For those of you who weren't previous aware, Matt Levy had been issued a challenge: 6 weddings in 6 consecutive weekends. In 4 different states, in 2 different times zones (east & west coasts.) We've already detailed the joys and thrills of the first 4 weddings here. We now bring you part 5 in this 6 part series.
Wedding Number Five: Benjamin Inwood & Erin Bublitz, West Point NY, Oct. 12th.
It was a wonderful Sunday for a Wedding. Saturday had been busy: biking around Farmingdale NY with good pals and total strangers in search of cemetaries, oktoberfests, and accidentally, a super skanky stripclub. But Sunday is the Lord's day and I was booking it up the Hudson River Parkway in the trusty Eggplant Xpress, my 2-week old 1998 Hyundai Elantra Stationwagon. West Point in October is beautiful and oozes propriety as the premier Military Academy on the Eastern Seabord. I park Eggy, grab the camera and head to the Hotel. The ceremony's running late, which is good because i was slightly rushing.
Benjamin Inwood, aka Ben-wah, was my best friend in highschool. We lived a few blocks from each other, and for a good two years we were inseparable, although as different as rose gardens and cement mixers. Ben was the conservative, I was the whack-job. His folks still call me Rusty after my traffic-cone-orange early-junior-year hair. Our first travel adventure was a 20-day Greyhound cross-country road trip in the summer '98, between high school and college.
Ben went to college in Alaska; this is where he met his beautiful bride Erin. I went to the final frontier to visit Ben twice. The first trip was due to a bet I lost when, in Junior year, I loudly proclaimed to all our friends there was no way Ben would go to college in Alaska! Up I went, in January '99. The second visit occured in June '02 and came of the need to drive his car and unwanted stuff from Alaska to Brooklyn. 9 days, 10 hours of driving each day, me and Ben-wah. After the AK > BK road trip Ben and I fell out of touch; the last we spoke was his older sister's wedding party two years back. Between the two road trips Ben and Erin moved to Anchorage and had a child. Knowing my far-away best friend was a Dad at 22 was a shocker, but last I saw the kid, in '02, he was brand new and not speaking yet.
He looked good. Pleased and surprised to see me. Much stockier than in the past, but it looked good, solid, like he was a real man ready for his family's future; moving into all those scary adult stages. The wedding was outdoors on the Hudson, and the ceremony, as well as the festivities to follow, were the most conservatively Jewish wedding yet attended. There was the chuppah (the canopy under which the bride and groom stand,) the smashing of the wine glass, and yarmulkes on everyone's head. Nothing in Hebrew or Yiddish, but a heavily mystic Jewishness pervaded the whole day, much to everyone's delight. Especially the massive bowl of jumbo cocktail shrimp. Definitely delightful.
The ceremony was short and sweet, the party slightly longer and better tasting. Ben's darling family, like my own surrogate fam, the most marvelous surrogate family a Brooklyn boy could have. There was dancing, mostly haphazard. And the groom & bride did NOT want to go up on the chairs. However, without a doubt, Ari took the spotlight. A fine looking little man in a dapper suit, he walked with Ben and Erin down the aisle and stood underneath their clasped hands. He walked them back to the hall after the ceremony, and as Ben and Erin took their first dance, he yelled ME TOO! and jumped into their arms. That kid's going to be a real mensch someday.
After taking my fill; after chatting it up with Oren and Truzman - Brooklyn boys of my child- and teen-age years; after unsuccessfully trying to flirt it up with each of my boys' platonic dates; after Mediterranean salads and a take-home tin full of cocktail jumbo shrimp (which made their way into a pesto for that evening's date); after delivering the gifts (Ben, Erin & Ari live in Shaker Heights, Ohio, so this former New Yorker & his fam get: an NYC Subway Curtain Shower Map, two subway oven mitts, and a pair of subway socks for Ari); after hugs, kisses and misses with the Inwood clan, after complements paid to the bride & her family; and after much soul-searching and private joke-making with the mighty Ben-wah; after all those activities it was time to get back in the Eggplant and bring it all home. The rest of the pics are here.
4 months ago