Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Epic Fail [rehearsal dinner toast]

In normal circumstances, I am an emotional person. Drew and Shannon's wedding was not a normal circumstance.

I have a deep scar from the swirl surrounding Morgan's wedding. Having a chance to be enveloped in Drew and Shannon's wedding emphasized how much I missed with Morgan's wedding. When I got up to give the toast at the rehearsal dinner, the running amok from Morgan's wedding and almost 30 years of struggles were weighing on me. I wasn't able to get through much of the speech.

In hindsight, I should have just punted and handed a copy of the speech to Sharon to read. I had a copy in my back pocket.

Here is what I tried to say:

Good evening.

Thank you for being here tonight.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to interview a lot of people.

What fascinates me about those interviews is the arc of people’s lives.

It is amazing how little decisions made and forks in the road taken lead people to be sitting and talking to me.

Being here tonight makes me think of those interviews because Andrew and Shannon have a fascinating arc to their relationship.

More than twenty years ago, the drummer for Drew’s first band lived in the same neighborhood as Shannon. Drew will tell you that he can remember James King talking about this girl Shannon.

Over the next few years, they orbited each other. They knew many of the same people and frequented a number of the same places. Shannon’s brother Bryon played in a band that crossed paths with Drew’s band.

Like many things in Andrew’s life, the roots of this relationship date back to Sugar Loaf in 2005. Drew and I were talking the other night; he has been a camper or a counselor at Sugar Loaf for 19 years.

With Drew in Irvine and Shannon in Portland, they started a long distance relationship after connecting at Sugar Loaf. Sharon, Jack and I actually had the opportunity to meet Shannon during this period more than 14 years ago.

Long distance relationships are not easy and they ended up going in different directions. Shannon lived in Hawaii for a number of years, while Drew literally traveled the world with Milo Greene.

Then, early last year they reconnected and started down the path that led us to this evening. Sharon, Jack and I, and particularly Andrew, couldn’t be happier to have Shannon back in our lives.

So my toast tonight is to all of those little decisions made and forks in that winding road taken that have led us to this celebration here tonight!

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