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Brain Activity

The Wedding of the Century

November 30th, 2008 by Rory Harper

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you — Mr. Jesse Hawkins and Mrs. Rachael Hawkins.




They were married last Saturday afternoon in an outdoor amphitheatre at Brownwood State Park, to my delight and to the applause of approximately 45 friends and family.


This is the terrible loss that I suffered, mentioned in my previous post. I gave up my most beloved daughter – but gained both a wonderful son-in-law and a vast herd of cattle in payment.


More below the cut.





I had planned to video the event, but the cam packed up at the ultimate moment, so I can offer you only pictures and the audio that was recorded on my laptop by Barb. This is what a traditional Asatru wedding ceremony sounds like:


Wedding Ceremony Audio – Part One


Gordon Fossum acted as their Godi, and performed the sacred rites. Travis Arnold acted as Rachael’s maid of honor, and Stephen Merritt was Jesse’s best man.


Eagerly awaiting the bride’s appearance:




Rachael and her father descend to the circle:








Public display of affection at the conclusion of the first part of the ceremony. Please note the red cord that bound them together. They’re not allowed to ever remove it:




Then the wedding party adjourned to the tree that Jesse and Rachael had chosen together. We all stood in a semi-circle to witness, and to toast the bride and groom when appropriate.


Wedding Ceremony Audio – Part Two


Tom serenaded us as we broke and congratulated the newly-wed couple. I wish I’d caught that on disk, ’cause he’s good.



Though he had been ill nigh unto death, John Horrall, accompanied by his glorious wife Becca Wood, was required to attend as Chieftain in order to initiate Jesse officially into the Tribe:




Valna, Rick, Ziroby, Jamaika,Tom, and Debbie also came to represent the Tribe. Unfortunately, I can’t find any non-blurry pics of them. Also, there are many other beloved ones who were there, but I’m near the edge of the number of pics I should post today. And my sister Cheryl and her husband Charlie seemed to have eluded the cameras entirely — that Federal Witness Protection Program thing kicking in, I think.


Many, many thanks to everyone who made the trek!


Rachael sewed her own wedding dress. As you can see, she didn’t have time to finish making their shoes.




The wedding feast followed.


Next, Two Headed Baby took the stage. First came the traditional father-daughter dance to ‘Waltz Across Texas’. This was as poignant a moment as I’ve ever had in my life.




Yes, I was wearing a kilt. I did not go Commando, but did flash Caroline a couple of times, causing her much trauma.


Then the party kicked in and we rocked out for about four hours.




Travis belched fire behind us as we played, and Danica spun fire – unfortunately, I don’t have any handy pics of her.


Jesse and Rachael did a tremendous amount of work to make this wedding come off as brilliantly as it did. I’m immensely grateful to Gordon for being their Godi, and to Two Headed Baby (and spouses) for all the labor involved in preparing for and playing at the dance.



I like Jesse tremendously. He’s bright and funny and works his ass off. In order to be with her, he gave up a career path that paid him absurdly large amounts of money, but required that he travel to other states for long periods of time. He’s going back to school with Rachael next semester, and, though no one knows what the future may hold, I’m optimistic that they’ll grow together over the coming years and decades. And he’s a guitarist. I don’t think that Rachael could have found a better man to share her life with. I know that he couldn’t have found a better bride.


I’m a happy Papa.


Here’s a final pic of them, taken this past Beltane by Kathi S. (who is an astonishingly good photographer), that says a lot to me about the life that they can build together.






Pics credits variously to Cheryl Collum, Stephen Merritt, and Rachel Merriman.



Posted in Barb, Bob Y., Brad, Caroline, Hope, Maureen, mp3, Personal History, Rachael is Awesome, Religion, Rory, The Dude | 9 Comments »

9 Responses

  1. Morgan J. Locke Says:

    Gulp. Must. Not. Cry.

  2. Caroline Spector Says:

    It wasn’t being flashed that caused the trauma, Rory. It was your granny pants…

    And as I said earlier, it was a wonderful wedding. Except for the granny pants.

  3. James Hollaman Says:

    looks like it was a great wedding, one i would have sat in comfort to watch. (man i hate those stuffy, “traditional” weddings)

  4. Rick Harmon Says:

    My pics are here:

  5. Madeleine Robins Says:

    It is a wise and good Papa who gives up his daughter with as much grace as you, Rory. They look really, really happy. Love upon you all.

  6. Raven Daegmorgan Says:

    Congrats to them both, Rory. Sounds like the daughter’s made a fine choice. Much happiness to you all.

  7. Rory Harper Says:

    Thanks for all the good wishes, guys!

    And – Rick — Those are excellent pics. I really appreciate you posting them. Will leech them onto my hard drive this evening.

  8. Tom Knowles Says:

    My congratulations to the happy couple, Rory, and to you. Wish I could have been there–any wedding that involved swords and kilts is my kind of party.

  9. N.G. Says:

    Ditto to all sentiments expressed. God, that looks like it was fun!

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