SAT OCT 2: We awoke to a gorgeous morning, brilliant sunshine in a cloudless sky, a slight nip in the air and wispy veils of mist rising off the swollen river. The flooding had turned the water into chocolate milk, kicking up whitecaps as it raged around the bend. The water level was at least ten feet above normal, The Lothian House’s owner, Bill, informed me: “It’s all the way up to the edge of the Bocce court, making for an added hazard for the players!” Indeed, a ball would eventually be lost to the rushing waters.
Being outsiders, it was enormously gratifying to be so heartily welcomed by Scott and Rose’s family and friends. It seemed we represented those mysterious years when Scott lived in Nashville, going to school and working at Vanderbilt, where I met him. We became friends over our similar tastes in music (especially “out jazz”) and when it slowly became revealed that we were both Deadheads to boot, well, we became brothers for life. Scott was instrumental in convincing me to go back to school and his sister’s example inspired me to get my paralegal degree (“It’s all your fault!” I told her, half-jokingly). After graduating from Lipscomb University, Scott moved to New York City—“The City”—but we have remained in close touch. When we visited last spring, we met Rose, whom he had recently met at The Jazz Gallery of all auspicious places. Lizzy and I liked her instantly and Scott had never looked happier. I promptly started teasing him about setting a date and to be sure and invite us to the wedding. His obvious discomfort at this ribbing indicated it was only a matter of time, so I laid off a bit while still expressing our enthusiasm for the idea. When the call came this summer, we were so happy about the news we immediately confirmed we would be there (wherever there was going to be—the location was still in flux). It was incredibly generous of them to put us up in The Lothian House (a thoroughly charming Victorian house cum B&B) along with their families and closest friends. We truly felt honored to be there.
At 11:30 AM, the wedding party walked across the ancient, one-lane bridge across the Delaware River to the old (now non-denominational) church in the town of Milanville, Pennsylvania (photograph). The ceremony was lovely, if maybe not exactly what the couple had planned, with some unexpected sermonizing from the minister. When they were pronounced “man and wife,” the assembled crowd burst into wild cheers and applause while the clanging church bell tolled their happy union. The program, beautifully designed by Rose, featured a number of inspirational quotations, this one from Krishnamurti being my favorite:
When there is love in your heart—
in your eyes, in your blood, in your face,
you are different human being.
Back at The Lothian House, the celebrating began in earnest with a tasty vegan lunch and happy Sun Ra music playing in the background all afternoon. The party continued well into the night, with Bocce on the lawn and, as the light faded, cards at the kitchen table, enlivened with sparkling conversation and joyful camaraderie. What a fun day! Scott and Rose looked so radiantly happy together and everyone agrees they are the perfect couple. Hooray! Here’s to the newlyweds! Here’s to a long life together! Thank you so much for sharing this happy day with us!
SUN OCT 3: On Sunday, we said our goodbyes and Ms. Garmin deftly navigated the back country roads and the highways and boulevards of the megalopolis back to Newark airport—not an easy drive, let me tell you! It was another bright, sunny day and when the skyline of Manhattan appeared on the horizon, our heart-strings were pulled: how nice it would be to spend a day in “The City.” Oh well, we will be back at some point, hopefully next spring. The pleasant weather made for an uneventful flight to Nashville, where the summer heat had finally broken: fall was in the air and the leaves were beginning to turn. What a difference a few days can make! When we arrived back at our home on the hill, Lizzy remarked that it was amazing the distances we had traveled and all the things we had done in such a short time. It was a great trip and I’m glad we didn’t wimp out because of a little inclement weather. But it was, as always, good to be home.