Wine and hors d'oeuvres in the glen. Great sushi and focaccia platters circulating and a table of fabulous cheeses and fruit and veggies. A 1994 St. Supery Cabernet Sauvignon, a 1994 Zinfandel from Burgess, Chardonnays from Meridien and Buena Vista, champagne (brut) from Cordoniu Napa, all stupendous, all purchased at great saving at Trader Joe's, all made in Napa, and lugged up to Napa by Andy and me and unloaded at White Sulphur Springs. The band stood among the crowd and played Puerto Rican Salsa.
I was sad when it was time to leave and go up to the meadow for dinner.
Dinner began with my remarks:
• Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the wedding.
• And now, the moment that my daughter has been dreading since her Bat
I sang: "Is this the little girl I carried..." Marjorie screamed, "Oh Nooo! Dad!" I stopped.
• Thank you all so much for coming so far to participate in this moment of joy.
• Thank you to Ellen Steuer and the internet for bringing this couple together.
• We welcome the Steuer and Lewis families We are honored to exchange genes with them.
• We have always been proud of the friends that all our children have made, and this weekend is no exception.
• I want to take a moment to mention some of those who couldn’t be here today:
• Carol’s parents, Olla and Harry Krepon
• My father, Morris Ingall
• My Zayde and Bobbe, Morris and Pearl Gottler
• Jonathan’s grandparents, Joe and Ann Mufson, Ulrich and Edith Steuer, and Oma Hattie.
• My stepfather, Tom Spiro
• My uncles and aunt: Jack Shulman, Lyn Gottler, Ben Chefitz, Jack Gottler
How proud they would have been to see this couple.
• How pleased and proud we all are. How lovely they look together. I love to see them cuddle. We love them and we’re proud of them, and we bless them both. May the rest of the plans and dreams that they make go as smoothly as this wedding for the best of their lives.
• This is their wedding. They planned it. They did it all. It’s creative, it’s funky, it’s Jewish, it’s California, it’s them. Most of it has gone so easily, although a lot of hard work went into it. Some of it has been difficult—at least for me. Let me read for you the shopping list that my daughter gave me earlier in the week:
Hair spray--aerosol, not pump
Long bobby pins
Short bobby pins
Condoms?! I try to be cool, but I’m not ready for this. A father shouldn't have to do this.
• My Bobbe used to ask for extensions. She danced the kazakhze at every family wedding until she was 85. She lived on to 100. After she would finish her dance, she would say: “I should only live till the birth of your first child.” I say the same. And if that day should come sooner, rather than later, just remember who it was that bought the condoms.
• There were times when we never thought I would live to see this day.
I never would have, if it were not for Carol—not just when I was sick,
but during the good times, and the bad times, and the fun times and the
sad times—there was always Carol.
And then Carol spoke. She spoke of the currently circulating e-mail
that is a synopsis of Jewish Holidays: "They tried to kill us, we beat
them, now let's eat." She said that one component was left out: we bless.
We bless God for allowing us all to reach this day in good health, for
two wonderful children and now the addition of a third, for the infusion
of logical mathematical intelligence into a family sorely in need of same,
and for the community of friends and family that have come to celebrate
with us. She asked people to rise, for all those who knew the sheheyanu
to say it with us, and for those who didn't to complete the circle and
Then Janet, our Frahnck who had made everything come to pass without a hitch, led us in hamotzi.
The food: artichoke hearts with a lemon butter sauce, mounds of grilled vegetables, luscious asparagus spears, asparagus-artichoke ravioli with cream sauce, grilled ahi tuna with red pepper sauce. For those who missed the roast chicken and macaroni...c'est dommage.
Bob and Bess and Carol and Michael
The music: klezmer, cajun--real down and dirty cajun, swing.
Wonderful band. Marin County hippies at their best. Vying for the Fred
Astaire-Ginger Rogers Award: Andy Ingall, Michael Krepon, Abbe Don, Janet
Gottler, Sandy Savine, Mischa Krepon, Don and Fran Putnoi, Art and Eva
Landy, and everyone from Milwaukee--up there, they have cheese, beer, and
Betsy and Jordan Carol and Andy Alan and Belleruth
Wanna see how Mauka licks? Frahnck and Andy Duffy and Larry
Uncle Michael and Marjorie Steffie and Joel Howard Rheingold
Keila and Ellen Andy and Abbe Don
Everyone joined in a hora. Every table poured out onto the dance floor. They lifted Marjorie and Jonathan up on chairs. Marjorie, the girl who insisted on parasailing with lunatic gold-chained hot rodders in Puerto Vallarta, clung to her chair and screamed in terror. I danced with my daughter with an extended handkerchief.
Andy, in a magnificent linen suit with brown shoes with ivory mesh, and colorful antique tie, made a toast, celebrating the creativity of Marjorie and Jonathan, with the occasional hyssie fits that go with such creativity. He also toasted his mother, his grandmother, and all the other mothers on Mother's Day. David Steuer toasted his older brother, friend, and mentor, and his new sister. Mikki read a beautiful poem of Pablo Neruda.
Dessert: A brief photo op cutting the cake, but no smooshing. Alas,
the end of a tradition. The cake was lemon and delicious, beautifully decorated,
with the same bride and groom that adorned the wedding cake of Carol and
me 37 years ago beside it.
Carol led birkat hamazon and Alvan led the sheva b'rachot (seven blessings), mixing together two cups of wine into a third, from which the bride and groom drank.
Time flew. As we returned to our room, Abbe Don was leading yoga on the dance floor. It was, after all, Calfornia.
One of the best moments occurred as we lay in bed, filled with joy. There was a knock at the door, and Marjorie and Jonathan came in to say thanks and to recap the wedding with us. It was such a comfortable, warm, and natural moment. The marriage made a difference in our relationship, not in religious or moral terms, but in terms of them being each other's and, at the same time, still our children.
One of things Carol and I spoke of as we fell asleep was how perfect this wedding was for us, and how it was the product of a community of friends and family, so many of whom had a vital role to play in making it the event that it was.
We slept well.