|Randi- Sue Gets Hitched!|
It's Happening All Over!
Randi and Howie
It's the happy couple cuttin' the cake.
From: Randi-Sue Rimerman
After spending two glorious weeks in Hawaii, which is the best place in the world except for the lack of rabid lindy hoppers, it was really hard to come back to work. To make matters worse, I smashed my relatively new car up in the parking lot once I got to work. In the midst of what was turning out to be a very bad morning, I was thrilled to log onto Frank's website to find not only reviews of my wedding, but actually pictures! I wanted to add my two cents in too.
I had more fun at my wedding than I could have ever imagined. Not only did I get to marry the man of my dreams (who I, indeed, have been in love with since first laying eyes on him in Mexico), but it was very, very fun being princess for a day.
Still, as most brides will attest, the wedding was pretty much a blur. I barely got a chance to eat (I didn't even see the tables with food during the cocktail hour), couldn't tell you most of the songs that were played (in fact, I couldn't even pick any of the band members out of a line up), had no idea what anyone wore, never got to see the fireworks or the teenagers on the beach, and cannot believe how quickly the hours flew by.
What I do remember vividly (besides the look in Howie's eyes all night) was how much fun I had dancing the lindy hop. Although it may have been untraditional, it was one of the best things about my wedding. I regret only not being able to dance with every one of the lindyhoppers who were there. I've also heard from so many people how much fun they had watching everyone dance. Rumours were flying around that I had hired the "entertainment" for the evening, that Tricia was a famous movie star, that Tom was a professional dancer (oh, wait, that's kind of true), and that I was really good (no one could see my feet under the dress). And, of course, everyone (including my little sister who fell in love with Sue and Steve) wants to take lessons.
Free entertainment aside, I was so touched to have so many
lindy hoppers make the trip up to Long Island (braving mosquitoes
and a cheesy Long Island beach town). I've been dancing lindy
for two years, and it's been the best two years of my life. I
feel really lucky to be part of the lindy community and to have
such a great and special group of friends.
From: Sue Fedor
I knew we had a lucky bird on our shoulder when, armed with only our laptop and our new global positioning satellite navigation system, we made it up to Long Island in 5 hours flat. That was after leaving DC at about 3:30 pm. We passed 3 nasty accidents...all southbound.
We arrived at the Rimmermans' lovely home in Sands Point, NY. We had just missed the sunset over the Long Island Sound, but we arrived with plenty of time for a personal tour of the home by Randi's mom, Iris. The home is a lovingly restored and expanded 1913 summer cottage. It took Iris and her husband Ira about 10 years to fix the roof, move a few walls around, insulate the paper thin walls, install central air...etc...etc...Iris designed most of the revised interior layout and I must say, the final result was spectacular.
The dance crowd, being family and free food oriented, had a splendid pre-wedding turnout: Tricia Reneau and Thomas Iverson, fresh from a Maine vacation; Larry, Lizzie, Gay, Dave, and Ron Heron. We sat down for what should have been a pleasant B-B-Q meal on the spacious Rimmerman front lawn, only to be accosted, en masse, by a horde of El Nino inspired mosquitos. By the time you swatted them, it was too late. They appeared to be merely amused by Avon Skin So Soft. They were emboldened by Deep Woods Off. Not even old fashioned fabric could provide an effective barrier. Ron & I discovered that while gin and tonic may wet your whistle and make the bites easier to bear, the most effective after bite remedy appeared to be Rhuli Gel (the Rimmermans have an ample supply on hand). We retreated to the kitchen, where we had a double celebration: regular cake for Randi and Howie and ice cream cake for Randi's friend's daughter, Madison, who turned 4. Those of you who attended Randi's New Year's party two years ago will remember Madison as the little 2 year old who was trying to explain to Tom Koerner that it was past his bedtime and he needed to go to bed. A girl like that has got to have a cool mom...and Ellen is a very cool mom. Not only does she swing dance, she drinks juice absentmindedly out of her 2 year old's sippy cup AND knows all the words to "Zippity Do Dah." I can only hope to aspire to that kind of motherly greatness someday. Come to think of it, Iris and Ira didn't do that bad a job either.
Randi and Howie cut a rug
Dig those cool two tone shoes
Saturday....thanks to Jewish custom, we had the whole day to play. Dave, Gay, Ron, Steve and I, again, armed with only a GPS system and assistance from locals, managed to find a nearby eatery with a good, quality breakfast. Gay and I took and nice walk on the beach...later, she sunbathed a little too much by the pool and we all enjoyed watching her shoulders become an increasing shade of neon pink as the night progressed.Later in the evening, we were joined by Dr. Dan Fierer, Tom Koerner, and the lovely and talented, Carolyn Biczel (making constant mental notes to herself, I'm sure...as her nuptuals are upcoming). We found a nice dive with cheap lobster and bad rock & roll on the juke box. We had to have a little snack, as dinner would not begin until 9 pm.
The plan was for the wedding to take place on the beach at the Crescent (a restaurant/party center located right on Oyster Bay Harbor). Ma Nature had other ideas...it began to rain around 7:30 pm...and in retrospect, this was a very good thing. The caterers had to set up everything inside and as a result, the lovely Jewish ceremony was held
There is a God and she's a Jewish mother.
I'm sure every Jewish wedding is an event to behold and enjoy...but this one (my first ever) I thought had to rank pretty high up there. The cantor, Doreen Gamel, a personal friend of Randi's and her mom's, is an opera singer. The presider, Rabbi Martin Rozenberg, was charming, engaging, and had wonderful words of advice for Randi and Howie. Randi came down the aisle to a traditional Jewish song (which I would have stolen for Steve's and my Catholic ceremony, had I known about it at the time....) The traditional Jewish prayer for the couple is "Through this union, may they both realize their inner divinity." Marriage reflects God's own cycle of creation, therefore, when you get married, you enter into God's divine plan of creation. You become a partner in the firm, so to speak.
All the spiritual stuff aside...here are some more mundane observations:
Now onto the reception...and Randi & Howie reminded everyone that at a Jewish wedding, it's a mitzvah (a good deed) to have fun. Hors d'oerves were served during cocktail hour...which gave us all lots of time to amuse ourselves watching the bayside, amateur fireworks.
Randi's "chair raising" experience
Don't know why it is black and white
The duds...boy did we outdo ourselves in the clothing dept. Dr. Dan had on his James Bond Dinner Jacket, Tom K. wore his tan zoot suit, Carolyn, her yellow and black 40's ensemble, Tricia looked stunning in her 40's black cocktail dress with matching hat, Thomas, Larry and Dave looked dashing in their tuxes and Ron looked comfortably chic in his evening suit. Gay wore a 40's style sun dress, showing off her neon burn. Lizzy wore a 40's looking new dress, very swingable...and as we found out later, good for a hustle too.
The band, the Marty Stevens Orchestra, was very versatile. They played all the hits from the 40's, 50's, 60's, 70's and stopped about at the 80's with ballads only. They cooked a mean Hora, as Ron commented, the Jewish Lindy Hop....complete with aerials! Relatives lift the bride, groom, and parents up on chairs, gleefully bouncing them up and down until they fall off or puke...maybe that's why they don't serve the main course right away!
The female singer used to jitterbug in dance contests and entered the Harvest Moon Ball a few times. The male singer made me turn my head once or twice, executing a perfect Louis Armstrong and a very good Motown sound. The trombonist and the piano player played through dinner. Playing 10 minutes of music on a trombone is no easy feat...and he did it with aplomb.
Randy and Howie's first dance was interrupted by the band leader declaring that everyone should join them on the dance floor. Howie was just about to execute the newly learned "Fred Astaire Move" but it was lost in the crowd. He got a second chance later, during the jam.
Carolyn and Tom
Watch the birdie!
Yes, we danced and yes, we had a jam, to a very Klezmer-like version of Sing, Sing, Sing. It was S-S-S the way it would have sounded without Gene Krupa. We also had a spontaneous "jam" in the middle of the band's second disco set, which sent Tricia spinning on the floor in her ASDC routine break dance ending, caused Ron to gyrate madly, Gay & Dave to do the new "instant drop", and me to leap over my husband in a waterfall.
We stayed until the very end and danced...A LOT. The band also mixed the music up so that there was plenty of Motown and rock for everyone else to dance to and lots and lots of wonderful slow songs.
Tom, the disco king...
and his lovely partner, Lizzie...
Toward the end of the evening, both Randi's parents and Howie's parents gave their children glowing tributes and toasts. Howie and Randi met in Cancun, about a year ago, after Randi had finally called it quits with her on-again, off-again boyfriend. It was love at first sight. Howie's dad seemed especially touched by the union, as it culminates what was a tragic year for the family. They lost two very dear relatives, but gained a whole new addition with Randi.
We had to leave the next day, early, wanting to beat the traffic. We missed the Serota's (Howie's parents') brunch. On the way back, we listened to a New York 4th of July tradition--3 straight days of Louis Armstrong on WKCR, FM 89.9. As that station faded out, we picked up WDDB out of Philadelphia for their Sinatra Sunday. We had 4 solid hours of swinging music all the way home...making it back in just a bit over 5 hours.
It couldn't have been better. Much thanks to both Randi and Howie for inviting us and for their family and friends for making us feel right at home. Mazel tov!
Tricia and Thomas
Just back from Maine
From: Tricia Reneau
The third in a string of Lindy Hopper weddings was celebrated this weekend past for Randi-Sue Rimerman and Howie Serota. (The first two weddings were, of course, Dave and Marie, and the most recent nuptials of Mike and Chrissy). For those of you who don't know, Randi-Sue and Howie met at a resort in Cancun, Mexico. I'll never forget how Randi-Sue gushed about this guy when she returned to D.C.--"Can you believe I met a cute Jewish guy from Long Island in Mexico? I mean, what are the chances of that?!!" Randi-Sue, as you may have guessed, is also Jewish and of Long Island descent. Little more than a year later, Randi-Sue watched as Howie stomped on the glass and shared the challah bread with her new husband.
Several of us Lindy Hoppers were lucky enough to join the wedding festivities. Having missed Mike and Chrissy's wedding due to our vacation in Maine, Thomas and I were determined not to miss two in a row. Also in attendance were Larry MacDonald, Lizzie Hess, Steve and Sue Devoney, Dave and Gay Shepardson, Dr. "Woof-Woof" Dan Fierer, Tom Koerner, my pal Carolyn Biczel, and Ron Haron.
Most of us arrived Friday night when the weekend partying began at Randi-Sue's parents' home in Sands Point on the North Shore of Long Island. Some may have heard the North Shore also referred to as The Gold Coast--a most apropos name in light of the huge mansions built there by such well-known money baron's as Marshall Fields and Henry Guggenheim (On Saturday, Larry, Lizzie, Thomas and I visited Falaise, the former manor house of Henry Guggenheim). The money remains to this day, and we were delighted to actually see a chauffer-driven Rolls-Royce tooling down the road with a little old lady in the backseat powdering her nose.
The Rimerman's place was, by no means, a sloucher in this tony area of Long Island. A large yellow and white cape cod, the house sat atop a long sloping lawn, which was perfectly manicured. Larry was green with envy (no pun intended) when he couldn't find a single weed in their grass. The barbecue that Friday night started out spectacularly with a sherbert orange sunset over Long Island Sound. As soon as dinner was served, however, we found ourselves beset by mosquitoes, and all fled to the shelter indoors after the last bite of hamburger.
Saturday, the wedding day, each of us went on different missions before we all met at the Tiki Bar on the beach near our hotel. Surely, one of the best aspects of Lindy Hop is the camraderie and the circle of friends--much like we all had in high school. Think about it: How many people do you know who have a cohesive group of friends whose ages range from the 20's through the 50's and who travel to dance camps, weddings, and other events together? It is a way cool social environment. We all had a blast sitting around the seedy plastic tables of the Tiki Bar, drinking beer and pina coladas, and watching the local, tatooed motorcycle crowd filter in and out.
Soon, we were at the wedding, which took place at a lovely private club called the Crescent in Bayville Beach. Randi-Sue and Howie appeared drunk with love for each other as they exchanged vows under the Chuppah canopy. After a smashing pre-dinner serving of scrumptious hors d'oeuvres, we headed into the main ballroom for the big party. Dinner was your choice: Filet mignon, poached salmon, or some kind of lemon chicken. The dancing began as soon as the room opened, and our group quickly became known as "The Entertainment." We even held a jam whereby Dr. Dan threw me into the ballroom sky before I pitched over his back--way too far away from him to latch on securely and break my fall. Now, I just love dancing with Daniel and doing aerials with him (he's so incredibly strong and can really get you up high!), but my God, when that man gets his adrenaline up in a jam, his aerial throws will leave you fearing for your life (this is, of course, part of the rush and fun of it all). It's funny how those few mere seconds seemed like an eternity. I saw myself go over Daniel's head, and his back (my fall breaker) seemed awfully far away. I remember thinking, "This will look bad if I spill my brains during Randi-Sue's wedding reception." Somehow, I managed to get just one arm around his hip just before I hit the floor. Then, Daniel pulled me through his legs and set me on my feet. My teeth hurt. My foot hurt. I sprained my left ankle. Alas! These things happen when you're 34-years-old and have no common sense. (Will I try it again? You betcha!) So here I am now, writing this review, all the while icing down my bruised and swollen ankle. Drat!
Despite the injury, which I have so far successfully camouflaged from Daniel, I had a grand time. Everyone looked just smashing in their black tie best, particularly my very own Thomas, if I do say so myself. He was so dashing in his vintage 1940's tuxedo, I thought he would be most suitable as the next James Bond! Carolyn was, of course, radiant in her circa 1940's yellow crepe gown with black sequins and black tulle skirt. Daniel nearly started a brawl with a waiter who came close to spilling red wine on his vintage 1940's, shawl-collared, cream tuxedo jacket. Lovely Sue had crafted that clever twist in her hair and paired it up with a smashing rayon number. And Gay, whom I rarely see in vintage finery, wore a colorful early 1950's sundress which showed off the sun she got poolside that day. Of course, the belle of the ball was our very own Randi-Sue who wore a modern A-line off-the-shoulder satin gown, the bodice trimmed with pearls and sequins. Beneath her veil, which she wore all night, she sported a beautiful hair flip with classic ringlets framing her beaming face. Undaunted by wedding protocols and traditions, Randi-Sue flitted about the room, dancing with many who were lucky to catch her, and declared, "It's so incredible to feel like a princess for a day!" Howie, who had recently become the proud owner of his first pair of Bleyer shoes, showed off his newfound dancing prowess and twirled his new bride amid flashing camera bulbs.
At about 1:30 in the morning, someone finally decided it was time to put the closing touches on the wedding reception. The festivities didn't end, however, until well into the afternoon on Sunday when we were all treated to bagels, lox, and cheese blintzes for brunch at Howie's parents' home in East Meadow, Long Island. The bride and groom were still aglow with happiness and were visibly excited to be heading off to Hawaii for their honeymoon the following day. After further stuffing ourselves with decadent treats, we drove to La Guardia and caught our plane home--all the while thinking of and planning for the next Lindy Hop wedding: Carolyn's and Tom's.
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