Va Va Vroom: A Telluride Wedding
Some reporter was sleeping on the job to have missed this gem for the New York Times Sunday Styles “Vows” feature.
It was adult entertainment at its best – vintage Cole Porter, not “Boogie Nights.”
And it was not just a Big Deal. It was Brobdingnagian.
On Saturday, September 6, Clint and I were privileged to be guests at the wedding of Helena “Hella” Adriana Maria Prins and George Washington Vroom IV, a December – (say) March union and an affair to remember.
The time: the sun-drenched splendor of Telluride’s late afternoon, when the mountains are covered in a soft veil of pink-yellow light.
The setting: The Ridge at Allred’s, on top of the world looking down Milk Run to our storybook town. (Eat your heart out Jan Brueghel.)
The over-the-top leading man, the groom: Vroom: Peter Pan channeling Maurice Chevalier, the reformed roué in “Gigi” singing: “I’m so glad that I’m not young anymore.”
The bride: no ivory tower princess, but a lady who knows how to let down her hair.
There was an audible intake of breath when the statuesque Hella walked down the aisle, resplendent in a champagne gown of Spanish silk and Austrian pearls by Mexican designer Angelica Castillo of San Miguel de Allende.
From that moment on, the event moved from highlight to highlight: Lucas’s spread, the roast, the bride and groom’s first (rock ’n roll) dance, the post-nuptial disco.
Later, much later, Renaissance turned Goth: Hella removed the jacket to reveal a bustier. We suspect there are lots more surprises in store for George, who shocked Planet Telluride in a shot heard ’round the world when he announced his intentions to – at long last – settle down at 66 years young.
No one was more amazed than Robert Aberlin, George’s friend of 60 years. Robert, a winning combination of Tevya and Yoda, officiated over the ceremony. With a wink and in a style vaguely reminiscent of the irreverent Ogden Nash, Robert was moved to write a poem to honor the occasion.
Excerpts from “Poem on the Occasion of George and Hella’s Wedding” follow:
My mother, George’s surrogate Mom, said,
“You should really show him
That you can write for George a poem.
She thought it would be very nice–
That a few apt lines would well suffice.
So, George, I truly hope that this’ll
Serve to begin to wet your whistle.
I did not flinch, but felt such glee
When I got a call from my old friend, Georgie.
He told me that the whole world was humming
About a date for Hella and him upcoming.
When he told me why, I made such a flap—
You’re getting married?
You’re full of crap…
And now to be serious and oh so proud—
On one of my birthdays you made a statement quite loud.
Like many a man you were brought to the brink
By the curse of millions—the alcohol drink.
But for 26 years you haven’t touched a scrap.
For that you’re my hero
And that’s no crap.
Then one day you decided to make the big switch,
Trade New York for Telluride, which held you bewitched.
The move worked out fine, you clever fella,
Because you found and courted the wonderful Hella.
Good fortune really fell into your lap.
George is getting married?
Can you believe this crap!…
But, in all truth, what a couple—
Him you can’t shut up, she knows how to be subtle.
George churning and talking keeps up a fast pace.
Hella will keep him honest and show their best face.
And I know you two will travel all over the map.
My God, George is getting married
And he’s still full of crap.
And now we look ahead for many years
And wish you continued joy, never tears.
May happiness and health be always with you,
And may you relish everything that together you do.
May you enjoy life together to the minutest scrap.
We’re so glad you’re getting married,
And that’s no crap.
I’ve used that expression several times
In order to make my perfect rhymes.
My mother says it is most uncouth
To talk just like an ill-bred youth.
So I’ll change that expression just a little bit—
George is getting married—
You’re full of shit!
At a time when 40 percent of all marriages end in divorce, what are the odds this one will work out? Our bet: 10 to 1 for.
In her new book, “September Songs,” author Maggie Scarf claims that “Older couples, compared to middle-aged couples expressed lower levels of anger, disgust, belligerence and whining and higher levels of one important emotion, namely affection.”
Oscar Wilde is rolling over in his grave.
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