I am now less than five days away from attending what will be, at least for me, my biggest social event to date in this millennium.
My dear friend Brittany Davidson and the love of her life, Zachery Morgan, marry Saturday in St. Joseph. Their reception follows at 7 p.m. at a downtown ballroom.
I cannot and will not miss it. Brittany has been one of the best things to happen to me, at the very least since moving to Kansas ten years ago. I have to argue she ranks above almost everyone else right now, only trailing my family, Peggy Cox and a select few others as to people who are of utmost importance into my life. As far as Buffalo Wild Wings goes, she’s 1A right now with Liz, but she’ll move to 1 alone when Liz leaves for Colorado Springs very soon. If Zach won her heart for life, he is a hell of a man. I’m honored they would want me to share in their big day.
That’s about all I could think about during my long and arduous travels through Nebraska and back into Kansas last Friday. I enjoyed the pictures at the former Rosenblatt Stadium, T.D. Ameritrade, the Cornhuskers’ Memorial Stadium and the Nebraska capitol, but the countdown to the big day for Brittany and Zach is really gnawing at me. In a very good way.
Brittany has told me time and again she wants me there. She does have some concern that I will lose my cool and melt down as I have in the past, but those fears aren’t as bad as they might have been before I started therapy with Crista.
I’m sure a lot of my friends at Buffalo Wild Wings, especially Alex, Tori, Raymie and the recently departed Lisa, will also be sad if I din’t make it. Don’t want to let them down.
Crista has really helped me put my life together. I still have my flaws and my concerns, but who doesn’t?
I have only been to two weddings in my life. The first was in July 1997 at a small chapel on the LSU campus between Adam Young, a former colleague of mine in the LSU sports information office, and former LSU volleyball player Luciana Santana, who came to LSU from Sao Paulo and ended up staying, much to the benefit of everyone at LSU. They now make their home in Bossier City in northwest Louisiana. I was not going to go at first, but Michael Bonnette, who was a groosman, convinced me to go. He and Robin (who was six months pregnant with their first son, Peyton) was there, as was Lee Feinswog and Brenda LeBlanc, who had been married less than a year at that time.
The second wedding was the Saturday before Thanksgiving 1999, when Bill Franques married Yvette Lemoine in Bunkie, her hometown. My father has nothing but bad memories of Bunkie; it was in the Avoyelles Parish town where a large rock casued a huge crack in the windshield of the family’s Oldsmobile station wagon during our June 1986 trip to Russell. Fortunately for my dad, (a) we sold the station wagon one month later to purchase my mother’s new Oldsmobile Delta 88; and (b) he only had to drive through Bunkie one more time, since Interstate 49 was completed to bypass Bunkie by 1990.
Bill and Yvette met at Michael’s July 1995 wedding in Opelousas. Yvette and Robin Arnaud were best friends at Bunkie High, and they took turns standing in each other’s wedding, although Michael did not attend Bill’s because he was on LSU business with the women’s basketball team in California. Bill and Yvette dated for four years before getting married, and some of us associated with LSU’s baseball team, led by Bill’s close friend, Dan Canevari, and equipment manager Mike “Bones’ Boniol, teased him mercilessly about Yvette. I joined in sometimes with trainer Shawn Eddy and assistant coach Bill Dailey.
Yvette was not a frequent topic of conversation at the Ivar’s sessions with Bill and Jim Schwanke. We had other things to worry about.
I was not in any mood to drive from Baton Rouge to Bunkie that day. I had been sick most of the week week with diarrhea and vomiting; it sometimes came out simultaneously at both ends. I won’t go into any more detail. The night before the wedding, I covered a high school football game between Eunice and Capitol at Baton Rouge’s Memorial Stadium (Capitol 9, Eunice 0) and ended up going out to eat with some peple thereafter, not returning to my apartment in southeast Baton Rouge until after 1 a.m.
The next morning, I was groggy and still not 100 percent, but I got dressed and made the drive northwest. I got to the church in Bunkie at 11:30 for the 1 p.m. ceremony. Bill and I actually talked for a few minutes before the church opened.
The reception was in Cottonport, another small town in Avoyelles Parish. I lasted 20 minutes. I decided to get back to Baton Rouge before dark.
No such worries this time. I’m staying in St. Joseph. I’ll be well-rested. And I don’t want to leave my friends too early.
I got back to Russell just before 7 pm.. Friday–in time to watch a Shark Tank rerun. I have not left 1224 North Brooks since.