Monday, May 17, 2010

September 11th volunteers share their bittersweet story of love

Liz and Alex are engaged and will be getting married September 19th, 2010 at the beautiful Jericho Terrace in Long Island, NY. They have quite an interesting story to share. They were both volunteers at the World Trade Center after the September 11th attacks. I will let them tell the story.....

Liz’s Version: It’s such a bittersweet way that we met that I always pause to reflect on the tragedy behind such a beautiful outcome. I was a volunteer with the Salvation Army at the World Trade Center disaster site and was there from the first day on. In the beginning I stayed there but then got affiliated with “Sals” so I would go home each evening and return each morning. 9 months of my life were spent there. I was unemployed at the time so pretty much each day was spent at the site. Volunteering consumed me. It was amidst all this disaster and hurt that I met this amazing man. So here I am in this city within a city, in a hydration tent, surrounded by approximately 1200 men each day and I notice Alex. It was the month of March 2002 and I see this gator drive around the corner from our tent, almost run our gator driver Orange Rob over and I noticed him. Don’t ask me why. Maybe because he sideswiped Rob! Well, I then saw him again a few days later inside 10 House (the firehouse on Liberty) while I was stocking the coolers there with water. He smiled and I thought he had the kindest eyes I had ever seen. Well, to make a long story short, we were both in other relationships so we started a really nice friendship there. We would talk about his kids, his vacation plans, and life in general. His last day at the site was Easter Sunday 2002. A few other volunteers and I had volunteered to make breakfast at 10 House. We got there bright and early and started cooking eggs, bacon, French toast, the works. No one had gotten there yet. Well, Tommy the Tool Nazi had put the bacon in the oven without saying anything and the rest of us are busy mixing and cooking. He forgot about it too. All of a sudden there’s all this smoke in the kitchen. The bacon was burning and we had to fan the kitchen door and try to pry open a small window. In the middle of this mayhem, in walks Alex with a smirk on his face. He had wondered if we knew how to cook and had joked that we were trying to kill them. Of course he’s the first one there and I’ll always remember looking over and saying “Geez…it had to be you walking in.” We still remember that each Easter. I didn’t think I would ever see him again. Fast forward to the closing ceremonies at the site. I bump into him and Paul from his firehouse and we exchange numbers to meet up at one of the bars. Everyone was trying to meet everyone for a drink because after this day, no more site to go to each day. All these good-byes to say. All these pictures to take and remember. We kept in touch after that and after we were both single, we started to date.

Alex’s Version: Well it started at 10 and 10 when I laid eyes on Liz. I was looking over at the cooler and I noticed this beautiful woman and smiled from a distance. We began to talk and joke around to cheer each other up during and after a day at the site. On the last day of my 2 month volunteer assignment Liz and two other volunteers decided to cook breakfast and she burned the bacon. At the end of breakfast we all gathered outside to take a picture of that morning. We said good-bye and I was asked by a fellow brother if Liz was my girl. I replied no and that she was great catch. So a couple of months later we bump into each other and then exchange numbers to keep in touch. We would talk on occasion and when the time was right I asked her out. She has a amazing way of cheering you up and is compassionate and affectionate when you least expect it. I remember telling her for the first time that I loved her on November 22, 2002. From that point on, I knew I would marry her.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Maggie and Jay, love from LA!

Maggie and Jeremy of Los Angeles, CA were married April 24th, 2010 in the beautiful Church of the Blessed Sacrament Church in Valley Stream, Long Island, NY. They had an incredible reception at the beautiful Nassau County Arts Museum in Roslyn Harbor, NY.
Maggie and Jay spent their honeymoon in pretty much every country in Europe. They mentioned so many countries that I lost count.
Jay has the sweetest Mom on the planet. She could be Paula Dean's sister, they look so much alike!
Congratulations to Maggie and Jay on a wonderful wedding!!!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I love you, we're getting married, it will cost HOW MUCH???

A wedding CAN be EXPENSIVE!! Flowers and dresses and limo's, oh my! Traditionally, the parents of the bride bore the financial burden of a wedding, but over time common sense found it's way into the tradition, and now the grooms parent and the engaged couple shared the expense.
By nature, men don't and never will understand why so much money has to be spent just for 1 day, even though it's a wedding.... there's a down payment on a house! Nothing has changed with respect to this fact.
Watch, The Catered Affair, a movie from 1956 starring Betty Davis and Ernest Borgnine. This movie explores these money issues in a comical but realistic way. Rent it, buy it or watch it on TCM. You will all laugh, and the ladies will say, "oh goodness he's so cheap!", and the guys will say, "yes, the father is right, and she' s nuts!" In the end hopefully you will both say, "I love you"

The Catered Affair

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Forget Oprah, here are a few of MY favorite things!

Music. We listen to it to dance, to relax, to create mood, or to even worship. For me, music has been a passion since I was a teenager. I started playing the guitar when I was about 14. I honed my skills by listening to guitarists like Carlos Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and Andres Segovia amongst others. I love everything from Jazz to Classical, Rock to Gospel. I must admit that I feel like Bob Segar when he sings the lyrics, "I like that old time rock and roll". Anyways, here are a few of MY favorite 5 things, music edition.....

The musicians are incredible!
Brother To Brother

Their best album before they went commercial.
All 'N All

This album gets me through the cold NY winters! The CD includes performances by Celia Cruz, Oscar Deleone, and El Canario and a lot more.

Mambo King 100th LP

Give thanks, give praise, God is good! Get ready to be blessed.
This is truly his greatest early work.
James Taylor: Greatest Hits

(Jazz) Instrumental and vocal
Featuring Nancy Wilson on vocals. Man, this dude can play, I mean really play. Nancy is at the top of her game on this. He is my favorite alto sax player.

Nancy Wilson/Cannonball Adderley