(a reading delivered at rehearsal dinner just recently…)
Once upon a time in a land faraway on the rocky coast of Fairfield county, and following 48 hours of labor, there was born a lad named Wallace Booth.
His parents, not well of mind, decided he should carry the nickname Booth which often times created much confusion down at the local market. So much confusion, in fact that his mother, fearful of the reaction of those who asked…told everybody his name was Fred.
Anyway, Booth was quite the precocious lad growing up…he showed an early artistic style when he painted his family’s brand new grey gas-powered carriage almost completely white. He was always a Prince Charming – his parents would go to the fall “parent night” events at school and his teachers would say “what a pleasure he is to have in class” – and they’d look at each other saying – “well, I guess he’s snowed another teacher this year.”
Booth would channel that youthful energy into sports like soccer & baseball, tying up his parents weekends endlessly with competitions all over the land. Although actually, his parents secretly enjoyed those missions. On family vacations on the beach in South Carolina, while others frolicked in the surf; Booth’s relentless focus would be on catching sand crabs on the beach.
His parents were taken aback briefly in high school when Booth decided to join the wrestling team. They had thought rolling around on mats with other men in skimpy clothing was something to be ordered on the local pay-per-view…but go figure – it was available every weekend at the local high school. Nevertheless, his parents supported him all the way.
Booth’s endeavors in baseball and completion of his high school education led him to travel far away to the town of Ashland, Virginia to attend the prestigious Randolph Macon College. He played baseball there for a couple of years under the heavy hand of the village ogre. Booth was also a member of Kappa Alpha, a fraternity known for its high educational focus, moral principles and consumption of healthy spirits.
Actually, many of the other prisoners of KA and RMC, um I mean “townspeople,” continued to be friends and colleagues. One such knave named Gabriel, it turns out also escaped the stuck-up hills of Connecticut to attend Randolph-Macon, and is one of his best friends to this day.
Yes, there were a few maidens in Booth’s life, some back home and some in the kingdom of Ashland, but what Booth didn’t realize is that his true love was just 80 miles away in Newport News.
Upon graduation, Booth decided to leave his palatial estate desperately in need of a paint job in Connecticut and return to the Richmond, Virginia area to start his life. He joined a new company in the year 2000 and 9 run by a large England-based company. That company’s symbol is the Elephant…and it would be a time Booth would never forget.
He made a great friend at Elephant named Whitney and she worked with Booth in the claims department.
Whitney had come from rolling acres in Virginia, and attended Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA some 80 miles away from Randolph Macon. She too, was a member of an organization with high educational focus, moral principles and consumption of healthy spirits known as Phi Mu.
Despite the distance and in a seeming alignment of the stars – she made her way to Richmond and to Elephant as well.
We all know that good friendships are the start of great relationships. In keeping with the storybook romance – Booth and Whitney just happened to be designated the Elephant Prince & Princess during the company’s celebration of Kate Middleton and William’s wedding in April 2011.
For those reading this who aren’t English majors, this is called foreshadowing!
Despite their friendship, Booth was in another relationship at the time….However, when Booth became – as we say in the executive search business – “free to pursue other opportunities”…he decided to date this wonderful friend named Whitney.
Based on past relationship experiences with other maidens, Booth was reluctant to tell his parents too much about this new relationship. One weekend Booth traveled to the shores of Maryland to watch his brother Jake swim in a championship meet at the Navy. By the way also an event where men are jumping around in the water with skimpy clothing – is there a possible trend here?
After the meet, his parents sat with Booth over multiple glasses of grog, trying to pry the information about this new relationship from him – but all he would say is about his new “friend” is her name is “Ann.” Relentless interrogation and stalking by his mother, father and enterprising sister Elizabeth on social media; still didn’t turn up the answer.
Finally, one day Booth gave in and shared Whitney’s name with his parents. The rest my good people is history.
Whitney has been a joy to the family. Great energy, engaging personality, easy going, squeakily enthusiastic, qua-trefoil obsessed, occasionally hangry – and best of all likes martinis!
As the story goes, Booth and Whitney bought a castle in the kingdom of Richmond and moved in with the four-legged court jester – Peyton. Just over a year ago Booth surprised Whitney on his favorite shores of South Carolina with an engagement ring. The sand crabs were thrilled and so are his parents.
And that’s the end of the story – no actually it’s just the beginning…
The happy couple are married just recently in Richmond and are in the process of…
…“living happily ever after.”