Tom Berg and his wife, Dreamgirl Val Moulton Berg, joined my wife, Kelley, and me as the Pike contingent attending the wedding of Brian Pickerall to Kathy Miller. If this feels like déjà vu, rest assured that I have made similar reports about Pick marrying Kathy in the past. Get this: they were different women! Yup, Brian married his third Kathy. This has to be a record. If you have an uneasy feeling in the pit of your stomach, I know Brian's mother, and her name isn't Kathy. So he's got that going for him. Which is nice.
Kathy is an Alpha Phi from Cornell. She was there when we were, but she doesn't remember us, and we don't remember her. One of her friends told us "she was very studious," which explains why we never crossed paths. She didn't remember the time I was waiting tables at an Alpha Phi rush function and set my thumb on fire. She must have been at the library. I was drunk. Or the time Monti and I, attending a party there, were aghast that they ran out of ice, so we took their gin home to have our own party. Frankly, we're a bit hazy on that one, too, but there were other, reliable, eyewitnesses.
Anyway, the wedding was in Duck, North Carolina. On Duck Road. When we got the invitation I started salivating at all the mentions of Duck, but, despite it being the middle of duck season, Kelley put the kibosh on me bringing my shotgun, just in case I ran into some ducks. Or spare Kathys.
It was a grand affair! Kathy is a big shot in the Pentagon, so there were a flock of generals there. I mistakenly gave one of them a buck to park my car. They really ought to redesign those uniforms. Berg spent the entire reception trying to convince Kelley why every Democrat on planet earth is pond scum. Other than that, it was fun. Val was as bodacious as ever. The bride and groom were lit, but managed to behave themselves. I tell you, middle age has its perks. Gone are the days of receptions catered by Wally's House of Wieners, with Genny Cream on tap and Ripple for the ladies.
It's time for another correction. I told a pointless story in my beer reminiscences in the last issue about how Andy Bjork and I would suck down free beer at beer truck parties, which was true. The part about crawling under the truck to avoid the long lines actually involved Ed "Tool" Conti, as he pointed out. Yes, it's true: there are people who want due credit for going to embarrassing lengths for free beer. It was Ed who came up with the truly inventive ways to score brewskis, like going through the cab and under the truck.
In a few weeks I'm off to Deer Camp with Taz Ochs, Bob Montione, Bill Webster, Nate Rudgers, and, possibly, Paul Weston, although he lives in Australia now and it's kind of a trek. I am a lazy hunter, and have a tree stand that allows me to recline. I have actually fallen asleep 30 feet up a tree. You don't shoot a lot of deer in your sleep, but if you stay awake and you do shoot one, you have to gut the dang thing and drag it back to camp. My way is waaay more comfortable.