May 2018

Wedding – May 9, 1982

Submitted by Adrian on

Well folks, 36 years ago today, I remember picking up my soon-to-be and going to the florist to pick up flowers to take to our soon-to-be wedding. We were standing there with a room full of last minute Mother’s Day Flower purchasers. I remember Nancy speaking up from the back of the line informing everyone that were were there to pick up the flowers we had reserved for our wedding. Like the red sea parting for Moses, all the guys separated so we could go to the counter pick up our flowers.

Once we were outside of Foundation Hall at the Bahá’í House of Worship I was amazed at all the people who were there to witness today’s event. I remember being in a daze throughout the ceremony but I do remember distinctly that I did not fumble my Bahá’í Wedding Vow “We will all, verily, abide by the Will of God” (which did concern me a great deal because I have never been comfortable speaking while the world was watching).

After the ceremony we had an impromptu receiving line as Nancy and I greeted everyone as they left the room and after doing that for several minutes We were directed that we should go outside to the Gardens to take family pictures.

As it turned out, in May of 1982, the House of Worship was under constructions and the only way people could access Foundation Hall was to walk up ALL the stairs, enter through the Auditorium, walk to the back and go down another set of stairs to get there. Also, a few days before our wedding, the House of Worship Activities Office called us to tell us that a film crew from Canada was there filming a documentary on the Bahá’í Faith and the film crew wanted to know if it would be okay with us if they filmed our wedding, which we agreed to. I don’t remember the film crew being around much during the ceremony but I remember one scene they choreographed with us.

They told Nancy and I that they wanted to film us walking out of the Auditorium (which normally never happens after a wedding but because of the construction they got a dispensation) stop for an “intimate moment” and then proceed. This turned into a bigger production because this meant that Nancy and I had to accomplish this with 100 people filing behind us. That was fine except we had to do it three times for the film crew and moving 100 people back and forth at the entrance of the Auditorium was quite an undertaking and was hilarious as I look back on. BTW, Nancy and I have never see the movie thought we did run into them again at a Bahá’í Conference in Montreal Canada 4 months later where they filmed us walking with another group of people because, as they said, “people like seeing familiar people in other places and settings”.

Before proceeding to the reception we had to take pictures in the gardens. It was a beautiful Spring day with everything in bloom. It wasn’t planned but Nancy’s wedding dress was a reddish floral dress that matched the flowers in the garden perfectly. We spent over a half hour taking all the traditional pictures with my brother Ted acting as the photographer. Our combined families were quite the colorful collection with Nancy’s family and my family and close family friends. In looking at the pictures afterwards we made a surprising discovery. Gil & Tonya Muro photo-bombed MOST of our wedding pictures, especially the ones that were “supposed” to be family only. We were quite amused at this as we love Gil & Tonya a great deal and they just made themselves part of our family.

We would have spent more time taking pictures except someone came back and told us everyone was waiting at the reception hall (Highcrest Rec Center in Wilmette) before starting to eat. Nancy and I had figured that people would have started without us (as I was not well versed on Wedding Etiquette at the time and I was never much on ceremony) so we packed up and arrived at the reception hall so the festivities could get on their way.

Our reception was a pot luck luncheon, with a tasty wedding cake, and fun decorations. The Unity Bluegrass Band did a performance where I sang to Nancy, dedicating two of my *specialties* to her; “With Care From Someone” and my signature, “You Never Even Called Me By My Name” a.k.a. “Adrian’s Song”. The band even gave a square dance where I dance EVERY DANCE with Nancy (I was proud of than because usually I’m performing rather than dancing for square dances).

We did do one traditional thing at our reception and that was Nancy throwing the bouquet which turned out to be a quick thing because it happened while we were trying to find someone to take Nancy’s brother Alan to the airport when it was discovered that (at the time) he had 45 minutes to get to the Airport because if he missed the flight he would have been declared AWOL from the Army. Thanks Mike Urbano for stepping up to help us out.

Over all it was the BEST WEDDING I have ever had with the most perfect partner one could ever ask for.  The readers for our wedding were Karen Perkins Coda, Susan Perkins, Floyd Mohr and our witnesses were Susan Abbott Wagner and Haydn Mohr.

I would also like to thank the committee members and our cast of thousands who LITERALLY made it the “Social Event of the Year”. What made this day most special was not that Nancy and I got married, though that was a part of it, but the real significance was the community aspect of it. It was everyone’s efforts to make the day special that made it moreso. I feel blessed about that. Thanks everyone again for making the day so special.

When Nancy and I first told people we were getting married, we told them we could not afford to have a reception. Well, our friends wouldn’t hear of that. They told us rent a hall and they would take care of the rest. So I found Highcrest Center (which rented us their recently decommissioned school gym) and our dear friends split up into the Cake Committee, the Decoration Committee, the Food Committee, the Entertainment Committee, the Second Sunday Committee, the Committee to End All Committees (if you haven’t guessed it, Bahá’ís like to be on committees). This meant that basically all Nancy & I had to do was rent the room (which Nancy’s Father reimbursed me afterwards) and then show up.  I feel because our friends took care of the planning and execution of the reception, it made it so we could relax and focus more on ourselves and *our day*.

There was a side story that had to do with the Wedding Cake. Jan Ubel (now Grammer) headed the Cake Committee and asked us what kind of cake we wanted. Since Nancy and I are trouble makers, we asked for 1 vanilla and 1 chocolate layer, obviously (LOL). The cake ended up all chocolate or all vanilla (I don’t remember which) but we were not all that invested one way or the other  in it and it still tasted delicious, but Jan was furious at the bakery’s mistake. She went back to the bakery to explain how “disappointed” the bride and groom were. In-order to make it right, the bakery offered us a Black Forest Cake which Nancy & I had for our combined birthdays a month later.

This topped off Nancy and my PERFECT DAY

Conservatism Isn’t about Preserving Privilege

Submitted by Adrian on

Based on article:…

I found this article quite interesting.  When I first saw this article I was curious about hearing the thoughts on how “conservatism” might be about conserving established privilege and power.  Facebook has “labeled” me as being an “ultra-liberal”, although I have never thought of myself as such.  My self-evaluation is being someone who leans more liberal in regards to social justice, equality, and standing up for the rights of all humanity.  I try to keep an open mind, but once I became aware of the information-skewing that comes with excessive time on Facebook, I started using an app/website called Feedly to better control my news sources.  I feel it is much more balanced than what one gets on Facebook - which thinks that we all are better off with echo chambers that don’t challenge our ability to consider other thoughts and viewpoints.  This is how my Facebook Ultra-Liberal-self came to be reading from sources like “Fox News”, “The Hill”, and the source of this article, “National Review”.

When I started reading the article I expected to hear the “conservative” views on the merits of the subject, and I did get what I was expecting.  But I also received more than that, which I feel is the TRUE REASON for being exposed to other thoughts and ideas. This article has given me new perspective on the Liberal/Conservative conversation/battle that is in progress today.

I’m a Bahá'í, and one of our primary beliefs is the Unity of Humanity. As Bahá'ís we are told not to become embroiled in partisan politics.  This makes a great deal of sense since the nature of partisanship is to divide, not to come together for the common good or work towards the best solution for ALL parties rather that one side or the other (as is being  played out by our current political law makers/politicians).

In his book, “The Reactionary Mind”, the author, Corey Robin writes:

  • “conservatism . . . is not a commitment to limited government and liberty — or a wariness of change, a belief in evolutionary reform, or a politics of virtue.” 
  • “opposition to the liberation of men and women from the fetters of their superiors, particularly in the private sphere.” 
  • “conservatism is about power besieged and power protected,” 

These statements match what I have observed from watching current injustices and oppression of people who are not members of the ruling class/party.  

Also in the article Christian Gonzalez writes:

“Leftist movements have struggled on behalf of the oppressed and the downtrodden against entrenched power structures and their rightist apologists. Modern history for Robin, then, is the tale of an unceasing leftist struggle to defeat the Right; presumably, once that defeat is accomplished, human societies can finally set themselves to the task of turning capitalist depravity into socialist utopia.”

What Mr. Gonzalez states is what I understood about the more liberal slant of things.  

Then Mr. Gonzalez goes on to make a statement that caused me to re-evaluate my previous ideas and understandings:

“…who today but the most recalcitrant Marxist can take seriously the description of the French and Bolshevik revolutions as emancipatory movements? It is true that Russia and France saw ghoulish monarchs overthrown by popular uprisings; it is also true that both countries descended into dictatorships far more barbaric than the ones they replaced. To call the French and Russian revolutions emancipatory is to ignore Jacobin terror and Leninist tyranny.”

I don’t know much about French or Russian history, but the point is well taken about the fallacy in thinking that the history of liberalism is any better for the majority of people than conservatism.  But along with this realization came a moment of clarity for me, and it has me looking at things a bit differently than before.

Conservatism against Liberalism is not a “good vs. evil” scenario as I earlier believed, with conservatism being bad and liberalism being good (for the most part).  As I now realize, historically there was a power struggle on both sides, both manipulating the general population into following a charismatic leader/ideology, both making their respective followers think they are on the side of the people.  The truth to the matter is that this is a perpetual power struggle, and both sides will keep the general population as much under their control and as repressed as the previous leaders did, if not worse.

This revelation puts into proper perspective the DIVISIVENESS of labels that continue to be thrust upon people who do not seek power, but only wish to work towards solutions for the problems and ills of the world -- those who seek justice, fair play, and equality for all people no matter who they are, no matter what their gender orientation or ethnic origin, and to respect the individual’s right to decide their own way of living without judgement or persecution.

As a Bahá'í this is what I believe and as a Bahá'í I resist being classified and pigeon-holed.  I believe our future does not lie with conservationism or liberalism but that it lies with exercising and defending the belief that ALL people have the same rights, that no group should be privileged over another, and that we all have the right to be treated as valued members of the greater tribe, that of HUMANITY.