Monday, October 26, 2009
An Ozark wedding in the River
I attended the greatest wedding ever. This wedding happened in the shadow of Missouri highest point, Tom Sauk Mountain, on the Black River here a couple three weeks ago. I didn't really know the bride or groom. I biked there with Gabe and Jonathan. Gabe was buddies with the folks who were getting married, Patty and Miller, and most everyone that was to attend. I had met the wedding band before, The Rats and People, when I was touring with a metal band named Condor. The Rats and People love to party and play ping pong, so I really loved hanging out with them and drinking and taking off our shirts and falling on our faces together, and they took to calling me "Hardcore Jesus," I guess cause I have long hair and was playing in a metal band. But that was all a couple years before the wedding. And so now we all collided at the Black River there by Tom Sauk and we were on bikes and arrived at the campground where the wedding was to occur the night before the wedding, thinking that the place would be buzzing with moms and dads putting up streamers and centerpieces. But instead, nobody was there at all and it cost like $20 to camp at the place and we usually try to camp for free under a bridge or something, so we just told the folks that own the place that we're with the wedding party and they'll pay for our camping the next day. So we set up camp and drink our beers and do a little fishing, all the time watching for the arrival of a wedding caravan, but they never show.
Until the next afternoon when Gabe and Jonathan and I are wading in the river, grokking a bald eagle with a fuckin 10 foot wingspan and catching stripers, and suddenly there are vans and cars and shit rumbling down the gravel road into the campground and it's clear it's the wedding party, woo-hoo, and yee-ha, splish-splash our way back to camp, hey, hey, hey, let's party. And suddenly the quiet campground is buzzin, goodbye eagles, and they've got Busch in camo cans, and dogs, and tents, and flower arrangements done by a beautiful tattooed person, and we all help with the flowers and give hugs and slug beers as fast as we can. And folks are playing fiddles and guitars and before we know it the wedding is actually happening and we all walk down to the gravel bar and into the river, cause this wedding is gonna happen in the river and that's beautiful and makes a lot of sense. More sense than a church. I think we got some pics of this, and I guess I posted them above, which is not where I most wanted them, but I don't get all of this. So the first pic up there is the bride, Patty, and the groom, Miller. I don't remember the official bro's name, but he was really nice. And check it out - the wedding is happening in the river! The other picture is of everybody walking down to the river to have the ceremony. You can see the band, who played right on the gravel bar, and I'm kinda in the foreground there with a dog and a beer. A good life!
It was all immaculate and left me loving life and everyone else. We kept a fire going the whole time we were there. I slept in a very small tent with Gabe and Jonathan both and it was a fart box but I spooned both of them from time to time throughout the night.