Tuesday, August 21, 2012

It Doesn't Feel A Day Over 15 Years

Picture it, August 21, 1999,  the back drop was a small town in Western Massachusetts.  It was a cold and rainy Saturday in Goshen.  The clouds hung low, the fog was rolling around the trees and the temperature didn't get past 60 degrees.  A young bride was getting ready to walk down the aisle to her future husband...

Time to jump into our DeLorean, set the date to June 13, 1998 and we will arrive one town over from Goshen to a Scout Camp in Chesterfield.  It was a sunny June day and the Staff of Chesterfield Scout Reservation were gathering for their first Staff Day of training and getting to know each other.  The Program Director was rushing all over the office getting things ready for the sessions that the Camp Director had laid out for him to run.  In the midst of prepping for the next training period, she walked in.  By most standards an average college girl who was asked to bring her brother to the training day by her parents.

The Program Director stopped and looked at her.  He offered her a chair to sit while she was talking to the Camp Director and of course she refused.  The Program Director scurried out into the main room and began the training session.  After an hour had passed it was break time.  The Camp Director introduced him to Laura Michaels who agreed to be the Assistant Cook this summer.  They shook hands and made some small talk.

"So you're Scooter's sister huh?", he asked bluntly.  Scooter was a Staff member two years prior and they never got along...at all.

"Scooter?  Oh, Scott..yeah and Josh is my other brother who is going to be working in the kitchen this summer."

"Oh cool.  Well I look forward to working with you."

And that was it, just a simple passing that Saturday, idle conversation and she had left to go back home to New York.  What the Program Director wasn't expecting was in two weeks, his life was going to change that summer...forever.

It took a couple of weeks after the first Scouts came through the gates for the Program Director to realize what was going on.  No it wasn't the record number of Scouts arriving for the summer, it wasn't the fact that for the first time in his Camp Staff career HE was in charge of the thirty Staff members for eight weeks, it was that average college girl in the kitchen.  Now, for those who aren't too familiar with the way a Scout Camp works, the kitchen doesn't fall under the jurisdiction of the Program Director, but yet for some reason he found himself wandering to the kitchen several times a day on his routine of visiting the Program Areas.

It seems that other people were noticing this as well and one of his friends caught him in a conversation.

"It's odd having a girl on Staff now huh?", his friend said, "You know, not an old woman like we've had."

"Yeah....she has some big boobs.", he replied watching her walk across the empty dining hall.

"Uh oh, I know what's going on, you're going to try to get with her."

"What?  Dude, that's Scooter's sister, I despised Scooter."

"Well if I were you, I'd go for it."

"Yeah, whatever, shut the fuck up."

This is THE cabin
Then it happened, it was one night where he went up to the kitchen and offered to walk her back to her cabin.  They got to the Cook's Cabin that she was sharing with the Trading Post Manager and the Head Cook (husband and wife).  He leaned in and kissed her.  They said goodnight and he headed off to the Staff Site for bed and she went into the cabin.

And so it began, the Program Director was me and the Assistant Cook was the Trophy.  A couple of months later we returned to the same camp, where I brought her down to the waterfront and asked her to marry me.  Sure, we were only 21 but it felt right and honestly she kept me grounded, which is something I needed.  We were criticized for getting married too young, she was accused of being pregnant, I was accused of hiding something but none of that was true.  It just felt right and obviously years later we have proved the critics wrong.  Time to get back into the DeLorean and join the wedding in progress.

We had a very, VERY small wedding at the Goshen town hall with maybe fifty or sixty close friends and family, of course out of the fifty people there thirty five were from her side of the family, you see the Trophy has twelve brothers and sisters.  I had no clue what I was getting into, but it's been a fun ride.  To put it mildly, her family can pitch a daytime soap opera and get it with out an audition.  Of course my side of the family tree is full of nuts too.

So, instead of a DJ we had my friend Chris with a boombox to play the wedding march and background music.  Nine times out of ten, Chris is a competent person, but this must have been his tenth time because even after explicit instructions to wait ten to fifteen seconds after the Trophy go to the "alter" to shut the music off, he got caught up in the moment and left the music playing.  Everyone was just standing there, looking at each other with that "Now what do we do?" look.  Chris finally caught on and shut the music off and we proceeded with the ceremony.

I refused to wear a tux and I put up one hell of a battle to wear a suit to but I finally caved in with one condition, I got to wear whatever tie I wanted.  Back then I was big into the WWF, you know Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Mankind, Degeneration X, the good years of professional wrestling.  So I picked out a WWG tie to wear with my suit.  This was the second thing that should have tipped the Trophy off that I was not exactly a classy guy, the first was when we were dating for a couple of days and I clogged up her toilet in the cabin and didn't spray.

The Happy Couple
Once the ceremony was over, her side of the family had a plan.  It was their mom and dad's 40th anniversary (no we didn't plan it that way) so they thought it would a fan-fucking-tastic idea to jump into our wedding day and celebrate their anniversary.  I didn't say anything because I was still new to the family and I had already gone through some trials with them, so I kept my mouth shut, but let's say that neither the Trophy or myself were overly pleased about that.

The reception was a bonfire in my parent's backyard...in the rain.  We were anxious to head out on our honeymoon, which my parents paid for.  We went to the Cape and went to sleep.  After eight weeks of Scout Camp and planning a wedding in a week's time, we were exhausted.  Our honeymoon dinner was KFC, so romantic huh?  We didn't care we were happy and away from everyone...until Wednesday....

We happened to run in to my best friend and best man and his, um, er, bitch girlfriend C yoU Next Tuesday and stupid me asked if they wanted to join us for dinner and mini golf.  Yeah, that was dumb and thankfully she did not last long and he married someone awesome and much MUCH better.

Short story long, here we are thirteen years later we are still totally in love and it still doesn't feel like we are married...other than the permanent band around my left ring finger, I figure even if I wanted to, I couldn't cheat because I have been branded with the permanent ring.


  1. Awww that's a pretty sweet story :) and your wedding sounds charming, if a little unorthodox. But it's good to break the rules. Happy anniversary, and here's to many more.

  2. Happy Anniversary to you and your wife. I love how you told your tale, it was beautiful! Wishing you many more happy years!

  3. Happy Anniversary to you and the Trophy! Such a sweet story. Ah...in laws...I see they got the ball rolling instantly, huh? ;)

  4. Awww what a sweet story! Happy Anniversary to you and your wife! :) Enjoyed reading your post!

  5. This was such an amazing tribute to your wife and marriage. I think my heart just broke a little at not having a story like this myself. Happy belated anniversary!

  6. Aww Kevin you big softie, I just got all goose-pimply reading this.
    Happy belated anniversary to you both, with many many more to come.
    Such a beautiful post. :D

  7. Happy anniversary! What an awesome story. I much prefer weddings like this, to the overpriced, stuffy, cliched wedding that no one ever remembers.

  8. Making a pit stop on the A-Z roadtrip to say Happy anniversary :)

    Siv Maria's blog, Been there, done that...

  9. Thank you to everyone! It was a good anniversary!

  10. The camp must have been more progressive during those years. When I was there, any stunt like that. . . "and you will be dismissed."

    Happy Anniversary