, when they made their yearly application for a marriage license. Then she gave glowing credit to the fairness of the Republican majority Supreme Court, which "believes, nevertheless, that human equality is a matter that goes beyond the bonds of party loyalty and really attaches to persons based on their constitutional rights."
Laura sang another song and then, after a bit of a wait caused by a printer glitch, Freddie said the magic words and they were legally married in the state of California.
There were tears and cheers and hugs and applause and continual cameras clicking. Laura whipped out a shirt to put on.
And then we retired to the courthouse lobby, where there was champagne and wedding cake and all those photograhers.
In the middle of the celebrating, a man with "Jesus Loves" on his shirt ran in and started shouting "these are illegal weddings..." and waving a Bible. The police escorted him out.
I got charged with bringing the top layer of the wedding cake home and I carefully packed that up, got my purse, and ran the phalynx of hate mongers outside, telling me I was going to hell. I carefully put the cake in the car, threw my purse in the back so it wouldn't fall into the cake, and drove home, figuring that I would get the video transferring to my hard drive immediately so that when I got home from the movie I was seeing later, I would be all set to start editing it.
That's when I realized, with a terrible sinking feeling, that I had left my camera bag at the courthouse. Obviously, since there are all these photos here on this entry, I managed to find it again, but it was a harrowing half hour, trying to reach the clerk's office by phone, finally driving all the way back, running the gauntlet again, asking Freddie if anyone had found a camera, and ultimately finding the camera case (with BOTH of my cameras in it, along with my digital voice recorder!) right where I left it when I got up to get the cake top to carry to the car. Crisis averted.
I had no time to get to the "light supper" that Ellen and Shelly were hosting at their house, because I had promised to go to the screening of Julie, Julie, the movie I had written an article about. But maybe I'll talk about that tomorrow. Anyway, suffice it to say that I am writing this at midnight and I haven't even LOOKED at the 30 minutes of video I have to edit down to 10 minutes for You Tube and 90 seconds for Flickr!
There is still some confusion, apparently, about what happens if Proposition 99, the initiative putting a ban on gay marriage in California, passes in November. A county supervisor told me that it would invalidate the marriages that are being performed between now and November, and an attorney told me that it would not. (A later interview, on the news, with a professor from McGeorge School of Law agreed with the attorney--the marriages performed between now and November will be valid whether the initiative passes or not.) I'm just hoping that this is the end of the road for Ellen and Shelly and that they can consider themselves legally married from now until death do they part!
Read Joan Chittister's excellent tribute to Tim Russert.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Congratulations, my friends! It was a long fight, but you finally did it!
MILES TO NOWHERE: 52 miles