Mazel Tov!

Is this the cutest couple, or WHAT? Congratulations to Ellen and Wes on the upcoming nuptials!!!

Ellen has been a good friend for a very long time, and having spent a day on a marathon tour of all of Portland and beyond (from the Gorge to the coast, up to Astoria and back to the booming metropolis of Milwaukie), I can attest that Wes is a perfect match for her. I think this was Ellen's fourth trip to the west coast to visit... not to mention heading down to Richmond when Beto and I were there for the reunion. I officially owe her several. Much, much more than that, really. The woman has a heart of gold.

Unfortunately one of the most predominant memories I have of Ellen is dancing in the rain outside of some fraternity whose name is long gone. Her best dance move? A misguided and (apparently... or so she says) unintended drunken slide tackle. That would be the same slide tackle that landed square on my right knee, left me incapacitated in a muddy puddle during a heavy rainstorm, and later led to a 3 a.m. phone call to Claire and Kim, who came to drive me to urgent care, where I trucked through the automatic doors, wobbling in a makeshift beer case splint (Milwaukee's Best, no less) and on crutches for a 6'4" football player. That in turn led to ridicule by the attending doctors who thought the nickname "twinkle toes" was appropriate, and five months on crutches, slipping and sliding through hallways, because no doctor believed that anything was wrong with my worthless knee. That's the same knee that buckled on a backpacking trip through Arizona, causing me to nearly take out the poor classmate in front of me, straight over the rim of a sizeable canyon, and the same knee out of which a skilled surgeon would later pull several calcified pieces of broken cartilage, one the size of six stacked quarters. That would also be the same knee that - more than eleven years later - made a sound something like a metal spoon in a garbage disposal, when I recently attempted a run. It's the gift that keeps on giving... there are five scars on my knee that will always remind me of Ellen.

But congratulations anyway, Ellen. ;) LITF, YBS

PS - Lucy also says congrats...