Wine Country Wedding (2)

September 7, 2006

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Damon and Jane got married on Saturday. Damon is a founding partner of ELECTROLAND, a designer, and has been a friend for the past 10 years. Jane oversees therapists of autistic children, is Korean-American, and has been a friend for a similar period of time. A high contrast pairing: tall, short; male, female; Asian, Caucasian; and there are probably more, but I’m a believer in contrast in relationships. This is a great pair. And we got to spend a couple of days with their families.

Brien, Damon’s father, is an ophthalmologist, now passionate pilot, and is married to the gorgeous, dignified and equally brilliant, Ann. Ann told me that they are hermits these days working on “projects.” I wish Brian lived nearby so that he could be my big brother. He loaded me up with three books based upon our conversations. They made the wedding party and family a lovely dinner and offered us locally-made Pinot Noir made by a friend that was delicious. I played piano for three Beatles songs that one of Damon’s aunts sang for. She is a perky 50-something, red-headed alto who sang them beautifully, into the eyes of D and J. I could have played Beatles all night, but slipped off the piano bench to give Pete a chance to play for the enraptured guests. He was succeeded by a cousin guitar player who got real intense for us. I slipped into the kitchen to see whether there was any more of the Pinot left, and got a chance to meet Ellen, Damon’s sister: a brilliant, beautiful, tall blonde woman, with eyes as unique and beautiful as her father’s.

Later, we played a 1981 version of Trivial Pursuit until late. It is a marvelous way to bring out the quiet ones. Several of us had been up for a good many hours and would have been happy to call it a night. But we stayed and had a good time. Mike and Damon made the observation that the questions were not always reality based, but based on “Trivial Pursuit logic” so it operates on a different plane. You didn’t need to know the answer; one could figure it out using TP logic. And they did many times in the course of the evening.

The next morning I read a bit of the book Brian gave me [“Hare Brain, Tortoise Mind”] and had a quiet breakfast in the hotel. Damon and Mike, the homies, took us on a little guided tour of downtown Santa Rosa, ending with a delicious lunch at SYRAH. Fast forward to fifteen minutes before the ceremony begins. I am taking my famous “casual portraits” in black and white, with group pics of family members, usually in sunglasses. (Weddings in sunny SoCal can sometimes resemble scenes from “The Godfather.”). I was happy to have other friends and relative photographers taking pictures. It is my understanding that they will all be assembled and presented to the couple upon their return. So I won’t spoil the surpise by printing anything here. Well, ok, just one of Margi.

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Margi Reeves; photo by Roger Bourland.

Amusing moments: the bride’s maids had to clop across a long grassy field in HEELS, gracefully, without getting stuck. Because the groom’s men were all facing the sun, they all received permission to wear sunglasses and had a kind of Blues Brothers on steroids thing going. The remote microphone cut in and out during the homily, to some attendees’ amusement and others’ annoyance. Brian later pointed to this as an Irish sign of good luck (something going “wrong” during the ceremony). The toasts were both pure Hollywood. Mike, who describes everyday things in Hollywood-speak (a meal, an artist, or an everyday occurrence could well be described as “almost PG,”) and Lindsay, who was just as hilarious and touching as Mike, both could have shows on Comedy Central. We all were taken in by their honest, touching and very funny toasts.

I learned a handful of ballroom dance moves in the early 90s from Jim and Jim. No, I’m not a great dancer, but I have enough moves to have a good time. I like to touch, and hold waists; hurl spinning bodies across the dance floor, and move their arms across my waiste and mine across theirs; and always, always be TOUCHING. Touch heals and invigorates like nothing else.

First I wanted to dance with Daniel, then I remembered we weren’t in Hollywood, but rather in a little conservative community that fought with the Confederates during the Civil War (sic). We thought it well-advised to check with Jane regarding our dancing. Jane without dropping a beat gave us her blessing. We went out on the dance floor and began to dance. And as the night went on, I proceeded to dance with nearly everyone of Damon’s female relatives: Mom, his grandmother, sis, lots of aunts and cousins. I was thrilled that even Jane’s mother accepted my offer to dance and we threw each other around the dance floor. Cameron (Damon’s business partner) and his wife Margi were both out on the floor dancing with big smiles. I felt a bit like an invited Wedding Crasher: I was having such a good time with people I hadn’t before known, and now felt like family to. Being a gay man, none of the husbands or fathers had ANY problem with me tossing and swinging their ladies around the dance floor. I left the party around midnight, my white shirt dripping in sweat, having fully celebrated their wedding.

timgunn.jpgCongratulations Jane and Damon! We love you and wish you all the best!

[The picture above is of the wedding party’s table, and was taken by one of Jane’s friends. Omigod: look at me! The picture on the left shows that it’s true! I AM beginning to look like Tim Gunn on Project Runway. Oy! I’ll post some photos later.]

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