Monday, November 9, 2009

Of Friends & Families, Beautiful Brides, and Go-to Girls!

Things have been really crazy for Steve and Kathy recently. Now we're not talking actually insane [although there are times ...], we're talking about frantic, frenetic, exhausting times. All of that has been coming on top of all of life's usual craziness: jobs, unexpected remodeling, the aches and pains of ... uh ... the decade they share, and the "robust economy" we're all navigating. And, all of that is on top of all the busy-ness associated with The Tim and Bob Show -- the gigs, the fundraising for our favorite causes, the accumulation of new repertoire, the strange family they're partnered with in that particular enterprise. It's enough to drive a normal couple LEGITIMATELY insane. Well, there's two things to be thankful for: (1) They AREN'T a normal couple, and (2) The crazy times are gradually returning to a more manageable level of insanity.

For the last several months, a central part of Steve and Kathy's life has been getting ready for the marriage of their daughter Bethany and her guy, Matt. Now, Mary Lou and I don't have children, but for some reason, both Bethany and her twin sister Hillary love us and we love them right back. We'd do anything for these beautiful, willful, talented, compassionate, passionate young women. And so it was that the first week of November would culminate in the wedding of Bethany and Matt. And that wedding would help restore a bit of normality to Steve and Kathy's every day life. That's assuming that being in a rock 'n roll band can be described as "normal."

Weddings mean family gatherings, and this was going to be the case for this wedding. Kathy's parents -- Irv and Muriel -- flew in from Florida to attend. Steve's parents -- Herb and Bertha -- arrived from New Jersey. We know them all, and enjoy their company. It was especially nice to see Herb and Bertha, because it meant that "Bert" was healthy enough to fly. And so, we gathered at Steve and Kathy's house on Thursday afternoon for an impromptu "house concert." Irv and Muriel had heard us play before -- Muriel on multiple occasions -- but Steve's parents had only heard our recorded voices. Almost all of the equipment was being stored at our house for the duration of the wedding week, but there was enough for everyone to hear Kathy's new bass chops, Steve's new guitar, and some solid four-part harmony. Everyone enjoyed it, and that included Mary Lou and myself. As it turns out, when you love people, not only do you love their children, you also wind up loving their parents.

More family was on the way, of course, in the form of Steve's sister Faye , her husband Arnold and daughter Ilana, Steve's brother Jeff, Jeff's wife Monica and daughter Madeline and son Robbie. They missed the concert, but they were there for the main event.

And what a main event it was. My father always told me that there was no woman so beautiful as a bride on her wedding day, and -- face it -- Bethany had a HUGE head start. Mary Lou got to the church around 4:30, which was a good thing since she had custody of the wedding dress. I arrived about a half-hour before the ceremony was to begin. The womenfolk were all hidden away, of course, so I had a chance to talk to Matt and his dad, Steve, as well as long-time Tim and Bob National Marcelo who was in the wedding party. Everyone looked great, especially OUR Steve, who was wearing a tux for only the second time since I met him. There was a bit of nervousness around, so I decided to walk into the sanctuary to get a seat. Bethany's choice of music consisted of about six songs, two of which were Tim and Bob Show songs. I couldn't have been prouder.

Finally, it was time for the wedding. The grandparents and parents entered, followed by the bridal party. Bethany's twin Hillary was beaming as she strolled down. Finally, Bethany entered on the arm of her father. It was an amazing moment for everyone, and I was overcome with emotion seeing my partner so incredibly happy. Reverend Bret took over then and vows were exchanged and readings were made. At one point in his discussion of Bethany and Matt's voyage to the alter, Bret referred to Matt as Bethany's "go to girl." The male attendants were, somehow, able to keep things together. And then, suddenly, we were introduced to Matt and Bethany as husband and wife.

Mary Lou and I led Muriel and Irv down to Southtown for the reception at the Blue Star Art Gallery. We chatted with dozens of people, and exchanged stories. We did a lot of hugging there, especially with Steve, Kathy, and Hillary. Long before the party began to get rowdy, I exercised my "old age option" and Mary Lou and I drove home. It was a memorable night.

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