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Brief notes on a wedding

2009-05-10
For two days in a row I've left directly from work for a social engagement and not gotten home until late-ish. Both were related to the wedding of Andi Schechter and Stu Shiffman, which was held yesterday.

Amongst the group of people who came to town for the wedding were Rich Coad and Stacy Scott. On Tuesday I met them at John Berry's house (which I walked to from work because it's "just up the hill" from there), and we all went out for a beer and then to a Greek restaurant for dinner. It was a lovely, relaxed evening of stories and wisecracks and good cheer. Rich and I drank ouzo, and I reminisced about the time my brother and I were on Corfu in 1980 and met a bunch of guys from Lubbock, Texas, who bought a bottle of ouzo one night and invited us to join the party. We declined, but the next day we found the almost untouched bottle of ouzo at our hotel door. We drank it happily ourselves. Good times. Rich complained about the political correctness of modern fandom, and Stacy verbally rolled her eyes. John and I reminisced about the days when his street had only one restaurant, called the Surrogate Hostess and now long gone. Now the street is chockablock with restaurants and cafes and new condos. I got a ride back home from Rich and Stacy, and they came in to say howdy to Denys as well. They had never been to our house before, and of course talk turned to comic books once they saw Denys' massive collection. Fan talk.

Wednesday was the wedding itself, and it was at Burke Museum on the UW campus, so I just walked up there after work. Lots of folks were there, of course, including the winners of the Far Traveller Award, Mark and Priscilla Olson, who came all the way from Massachusetts. spikeiowa had brought badge ribbons in case there were badges, but we didn't need no stinking badges. Everybody was given a blue yarmulke, and most of us wore it during the ceremony. (akirlu was impressed that mine stayed on despite not being pinned to my non-existent hair.) It was the first Jewish wedding ceremony that I recall ever being to, so it was refreshingly different from past wedding experiences. A female rabbi presided over the lovely ceremony. I heard someone to my right entoning the Hebrew prayers along with her, and discovered later that it had been kalimac, remembering them from his own wedding twenty years ago. Carrie Root was in tears, and kate_schaefer eventually gave her a tissue. Afterward, Carrie thanked holyoutlaw for the tissue, much to his confusion. She hadn't seen who gave it to her, but thought it was him.

The meal afterwards was fantastic. I sat at a table with Denys and various old friends, but on my right was a woman I'd never met. It turned out that she has been Andi's massage therapist for twenty-odd years. I joked that most of the people at the wedding were either science fiction fans or therapists of some kind or another, since a number of Stu's therapists were there as well. In that aging crowd there were a number of other people who suffered from serious physical ailments of various sorts, and yet here we were celebrating a ceremony of connection and commitment against the tide of entropy, surrounded by the Burke's collection of fossils from ancient days indeed. There was music, and many smiling faces.

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
holyoutlaw
Jun. 19th, 2014 04:31 pm (UTC)
Very well put. I thought about the general age of the crowd and our proximity to ancient artifacts as well. ;>

It was a very pleasant evening.
randy_byers
Jun. 19th, 2014 04:33 pm (UTC)
Two collections of fossils, one slightly more mobile than the other.
kalimac
Jun. 19th, 2014 04:52 pm (UTC)
My memory is not quite that uncanny. The prayers I knew are standard Jewish prayers, used for much more than weddings (for which there is little in the eay of standard liturgy anyway). The blessings over the wine and bread, in particular, are very short and as basic for Jews as the Our Father is for Catholics, and I could recite them at any meal if anyone ever asked me.

As I mentioned at the time, the fossilic setting reminded me of the Mythcon banquet at the University of Oklahoma natural history museum, under the looming eye of Sue the tyrannosaurus rex.
randy_byers
Jun. 19th, 2014 05:07 pm (UTC)
I was told later that when I'm in London in August I need to go to the London Natural History Museum and see the wall of ichthyosaurs. Not sure I'll have time, but it definitely sounds cool.
roadnotes
Jun. 19th, 2014 04:56 pm (UTC)
" In that aging crowd there were a number of other people who suffered from serious physical ailments of various sorts, and yet here we were celebrating a ceremony of connection and commitment against the tide of entropy, surrounded by the Burke's collection of fossils from ancient days indeed."

Soren and I were thinking much the same thing. It was a wonderful wedding.
randy_byers
Jun. 19th, 2014 05:08 pm (UTC)
I couldn't help thinking that certain aspects of the evening would have been particularly resonant for you and Soren.
brithistorian
Jun. 19th, 2014 06:32 pm (UTC)
It sounds like this wedding was a wonderful celebration of life - it's brightened my day to hear about it.
randy_byers
Jun. 19th, 2014 08:04 pm (UTC)
Mazel tov!
gerisullivan
Jun. 19th, 2014 08:58 pm (UTC)
Yes, what brithistorian wrote!

Unless plans went awry, Mark & Priscilla Olson share the Far Traveller Award with Leslie Turek and, I believe, Alexis Layton, who also flew out from Boston. I enjoyed hearing about the festivities when I visited Leslie and her cats last Thursday and was surprised to learn It's Leslie's first visit to Seattle.
randy_byers
Jun. 19th, 2014 09:13 pm (UTC)
I don't know Leslie or Alexis, but Leslie was definitely there, because I saw one of the photos she took of the ceremony shared on Facebook.
smofbabe
Jun. 20th, 2014 01:34 am (UTC)
Thanks so much for this report! I was very happy to hear this wedding was happening and have been enjoying the various photo and trip reports related to it.

Edited at 2014-06-20 01:35 am (UTC)
randy_byers
Jun. 20th, 2014 03:28 am (UTC)
I've been enjoying the photos too!
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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