Friday, July 9, 2010
The Princess Bride
Once upon a time, there was a girl in Pinole named Caroline McCaskey.
Everyone loved her because she was smart and spunky and goodhearted and levelheaded and beautiful - sort of like Elizabeth Bennett in "Pride and Prejudice."
At an early age she discovered that she had not only a great talent but also a great passion for music. Whatever instrument she picked up, she quickly became so good at it that she was soon giving concerts and giving lessons to other people.
She's a fabulous fiddler and a virtuoso violinist. (The difference, she once explained to me, is that fiddle music is meant to be danced to and violin music is meant to be listened to.)
She's also great on the viola, piano and - believe it or not - musical saw. In fact, she's one of the best musical saw players in the world, having won first place at the International Musical Saw Festival at Roaring Camp in 2008.
I'm not making any of this up. Just Google her, and you can watch videos of her playing all these instruments, including the musical saw.
But more than her musicianship, it's her qualities as a person that makes everyone adore her. You can't help being drawn to her open heart and an endearing combination of sweetness and strength.
Naturally, someone who reminds you of Elizabeth Bennett was bound to meet her Mr. D'Arcy, and that's exactly what Caroline did.
When she went away to college, she met a tall, blond and handsome flute player/composer named Cole Ingraham. And they've been making sweet music together ever since.
She decided he was The One when she got really sick one day from an intense allergic reaction. Without hesitating, he scooped her up in his arms and carried her down four flights of stairs and all the way across campus to the infirmary. Then he waited on her hand and foot until she got well.
The guy may look like Apollo, but he acts like a mensch!
Now they're moving to Colorado, where they'll begin master's and doctoral programs in music.
But there was last thing to do before they go. On July 3 they tied the knot in a simple but moving Buddhist wedding ceremony at the First Unitarian Church of Berkeley.
Caroline looked positively regal, and Cole looked like Central Casting's idea of Prince Charming - which, of course, he is.
Not surprisingly, given their musical connections, the music was great - both the gamelan players during the ceremony and The Hot Club of San Francisco, which served up some very swinging standards during the reception.
The toasts were appropriately corny but heartfelt, and the bride and groom had the good taste not to shmoosh wedding cake in each other's face.
It was one of the loveliest weddings I've been to in a long time. At most weddings, half the people in the audience are mentally calculating how long they think the marriage will last.
But not at this one. Caroline and Cole are such great young people, and they're so obviously in love, it gives you hope for the future.
It wasn't a teenage wedding, but the old folks wished them well. You could tell Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle.
C'est la vie. May they live happily ever after.