The Wedding Trip of 2007 VII

The afternoon turned out to be a very festive occasion, a gala replete with dancing, socializing, and the ceremonial bride and groom’s cutting of the bridal cake that resembled a scale model of an icing-covered Tower of Babel. Before anyone could “trip the light fantastic”, the dance floor was traditionally reserved for the “first dance”, spotlighting only the father and the bride. As Ted and Nicole glided around the floor, gazing into each other’s beaming faces, it was hard to imagine a more serendipitous scene – they were poetry in motion. I glanced over at Sue who was wiping away the tears, obviously overtaken emotionally with seeing her son and granddaughter totally immersed in the time of their lives.

Karen was seated next to me and was also rubbing away tears of elation from her cheeks. Ann Meitzen, Karen’s mother, soon joined us tableside aboard her wheelchair although she was still ambulatory. I was somewhat surprised at seeing such a robust woman in an immobile state, especially since I had always known her as a very athletic female with tennis being her forte. She too was a bit misty-eyed, which led me to wonder if there were any ladies in the room with dry eyes.

After the ceremonial “first dance” ended with a round of applause, I wheeled myself into the Hospitality Room to check out the buffet. It was a veritable cornucopia that would have had the most discriminating palates salivating. It didn’t take long for me to opt for the tantalizing roast beef au jus along with a green bean casserole. Back at our table, Franz and I savored the juiciest slice of beef that we could ever remember having, so tender you could cut it with a fork. While everyone at our round table was enjoying a moveable feast, I suddenly had the urge to make a toast to Ted. Looking directly at Sue, I raised my champagne glass and said, “Here’s to our son who really outdid himself on this day of his daughter’s wedding.” Everyone at the table responded with raised glasses and the customary, “Here! Here!”.

The dance floor was now swarming with smooth stepping couples gliding around to the soft sounds emanating from the DJ’s sound system. Evidently, bro’s earlier (polite) plea to keep the music toned down was working according to plan. In the meantime, a ubiquitous Franz was videographing the festivities from all possible angles, including perched on top of a chair panning down on the crowded dance floor. He was obviously in his element, enjoying every minute of it, while at the same time feeling he was upholding his commitment to Ted to capture all the special moments he could on his videocam.

By early evening, the soiree was beginning to wind down, so I took the opportunity to have one last chat with Mr. Bates, saying, “You know, Corbin, it’s funny how a wedding can bring together complete strangers only to have the likes of us come away as good friends. Let’s keep in touch.” He nodded in agreement. I got with Franz to map out our escape route, which simply meant for me to wait in front of the hotel while he retrieved the SUV from the parking garage. We were both aware that Ted “Cecil B. DeMille” Early had scripted one grand finale into his incomparable wedding production – a “River Float” with the wedding entourage aboard a gondola drifting down the scenic San Antonio River.

Franz decided to forego filming the day’s last event, saying, “I really don’t think Ted will be too disappointed if I skip this one. Besides, I’m all taped out, excuse the pun. Let’s get outta here. I have an idea of a better way to spend the last hour of daylight. Let’s go take a gander at that house you designed for Ted and Karen.” I replied, “Outstanding idea!” We soon headed back north on I-35 and exited at Rittiman Road (our Motel 6 exit), driving west past Fort Sam Houston, a typical austere military base that prompted bro’ to say, “Geez, this place reminds me of Ft. Leavenworth (Kansas) where I did my short stint in the Air Force in the early 60s.”