Honolulu, HI – Today, 8 December 2022, marks Toya and my 20th wedding anniversary, a day for celebration and remembrance.
Memorably married barefoot on the beach at sunset at the Outrigger Canoe Club in Honolulu following the 30th Honolulu Marathon and preceding the post- race VIP party, the ceremony was officiated by a local catamaran boat captain named Krash.
At first, his name and title frightened us a little. But not only did he have the authority to conduct the nuptials, after I read his proposed ceremony, even as a persnickety writer, I found no need to edit his moving words.
Toya’s mom, Ever Morris, was on hand. My brother, Marek, was my best man. Olivia Barahal, daughter of longtime friend and HMA President Jim Barahal served as our flower girl (seen at far right in the above picture).
Many of our friends in the running community were on hand, as well, including Fatuma Roba, the 1996 Olympic Marathon champion and a three-time Boston Marathon winner. She and colleagues brought a green 2-liter jug of Araki, Ethiopian moonshine, all the way from Addis Ababa for the celebration.
Our dear departed friend, Mike Long, handed a glass of the stuff to famed American writer, Hunter S. Thompson, who was at the club for the marathon VIP party and ended up at our reception. Best known for his drug and alcohol infused prose, to think anyone could offer him an alcohol he had never had before was hard to imagine. But in this case, ‘twas true enough.
Thompson, like everyone else who tried the homemade brew, screwed his face into a prune upon tasting what I referred to as ‘jet fuel filtered through three day old running socks’. Vile tasting stuff! To this day, we have no idea how Fatuma got the Araki through U.S. customs. We are just glad she somehow managed it.
Anyway, a memorable moment from a memorable day in our lives, and the beginning of a sweet journey of 20 years.
With two decades of evidence behind us, it’s clear we both made a great choice. And the swiftness of the passing years testifies to that truth. Joys, happiness, shared losses and values, trust, and an abiding friendship have marked our years together. May many more follow in like manner. Offered with all my love and devotion.