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Posts Tagged ‘miriam’s wedding’

My Mom Blogs the Wedding

Posted by rabbiart on July 19, 2008

Technically, not a blog, but here are my mom’s recollections of the wedding.
+This is a sort of “communal” letter to several of my friends who asked to hear about it.    I’ll start at the beginning.   I arrived on Thursday afternoon 7/10   and had a scrumptious dinner at a local cafe courtesy of Art & Carol, just the three of us.

Shana and Daniel and baby Joseph arrived about then, but chose not to accompany us.    However, I had a few moments to admire Joseph, who weighs over 17 pounds at 3 1/2 months, and is a calm , cheerful, responsive baby.

On Friday evening, we were all invited to Shabbat dinner at Michalle’s, hosted by Art & Carol.   For the first time I met Walter, who has hair almost down to his waist, and he’s not even a musician!    Met his father, who said “But you’re so young!” to me, and then his mother, who said, “You’re so young”  which of course made me feel great.  (She hadn’t heard him say it).   Art made Kiddush and Motzi, and I think we made a Shehecheyonu (sp?)  too.   Then it was buffet style, delicious of course, and we all sat and stood around, circulating.    There were about 20 people there, but most important to  me was that all my children and grandchildren (except Keren, Hillel’s wife, who is in Israel fulfilling a professional commitment) were in the same room — not to omit the great-grandson.

I spent a lot of time in the air conditioned motel room, but Saturday Larry & Ruth took me for a ride to glimpse the Dell (yes, the computer guy) Jewish Campus, which has four synagogues, the JCC, the day school  and I guess a few other things.    It is said that Dell is a product of Austin, and when he made the big bucks he donated  a  pile to buy the land, etc.

Saturday night \the eight of us, plus Joseph, went to a restaurant that Shep chose.    He goes to Austin every year for the Music Festival.     Again, we had a wonderful time just being together, joshing, kidding, enjoying.   The eight is Ruth & Larry,  Daniel & Shana, Hillel, Mara,  Shepard and me.  We were seated that way at the wedding reception too.

Sunday we had to get started early; Art insisted the ceremony start on time, and it did.   It was in the Texas Hillel, which had a sign on the door “Closed for private party.” We went upstairs for the ceremony.   The Chuppah was a red silk cloth on which all the members of the Chang family still in Taiwan had signed their names and wishes.     (Later, there was a smaller piece of similar cloth and markers on which we all signed;  that was downstairs at the reception) Art, resplendent in formal wear and the most beautiful white square top Kippah I have ever seen,  first explained to the guests (around 100) what the procedure would be.    There was a five piece live orchestra that played, but I don’t remember what.    The maid of honor, best man, and three more couples (3 women, 3 men) walked in while Art went out a side door in order to be able to walk Miriam in with Carol on the other side (the aisle was kind of narrow).

Miriam was absolutely gorgeous in a white gown with a train, beaded at the train and in a center inset in the front.   It had an empire waist and halter neck, but you couldn’t see her bare shoulders because her hair was down.     The accent was a RED sash that tied in a bow in the small of her back and went all the way to the end of the train.

I can’t remember much about the actual ceremony, but it was Jewish all the way, especially when Walter stomped the glass in its white satin envelope.   I thought he might smash the floor. After the bride and groom left, we guests all went downstairs for the reception.   The bride reappeared having changed into a bright red/gold dress.   I think you call it a Chong-Sam.   She looked as though she was poured into it.  Mandarin collar,  thigh high slit.    Now her hair was up with one of those long Oriental sticks holding it up.        Gorgeous.

My fingertips are getting tired.   I’ll have to omit some detail.    All the food was Kosher, prepared and served in the Chinese fashion.      There was round dancing, and the hoisted chairs, and when Miriam and Walter did the “first dance” you could see what a trained dancer Miriam is — it was like no other, carefully choreographed.

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The Season of our Joy – All the Wedding News that I can recall

Posted by rabbiart on July 14, 2008

“Wow” (direct quote from my mother regarding the wedding).
“I wish I allowed and encouraged videotaping of life cycle events – because I’m the only one who didn’t get to watch the wedding” (direct quote from me)
“A beautiful ceremony” (direct quote from lots of people)
“Out of respect for Jewish religion and culture, please don’t order any dish with pork of shell-fish in it” (from Walter’s incredibly sweet father –  Fwu-Ranq Chang  -at the rehearsal dinner Saturday night)

To get the most out of your child’s wedding ceremony, I recommend being the officiating clergy person. I don’t believe it is possible to have a more intense experience than standing under the hupah with your own daughter (or son if you have one) and her (or his) groom (or husband). Oh wait, possibly doing the father/daughter dance at the wedding. Or maybe sneaking over to her half of the duplex to practice for five minutes and being shown the correct dance frame. More on all this later.  But first, if you need to see some video at this point, go on over to

Sunday – The Day Begins

We are facing a parking shortage at UT Hillel (wedding venue), because immediately next door at the Baptist church there is a revival meeting with a nationally known speaker, and it starts at 10:00.  So the ten spaces of the Hillel parking lot have been allocated to the wedding party/family (thank you wedding coordinator Yoli who put her foot down on this one).  So we are maxing out on carpooling.  Walter is picking up his parents and brother, so we buzz down to the duplex to pick up Michalle (sister), Denise (life-long friend and maid of honor), and some beautiful young woman dressed in a bridal gown that would take your breath away (it took mine away).  The thermometer in the rental car is already reading 91 degrees and there is not a cloud in the sky.  Plus, I suddenly notice that the gas gauge, which read half full when driving to  the rehearsal dinner, is now showing perilously close to empty.

Of course, Carol and I are already dressed in wedding outfits and have sweated (literally not figuratively) our way from the motel room to the car.  So I’m running the air conditioner, and leave it on while extricating Michalle from her side of the duplex, and Miriam and Denise from the other side, and trying to speed things up so we get to Hille before, rather than after, running out of gas.  I go into the duplex and Denise promptly announces that she is still lacing up Miriam’s wedding gown.  “How much longer” I ask, to which she replies ten minutes.  So I decree (still the dad for another couple of hours) that the lacing up will be concluded at Hillel.  We gather up the train of the dress and proceed out to the car.  Before we hit the front door, Miriam reminds us that we need to also take the vases with the wedding flowers (for the bridal party).  So everyone gets in the car, and I hand vases to Carol, Michalle and Denise.

Finally we are all loaded in the car with everything we need to bring to the wedding.  We are halfway up I-35 when a shriek is heard from the back seat. Miriam has forgotten her iPod, which has music for after the band is finished. (We’re talking eight course Chinese banquet interrupted with 90 minutes of dancing).  We have enough time, but not enough gas (I’m afraid) to turn around and go get it, so I decree (still the Dad for a couple more hours) that we will find someone at Hillel to go get the iPod.  Unbeknownst to him, my brother-in-law Bob is designated as the likely fetcher.  Bob, Debbie (Carol’s sister), Seth (nephew), Shira (niece) and Irma (Carol’s mom) have to arrive early because Shira is in the wedding party.  Jumping ahead slightly, Bob, being he gracious and all-around good guy that he is, of course agrees to go get the iPod.  He whips out his Blackberry (what! no iPhone?!?) and gets directions from Google Local or whatever it’s called.

We arrive at Hillel

Jumping back 15 minutes in time from the Bob/iPod/Blackberry scene, we are arriving at Hillel. Once around the block in order to pull up on the right side of the street in front of the entrance, we disembark everyone, get bride, bridal flowers, etcetera etcetera, into Hillel.  I start to circumnavigate the block again in order to go the correct way up the alley to get into the Hillel parking lot (not supposed to enter from the street).  Pull the car up in front of the parking lot exit, decided the heck with it, and pull in the wrong way, turn the car around, and park it.  I am of course, at this point ringing wet in my Tux due to the heat and the various getting in and out of car, duplex and so on.  I see Bill Averback (leader of the band – Austin Klezmorim – fantastic by the way) in the side patio, and am able to take a shortcut into UT Hillel, thus more quickly getting into the air conditioned (praise whoever invented AC) building about 45 seconds sooner than otherwise.  My tux begins to dry out.

Check out the Hupah and set up the room

I find Yoli, our wedding coordinator, and go upstairs to see the Hupah, which is now set up.

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