A California Wedding To Remember

I think I just had “the time of my life”. And, yes, I’m pretty sure about this.

(all the pictures enlarge with a simple click)

While I am no expert in matters of weddings, I also have little idea of how much of anything could be more flat entertaining or generally optimistic than sending a pledged couple out on their way. This happened last weekend and I am still wearing a glow like a Brillo Pad on a hot fire. And, no, Steve, it isn’t the chocolate.

My best friend in life – known here as ‘just another Steve’ – who is somewhat Internet shy – has 3 of my most favorite children, barely behind my own in personal regard. Of course, they went and grew up, for which I may never forgive them. I mean, is it just me, or does Life seem to advance at its own pace, seemingly arriving somewhere, demanding our attention with medical problems and a secret aging process that defies how the heck I feel?

I mean, who dealt this mess? How on Earth did we get from here……..

To here……………….so dam fast?

Anybody got an answer?

Big sigh…………… Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, to Steve and Jody’s kids. Well, I made each of their weddings, nearly as if I were family, which, I guess in some ways, I am. The lady’s wedding – Flora’s – I just attended  and I can use no other term than “lady” for this adored child because she is now all of that – was equal parts satisfying and shocking in the Evolving Time component. My visit to Santa Cruz for this affair was a virtual life highlight in so many different ways. Flora, after all, provided the middle name for my own daughter – so there is a debt of pure soul which my daughter and I were both able to experience again. I’m saying it was Big Huge Fun.

Everything about this delightful experience was equal parts “formally informal” and satisfying. From the flower girls’ excitement…….and if you enlarge any pictures, make these the ones!

To their strict and rapt attention to their tasks, they were small stars in a wonderful atmosphere.

Appropriately and tastefully warned off taking pictures during the ceremony, we were asked to enjoy this service for what it was: enchanting. And we very much did. As we found our way uphill to the ceremony site, one of the Abbott Brothers accompanied us on his plaintive, solo violin, playing soft ballads with a soulful spirit which was exchanged fully by the happy crowd.

The seating was by Divine Hands, with some machine help:

And the “service” was all human hands, making it even nicer still.

Flora sang to her Father’s guitar accompaniment, “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” – one of my all time favorite tunes and an amazing accomplishment considering the “stakes”, lol.

Darragh, an author-to-be with a nice fat advance for his project from the best Publishers in the world, read a moving poem aloud and his Dad produced the classic “Seasons” bit from Ecclesiastics……..”For every thing, there is a season……and a time to every purpose under Heaven”

Human, respectful, touching – we were rapt. It was just about perfect.

And we filtered to dinner, replete with a sense of love and inclusion in this very Californian setting at Pie Ranch, just up the Coast.

Pretty fun stuff………..let me praise and link for a moment what the Wedding Planner, Emily, achieved along with the more than able help of the Bares, Steve and Jody. Emily was a great good childhood friend of the family’s and she now has a very busy little industry going in the Bay Area – EnjoyEventsCo.com  -along these very lines. She and her operation were magnificent.

The Abbott Brothers supplied the fabulous barefoot Bluegrass music which accompanied the affair as people filtered down to the expertly-arranged tables as dinner commenced and the various touching speeches were made. Here’s a link to them on youtube, check ’em out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0ZBzi3blAU

We milled around, drinking deep of one another’s company for a while, many of us reunited after nearly 20 years, for the first time, all curious about one another and enjoying a rekindled love – a very tight group of Viet Nam vets, wives and children, tiny kids, old friends, new ones spanning generations and interests like a virtual Encyclopedia of The Human Experience. Chris Moran was so delighted to reunite with us that she broke down and cried. It might have been my very best part of all.

The Barn Dance/Reception was next. After experiencing the coastal fog, man, we were ready to get indoors and jive. It began slowly………with some super Schmaltzy Lovin’.

The Father Of The Bride, a well-known boogie artist himself, further delighted us by getting down to the Funk………

And then it was “ON”!

Dam……..this band was plain badass, lol. They were specialists in “funk”, offering an impossible-to-decline dancing opportunity. Let’s face it – when you take a moment and look around and suddenly realize that a full 90% of those present are on the dance floor, “shaking that booty”, you have a massive “success”. I was personally delighted to work a bit on ‘The Swim’, a task I had neglected but which gained immeasurably this night. The International Crowd was delighted. In fact, as a testament to Pure Fun, here they lift our spirits – and the Bride – to yet new heights!

And then the face-painting commenced.

Some quite tasteful…..

And a few – well – not so much.

Fortunately, I declined.

After all, it’s not as if I had not paid the severest face-painting dues to many in this very same crowd, just 20 short years before this night (see how many you can recognize here, lol):

Yes, it is I, the infamous trauma-inducing Adolf Hitler of Easter Rabbits.

Be afraid…………….be very afraid. (Most kids were!) 😉

On my way out of town, in the San Jose airport, while grabbing a bite, I feel a tug on my sleeve and this: “Hey, Sned!!” It was Darragh, the groom, with Flora, also on their way to distant climes (Quito, Ecuador, in fact). It added a wonderful irony and an opportunity to spend just a few more minutes with this exciting couple of very creative souls, racing my pulse with another photo opportunity. Which I took advantage of liberally.

I feel undeservedly rich in friends and now, here I am, deeper than ever.

What a superb experience.

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