Frees us of all the weight and pain of life:
That word is love.”
― Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus
Today is a very special day. My friend Ron is getting married! I may not be there in person, but I am in heart and mind.
I met Ron Block maybe 14 years ago? Somewhere around there. He was hired as the new circulation manager at the Southwest County Regional Library, and he was my new boss. He hates when I say that, and will quickly point out that I was pretty bossy myself. And I am, I admit it.
But Ron and I just got along. On his first day, a group of us took him to lunch at the Cuban restaurant down the road. Unbeknownst to him, we told the waiter that it was his birthday. Imagine his surprise when all of a sudden they plunked a big sombrero, replete with pom pom fringe, on his head and the entire wait staff played drums and bells and sang in Spanish to him. I wish we had cell phones back then, I would have liked to capture that face!
Once he realized what he was in for, we became fast friends. I think it was his second day on the job that I sat in his office and we chatted a bit. At one point we discussed age and I insisted I was older than he was. He was adamant that he was older; in fact, he said he was ancient. We finally compared birthdays – we are 2 weeks apart, but I’m older, which I pointed out and have never let him forget, makes me older than ancient!
Ron didn’t stick around too long, he moved on up to Jacksonville where he made some great friends and really made a difference in that library system. He also became a local celebrity with A Cook and a Book, an online book discussion group that inspired recipes and was featured every Saturday morning on the local TV news. Chef Ron created amazing food for his legion of fans, affectionately known as “blockheads.” Then he partnered up with a local culinary school and brought in top chefs to do programs and fundraisers.
Ron also went to library school and got his Masters in Library & Information Science. He moved up some more than really moved up – to Cleveland and the Cuyahoga County Library System – the finest library in the country, according to Library Journal. Recently the Brooklyn Branch became the luckiest branch in the system, as Ron moved in as the new branch manager.
So professionally all was going great, but Ron was alone there in Cleveland. Until he met Jeff. And Ron became happy. Really happy. I could see it in his face when we met up. I could hear it in his voice when we chatted. And I could see how good they were together, even though I haven’t met Jeff yet. Some things are just apparent.
Ron and Jeff moved in together and talked about getting married in the spring or summer. But due to the political climate, they decided to push the date up a bit and elope – to New York City.
And today is their wedding day. With a little help from some friends, like the fabulous Adriana Trigiani and Stephanie Evanovich. Ceremony to be performed by the director of the Cuyahoga library, American Library Association past president, and one of Ron’s oldest friends, Sari Feldman. Atmosphere provided by the most amazing city in the world, especially at Christmas time.
When Ron called to tell me, I was verklempt! I am so happy for my friend. And when he told me the date they were getting married, I really got emotional. I told Ron that 18 is a lucky number in the Jewish religion. I was married on the 18th of June, and my mom and stepfather were married on Dec. 18th. Today would have been their 39th anniversary, and I hope that Ron & Jeff will be as happy as my husband and I are, and my mom and stepfather were.
So Ron, from your friend who is older than ancient, (and I think that I speak for all your friends,) we are delighted that you have found your happily ever after.
Wishing you and Jeff a lifetime of love and happiness!