Something About What Happens When We Talk: Lucinda Williams

OK, a big hiatus from writing, and I don’t so much have an excuse as I do a reasonable explanation.

Back in April, during our insanely fun Passover Sedar, my friends Debbi Berenberg and Barbara Kweller told me I needed to throw a party for my partner Diane who recently graduated from UC Davis, at age 57, with a BS in Animal Biology.

Since Barbara and Debbi’s suggestion was public, I was kind of stuck, but I knew Diane’s best friends, Dee Dee Huebner who is getting a PhD in Fairbanks, and her cousin Cherie Dudek, would be out our way in August, so I thought I would throw the soiree when Di’s buds were out.

In the mean time, Diane and I made our way to New York City where I attended the FSTA Summer conference, and where we stayed for the whole week as our main summer vacation. Di and I have been to Manhattan a handful of times over the nine years of our relationship, and have had a lot of fun, had great walks and meals, and seen wonderful plays. But, we had never really had a fancy dinner out together, and I knew Diane kind of coveted such an experience.

So, I made reservations at Tavern on the Green and then thought she might like it if we went on a horse driven carriage ride around the park, under the stars when we were finished eating. And, before we left, as I considered the party, Dee Dee and Cherie coming out, and with this romantic opportunity, maybe after all these years I would ask Diane if she wanted to get married. That way we could have a combined wedding and graduation party while Di’s mates were around.

So, we rode and I asked and she said ok, and the gears started turning, churning towards last Saturday, August 20, 2016 as the anointed date.

Indeed last Saturday we were wed, on the on the sand in the little town called Stinson Beach, near San Francisco. Our friends Rob Lewis and Mary Ford have a lovely house they let us use for the post beach wedding party, and my childhood mate and sometimes band partner Stephen Clayton, who also owns a house at Stinson with his wife and another life long friend Karen, let our contingent stay and base out of their house in the town.

More friends, Zoe Pollock and her mom Jeanne Schumann (yet another music mate, as are Mary and Rob from time-to-time) made our cake so the whole affair was pretty cozy and within our music and Passover (there are usually 40-plus humans at Pesach) communities making for a lovely day and party.

Though it was a dumb move, we did hire a DJ. Di really wanted one, though as I have noted before, she and I don’t share a lot of music other than some Meat Loaf. But the DJ is what she wanted, so she got one. But, we never really had a chance to give the DJ hired a set list or anything before the festivities began.

When we walked back to Mary’s from the beach, the guy had this awful sappy wedding crap playing, and as soon as I noticed I grabbed a copy of my CD Downward Facing Dog and told the DJ to get the horrible sappy shit off and just play the album till Diane could find him and give a set list.

The guy was lost when I told him to play I Knew the Bride (when she used to rock’n’roll) and he blew off Diane’s request for Surfin’ Bird, but we had a great time, and he did get our first dance down.

That dance was to Lucinda Williams’  Something About What Happens When We Talk which is sort of our song. Diane and I met via meetings we coordinated–her from Chicago, me from the Bay Area–when groups we managed had weekly discussions while we worked at ATT.

Di and I did change jobs, but six years after we met Diane came to the west coast to visit and suddenly we were in a relationship, and well, five years ago, after retiring from ATT and starting at Harper Community College in Chicago, Diane moved to California for good, into our home in El Cerrito, and began the second half of her college career commuting to Davis to finish her degree.

Before the move, however, we both worked for ATT, and we had essentially free land lines and long distance, so we spent hours on the phone after work, watching TV shows together long distance, having long philosophical discussions, and falling asleep with the phone off the hook (check out my song Geography Matters from Downward Dog which is about just that).

So, via the phone is how Diane and I actually fell in love, and that makes Lucinda’s song all the more poignant and special.

Hence, making plans for the wedding on the beach took front seat over the past couple of months and the best I can offer is Lucinda and her band simply killing it on a beautiful tune. And one that is our tune, I might add.

And, here is a pretty cute photo of Diane and me sort of cutting the cement to Lucinda (I am holding her mortorboard in my hand).

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