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Wedding Speech

August 5, 2012

(written for Derek and Lara’s wedding at The Eagle Ranch, WA; July 28th, 2012)

This has always been my favorite part of weddings; when the bride and groom’s friends stand up and roast them a little bit. I was very honored when Derek asked me to perform this part of the ceremony, so I racked my brain for some suitable stories and this is what I came up with.

Hello. My name is Bo Mandoe, and I’ve known Derek since 1993 when he visited Maui for the summer with our mutual friend Nick Zydycrn, popularly known as Naz. At the time I was still in high school, and they had an apartment – without parents – so I pretty much decided to spend my summer there. As it turned out Naz had three jobs, so it was a good thing Derek and I got along.

The first thing I came to appreciate about Derek was his gung-ho enthusiasm. He was always ready for a spur-of-the-moment adventure, whether it was hitching a ride to a little waterfall known as Dog Pond, or hiking through Haleakala Crater in the middle of the night – after an already highly spirited evening, if you know what I mean.

Actually that one didn’t go so well. When the reality of the 11 mile hike through the pitch black, cold, windy caldera struck, Derek decided to wait in the van – and spent a frigid lonely night at ten thousand feet.

Anyway, eight years passed. We fell out of touch. And then one day Naz – who also lived in Portland – said to me: guess who I got a call from today? Somehow or other Derek had found him… remember, this was 2001, the stone age of the internet. There was no Facebook of friend finder apps. It took real work to reconnect. Well, after a visit, Derek decided to move out here.

Since then we’ve been roommates three times; once in a very nice house with a giant Scrabble board on the patio; once in a squat, where we had to climb a ladder to get inside; and once in an absolutely normal apartment, where we did absolutely normal things.

Now, when Derek met Lara I have to admit I was just the tiniest bit jealous. You see, I’m a country boy; and when they suddenly bought 20 acres off the grid in Northern California I felt like Derek was living my dream. It’s a good thing Lara had no interest in trading, because otherwise I’d be wearing the tux, Derek would be talking right now, and half of you wouldn’t be here.

All seriousness aside, I’m very happy for these two lovebirds. Lara is exactly what Derek needs: a kindred adventurer. Someone willing to nurture Derek’s freak streak – even if it means eating pizza topped with carrots and broccoli. She might joke about nutritional yeast a little more than is absolutely necessary, but don’t hold it against her. This IS Oregon, after all; yeast jokes are infectious on the Left Coast.

In conclusion, I would like to wish a very hearty congratulations to Derek and Lara Scanlon-Jablon (I’m curious to see how you work that out) and make this final note: in keeping with the environmentally-friendly theme of this wedding, I didn’t go out and buy you a wedding gift. But sometime in the next year I’d like to visit your new homestead and build something with you. What it is will be your choice. But I hope it’s a tree house.

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From → True Stories

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