Today I presided and sang at Kim and Richard’s wedding at the Velaslavasay Panorama Union Theatre in the West Adams District of Los Angeles, surrounded by dozens of their friends, all artists, writers, musicians, and their families. Kim and I go back 24 years. Richard designs this blogsite.
The marquee of the Union Theatre, an antique being gorgeously restored by Kim and Richard’s friend Sarah
Kim Cooper, a regal bride in her red sari
Everything about this wedding, from the movie poster invitation that Kim and Richard designed together, to the cakes each iced with rice paper prints of their favorite paintings, to the ceremony’s highly original writing, to the inclusion of a cat fortune reader and a psychedelic-painted bus, added up to a unique and memorable afternoon.
Mio the gypsy, with his fortune telling cat
The Party Bus, which conveyed celebrants from distant parking
Jasper Rose, professor of art history at UC Santa Cruz, had four favorite students, who he considered most gifted. Two, Kim and Richard, could not abide one another, but Jasper told Cathy, Kim’s roommate, best friend, and the third student of this group, that he thought Kim and Richard were soul mates. Eighteen years later they fell in love. So now, twenty years later, they are marrying, with Cathy as matron of honor and Nathan, the fourth, and most dramatic, member of this group, reading a wedding oratory sent by Jasper from England for the occasion.
Jasper Rose had compared the marrying process to baking a simnel cake:
“Well! There you have it. You must, long since, have realized that I was dealing in allegory. As in all allegories some bits fit perfectly. Trusty old baking tin—this handsome Gazebo. The cool fingered cook our Queen of the Hippies whose dextrous hands enable her to ride even a bad tempered giraffe, our presiding genius.
(Kim had described me to Jasper as the Queen of the Hippies, and he wrote it into the script!)
“INGREDIENTS: it is pretty obvious that Kim must be demerera sugar. But Richard—can he be that unsalted fresh Normandy butter that nonetheless needs a bit of warming? Or is he just stone ground flour—watch out for the lumps!
“And the saffron. What can that be that we have to be so beware of substitutes, imitations? You’v guessed it: the ultimate spice, the overarching blessing—LOVE.”
Clarence Johnston, Jacob Johnston and Cal Bezemer cook up some jazz on the stage of the theatre. For Kim and Richard’s first dance, I sang with the trio "(Our) Love is Here to Stay."