The Manhattan Project--2016 A to Z Theme

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Remembering (and Not Remembering)


The wedding vow kiss.  The white you see in the round window is the blizzard on the beach.
(Sorry about the picture quality--I haven't figured out about editing photos on my new computer and these were the best quality photos I had access to)

          Hands down the best wedding I've been to was that of my daughter Ada and her fine husband Tom Zdanowicz.   Or should I say. since just about all of the weddings I've been to were very nice and I wouldn't want to slight any of them to say one was better than another, Tom and Ada's 2009 wedding was probably the most amazing due to the circumstances surrounding it which also made that event highly memorable.

           In order to make things easier for those of us who were attending the New Jersey event from out of town, the wedding was planned for December 19 in order to coincide with holiday vacations.  My wife and I would have been going back east anyway in order to visit family, so having the wedding during that time seemed like the best way to accommodate us as well as the others coming from California and other places.

          When I say amazing it's because one of the biggest snow storms in recent northeastern U.S. history hit on that wedding day.   Since all arrangements had been made and people had traveled from all over, postponing to another day was not feasible.  Despite the weather the wedding would go on for whomever was able to make it through the snow.  Incredibly nearly everyone did show up, including some who drove hundreds of miles through inclement weather.   What I feared could be a ruined wedding turned out to be a big success with a good crowd who had a great time as the blizzard roared outside.

The happy couple at the head table with the snowy beach in the background with a might blizzard underway.

          Getting to the facility was somewhat scary.  Traffic was light, but the roads were covered in ever deepening snow.  It was slow going, but everyone arrived early with time to mingle and get acclimated to the beautiful facility.  The place where the wedding was held was on the Jersey beach and had large windows through which in the darkness past the raging snowstorm ocean waves could be faintly seen.  What a sight!  Watching the wedding ceremony was hypnotic with the blowing snow seen through the windows that acted as a dramatic backdrop.

         Now here's the part of the story that has to do with my Battle of the Bands post that featured the song "I Only Have Eyes For You".    Earlier in the year Ada and Tom had come to visit us in California at which time Tom was going to ask my blessings for him to marry my daughter and then he would propose to her.   I think Tom is a great guy and I was thrilled that they were going to get married later that year.   Of course I approved!  They were one excited happy couple.

         One evening during their visit I pulled my recently acquired Busby Berkeley DVD box set off the shelf because I wanted them to see some of the great dance numbers found in the films.  They were especially impressed by my favorite piece which happened to be that song "I Only Have Eyes For You".   Then, at the wedding during their dance together, I didn't even realize they were using that same song.  Maybe it was the typical father-of-the-bride jitters or the distraction of the snowy weather.   Or perhaps it was because the version they used was the one by the Flamingos and it was so different that I didn't even make the connection to the original version I had played for them earlier that summer.

         Ada pointed out to me later what song they had used and I was so thrilled that they had chosen that particular song.   Maybe it was a combination of a lot of things that made me miss that song connection, but now I clearly remember what I did not immediately remember that night.  Now I can't imagine ever forgetting that amazing wedding.

Tom and Ada dancing to "I Only Have Eyes For You" by the Flamingos

         As a postscript I should mention that the evening wrapped up successfully though the crowd probably started dispersing earlier than they might have had under different weather circumstances.  We all partied and had a great time, but at about 11 PM the shuttle service which had delivered most of the guests to the site from the hotel where we were staying or parked decided that they should start taking groups back.

         Going back was even scarier than getting there as the snow had not relented and the roads were getting really bad.  Several runs were made by the shuttle vans that had been hired for the occasion.   My wife and I and her family members were on about the third run.  Many in her family had never been in the snow before so I'm sure this was memorable to them.   The next morning we awoke to a fantastical hotel parking lot winter wonderland covered in snow.  Cold, beautiful, and a heck of a good time for all of us.   I don't imagine any of us will ever forget that New Jersey trip and a truly magical wedding.

        Were you in the big winter storm of December 2009?    Have you ever attended an event that you thought might be a disaster but it turned out great?   Are there any songs that you've heard played but didn't recognize because it was a different version than what you had been accustomed to hearing or had expected to hear?

         If you still haven't voted on my most recent Battle of the Bands post you can still have your vote counted if you get it in by tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon after which I will tally the votes I've received up to that time in order to determine the winner.  Please visit "I Only Have Eyes For You" and tell us your favorite version.


       

48 comments:

  1. Well, now, I get why you suggested I make sure to read this post! Twenty-five years later, another couple chooses the best song! Lovely story. Lovely memory and a wonderful tribute to a loving dad.

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    1. I would imagine that many weddings have included the song as a first dance song. It is an ideal song to dance to that expresses the true love that couples should have for each other.

      Lee

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  2. I was in WA in 2009 so I don't remember hearing about this storm, although I'm sure my east coast friends remember it. I know Russell mentioned a terrible storm 'years ago' where he ran out of room to put the snow in his driveway. This may have been it, if this stretched as far north as Cape Cod.

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    1. I'm quite sure it extended up into New England as well as affecting Southern states. This was a massive storm. I remember watching the news in the days before the wedding and much of the day of the wedding to see what was happening elsewhere and projected for where we were.

      Lee

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  3. Glad everyone showed up despite the weather. A snowy wedding must've been awesome.

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    1. Like nothing I'd ever attended or seen before.

      Lee

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  4. I don't think we got that storm in Ontario. If we did, I don't remember it as being anything special here, but then we get storms like that most years. I remember one time asking friends for dinner for Matt's birthday and they had to drive a fair distance to get here in one heck of a storm. I was both grateful to them for doing so, but annoyed that they had taken the risk. My memory of that song goes way back before the artists you mentioned.

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    1. Storms like that one are a bit more run of the mill in the Great White North. Sometimes we take crazy risks, but a lot of those times I don't think we realize the extent of the risk until we're actually doing it.

      Lee

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  5. It sounds truly beautiful on so many levels, Lee. Albuquerque doesn't get blitzed like that, but once, in NYC, in 1969, we got 3 feet of snow.

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    1. It can get mighty cold in Albuquerque though. I've been there when it was very very chilly. 3 feet of snow is considerable.

      Lee

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  6. If I ever have another relationship and it culminates in marriage, I really want a Halloween wedding. In my neck of the woods, it doesn't snow very often in October, though there are exceptions. There was a huge snowstorm on 4 October 1987, which was beyond unusual for Upstate New York. It broke trees and power lines.

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    1. A Halloween wedding could have a lot of possibilities. A zombie wedding might be a bit too scary for me though. I've heard of October snow storms--weren't there some last year? A big October storm would be strange though.

      Lee

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  7. It's so great that you have lovely memories of your daughter's wedding, despite the snow storm. The only big snow storm that sticks in my mind was in 2005, and that wasn't a pleasant memory. I didn't get to go home for Christmas, and it made me sad. But I'm so happy for you that you have good memories!

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    1. When those big weather events disrupt plans it can be bad, but it can also be memorable.

      Lee

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  8. A snow storm hit during her wedding? Oh my! That'll make for a great story to tell to their kids and grandkids. :)

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    1. The video is great--wish I could have put a clip of it on this post so readers could actually see what that snow looked like out the window.

      Lee

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  9. I remember that amazing storm. Snow drifted here so our roads were one lane only with drifts twice the height of my car on each side. For about twenty four hours, no one could go anyway.

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    1. I know some places got hit far worse than where we were in Jersey. The next day roads were clear enough for us to take one of our relatives to the Newark airport, but still there was a ton of snow.

      Lee

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  10. I'm glad you didn't let the weather ruin the wedding. The one picture with the snow in the background is very cool. Gave the whole thing a nice unique twist to it that makes it more memorable. =)

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    1. Watching the snow blowing was like one of those space movies when the space ship is flying in hyper drive with tons of stars passing by.

      Lee

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    1. For them I guess. No, you're right.

      Lee

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  12. Sounds like quite the event and truly one to remember. Sometimes Mother Nature gives us gifts of her own. Sounds like this was quite the memorable event for everyone. It's a wonderful story for sure, and I'm glad they used "I Only Have Eyes for You" as their song.

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    1. It could have turned out badly, but I guess everyone was committed to be at that wedding despite what the weather had to offer and the few who didn't make it undoubtedly had their reasons.

      Lee

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  13. I'll bet this was a beautiful wedding! The pictures certainly suggest a certain magic. I always wanted to have a winter wedding, but I had "settled" for fall. Lol!

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    1. The wedding was far more surprising than I ever expected.

      Lee

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  14. What a magical night for your daughter and her husband. It is amazing what can bring people together or, not keep people apart. I have had occasions where I didn't realize it was the song that I like that was playing...couldn't tell you which one. I remember going to some party that I had no desire going to and had a fabulous time.

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    1. It's always nice when you have a better time than you thought you would. I've had that happen a number of times.

      Lee

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  15. Lovely post and photographs thanks Lee. I remember hearing about it on the news here in South Africa. My bridesmaid lives in NJ and from her I also heard.
    Yes, there have been a few occasions which I didn't want to attend and turned out to be great. For the moment I can't think of a song that I didn't recognise because of a different rendition ..

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    1. The snowstorm was very disruptive for a couple of days but quickly passed into memories.

      Lee

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  16. I don't recall that particular blizzard, but we typically get heavy snow at some point a couple of times every winter, so the blizzards all kind of blur together.

    But a lovely wedding story, Lee. I'm very glad it generated such wonderful memories!

    But as to your BOTB -- was this a wrap-up post? Who did you vote for? What was the final result?


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    1. As I had announced on my original BOTB post, my results will appear on my Friday January 23rd post. In that post I also stated ahead of time that I was voting for the original version from the film Dames. All the versions I offered were outstanding and I liked them all for different reasons, but the version sung by Dick Powell in the movie is the one dearest to my heart and closest to my musical sensibilities.

      Be sure to check my post tomorrow!

      Lee

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  17. Friends of ours had planned an outdoor wedding to be held in a gazebo at a farm. But that day it poured and the wedding was moved into the farmhouse which, unfortunately, was broken into small rooms, none of which could accommodate all the guests. A group of us opted to watch the ceremony from outside, through the picture window. When the bride walked into the room and saw us all standing there, under umbrellas, she ran around the minister to the window to wave at us. She said the site of her friends standing in the rain to watch her exchange vows is one of her very best memories.

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    1. I saw something similar to this in a movie I saw recently. An outdoor wedding can be very unpredictable to it's a good idea to have a back up plan just in case.

      Lee

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  18. I wasn't caught in that blizzard, though I think we got snow, and snow in the south doesn't go well.

    We got married in January 1978 and it snowed heavily a few days before. Mom was furious with me, but Mary's parents and cousin had both been married that day. Her cousin and his wife were married during the Big Snow in Chicago in 1967. That was the same time my father died... that snowstorm played havoc with lots of people's plans...

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    1. Yes, a lot of people in the South don't know how to drive in snow and ice. In Chicago, it's just another part of winter, but still a big snow can play havoc with event plans.

      Lee

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  19. Lee-

    Living in Arizona since 1995, the terms "winter" and "storm" are somewhat foreign to me.

    I once attended a high school reunion with a new lady friend and anticipated it being a boring affair.

    When I got there, I decided to pretend I went to the school, making up stories that a bunch of people surprisingly claimed to remember happening.

    While the romance did not last very long, that evening is a funny memory.

    I find that I have a knack of making the best of most situations (at least social ones), and I usually am very entertaining (at least to myself) so I usually have a decent time.

    Larry

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    1. Well you do have dust storms sometimes.

      That reunion story is a hoot. I could have fun with something like that. Like you I can find things to keep me entertained at functions even if I don't want to be there. I always try to make the best of every situation and you never know who you might meet or what you might learn.

      Lee

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  20. That's a great story - and lovely photos. I'm glad it all went well despite the difficulties you all had to overcome.

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    1. There are much better photos that I didn't have access to and the video with the snow in the background is amazing. Yes, this event could have turn out very poorly and instead was wonderful.

      Lee

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  21. Thank you for sharing this with us, it looked like a gorgeous event.
    I've been in quite a few snowstorms (I live in Wisconsin) and they are beautiful as well as terrifying. I'm so glad your story didn't have accidents somewhere in there!

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    1. You have snow in Wisconsin?!! :) I love big snows but I don't like getting out in them too much. The most terrifying part of driving in snow is the other drivers. I feel pretty confident driving in inclement weather, but you just never know about the other crazy drivers out there.

      Lee

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  22. I know the storm was harrowing, but how beautiful the contrast from the wedding inside to the storm outside must have been!

    --Well talk about exciting. The fire alarm went off as I was posting this. Indeedy there was a fire. Had to leave off in the middle of a comment! sigh (Everything is okay.)

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    1. A fire alarm accompanied by an actual fire might be excitement I don't need. Glad things are okay.

      Lee

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  23. What a memory. I'm glad it turned out so wonderfully! I wasn't there for that big storm and can't recall a time when I thought an event would be ruined and it turned out great. There was drama on my wedding day, but that's a story for another day. I can't imagine the day my toddler tells me he's going to marry someone. Mind blowing right now. I'm glad your daughter found a terrific husband! Buck

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    1. The days fly quickly when our kids are younger though sometimes they seem to be long. Before you know it you're watching that toddler stroll away a man and then maybe there are grandchildren. I can't believe that now I have 4 grandkids with another on the way!

      Lee

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  24. I live a few states south of NJ, so it's possible that we had snow too in Virginia. I tend to forget the years that things happen unless it's major. I'm glad everyone was able to get back and forth to the wedding. Snow can be treacherous!
    But as you said, how fun and memorable your daughter's wedding was!
    Happy New Year! I hope 2015 will be a better year for blogging for me that 2014 was. :)

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  25. I'm pretty sure you had snow that year in Virginia as I believe the storm extended down to the Carolinas. Some of the guests came from down toward Virginia.
    I can understand your not remembering though. I forget things like this unless they are tied into major events like this was.

    Lee

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If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee