It Takes a Village (to Celebrate a Wedding)
Rhinebeck, NY — I hope that some of the joyful and celebratory feelings that I and most of Rhinebeck’s townspeople felt about Chelsea’s wedding touched the wedding party. Just about the entire town turned out to see what was happening on Main Street, grinning, laughing, and fully enjoying the celebrity sightings and spotlight.
The weekend was the social event of the decade for us, I’d expect. Friends were bumping into each other everywhere; I myself saw friends I hadn’t seen in months, and we had so much fun. As a town we bonded and in a way became a family of our own.
Most touching of all to me is how so many of our hearts opened to the Clinton family, wishing them beautiful weather, a perfect ceremony, and happy life.
We were thrilled to see Hillary looking so radiant as she stepped out of the black-windowed SUV, hand-in-hand with Bill, to make an appearance at the night-before-the-wedding party at the Beekman Arms Hotel. My friends were abuzz about how happy she looked, how gorgeous her dress was, and what a festive necklace. It doesn’t matter if Hillary didn’t make cookies, the beaming Mother of the Bride showed herself to be a loving mom, top to bottom, and we loved her for it.
Our favorite coffee shop placed a sign in its window that read Mazel Tov Chelsea & Marc, and was featured in news clips around the world. We are all happy for Ira, the proprietor. Another video newsclip showed one of our best known local moms walking her dog down main street. It was so fun to put the url on Facebook for my college-aged daughter to see.
And then, of course, word went out that Bill was in town for lunch. My friend Deb Walker texted me about it, others texted their contacts, and before long almost everyone I knew was outside of the restaurant, waiting for Bill to emerge. Deb took the pictures of Bill in this blog as he came out of the restaurant and shook as many hands as he could. What a friendly man, and how generous of him to make an appearance in town (although we worried about him being so thin.) Word has it that he was actually a decoy so that Chelsea could sneak in the back door of the hotel where her bridesmaids were staying.
The majority of us feel that it was our towns great good fortune to be part of such a joyful affair. Neighbors who rarely talk compared notes in their driveways, and there were many reunions between old friends. Connecting to each other, knowing the joys and tragedies of each others lives, helped make the Clinton’s more human, they were here like our neighbors, in a way, neighbors we care about as people do each other in a small village, deserving of our compassion.
Most touching to me is how so many hearts completely opened to the the Clinton family, a family that has suffered much and has given so generously to our global welfare as public servants. We wished them all happiness.