Weekend in NJ – Sunday Oct 7

On Sunday we rode with Joel and Millie to Forsgate Farms Country Club in Monroe, NJ, for the wedding. It was an unusually hot day for October. It would have been a hot day for September, and a warm day the last week of August. We had expected the ceremony would have been planned for indoors, but it was set up outdoors. Lee had woven the chuppah, her second effort at a chuppah. The first was for Gena’s wedding.

The ceremony was unusually short, and a good thing, because the rabbi was close to illiterate. Have you ever run into the word “betrothed”? As in “engaged”, basically? This rabbi kept pronouncing it “be-throat-ed”. And he seemed to be rather lacking in Hebrew grammar as well as English vocabulary. When the bride says to the groom, in a double-ring deal, “With this ring I thee wed,” wouldn’t you expect that since “thee” is different for masculine and feminine in Hebrew, the phrase would be different from what the groom says? This rabbi didn’t think so.

The reception was pretty lavish but nowhere near over the top. There were around 200 guests and a nine piece band. I thought the trumpet player was very good, and particularly enjoyed some of the extra ornaments he played in some old swing numbers.

Diane, the mother of the bride, has been in a wheelchair since her aneurysm in 2001. She seemed much better than she was the last time we saw her, almost three years ago, but she still can’t talk except for three or four responses. We do get the impression she understands what you say, but there’s no way for us to be sure.

After the reception we went to the home of one of Lee’s old friends from college. Arlene has known this woman at least since she was seven years old. Arlene’s family and Judy and Ralph’s family had spent their vacations camping in cabins at Stokes State Park in the summers after Arlene’s father died, that would be mid 1950s. Ralph was a musician and record producer and self-taught sculptor. Judy is an artist who with Lee was one of Arlene’s biggest early influences. We had one of her watercolors on the wall in our first apartment.

Comments are closed.