Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Destination #2: Windy City nuptials

A couple of weeks ago, Steph and I returned to Chicago, where we each lived for a long, long time. For Our Woman in LA, it was the first time back in town after two years of living in the warmth and splendor of sunny Southern California.

To be honest, Our Man in LA found himself a bit a-feared about his lovely bride's reaction. I wondered if being around all our old friends would make her miss it. Would she long for the days of commuting on the el? Would she pine for fall clothing, and winter clothing? For talk about the '85 Bears (and God help us all, the '06 Bears)?

The answer, it appears, is no. No, she doesn't pine for the Big Windy at all. It's cold, she tells me. People smoke in bars and restaurants. The smell of fried lard wafts its way outside the restaurants. And the plays at the Steppenwolf are just as self-important as they ever were.

Of course, that's not the point. The point was seeing friends and catching up with the people that we both miss quite a bit. The even bigger point was watching Rob "Bachelor Party Guy" Schumann walk down the aisle and get married to Dr. Heather Eyrich (aka, One of the Toughest Women in the World), in what might be the last great wedding of my generation.

And of course, the biggest point of all was decimating the free bar at Schumann's reception.

Folks, mission accomplished. But don't take my word for it. Let's go to the tape.

Here's Our Woman in LA and me at the Rehearsal Dinner. At this point, we've only had a couple of drinks and some wine with dinner.

This here's the man of the hour - Robert Theodore Schumann, this season's groom. How did he win the title of this season's groom? Well, the baseball cap he's wearing actually says "Groom" on it. Stay with the program.

Oh, and this is what Rob looks like when he's sober. The mind reels, doesn't it?

Reggie Newton, newly minted lawyer. He learned just a few short weeks ago that he passed the Illinois bar exam, and now he's working for the State's Attorney's Office in Chicago, busting crooks and absentee fathers left and right.

Reggie's not intoxicated here, FYI. But it does bear mentioning that all new lawyers in Illinois are required to wear a suit at all times. Seriously, all times. Even when swimming.

Reggie is in full compliance.

Greg "Professor Evenkeel" Rolnick, new dad, advertising genius, and writer of a great blog about parenthood at Like Our Man in LA, a proud usher of the Schumann-Eyrich nuptials.

Also, there's a bee in that beer. That renders the thing almost undrinkable. Almost.

A lot of Chicago friends and Schumann well-wishers. Basically, it's the usual suspects. Someday, these people might run the world, or even a Dairy Queen. Tomorrow, they'll mostly be hung over.

Our Man and Woman in LA. We clean up all right. I'm in my ushing gear, courtesy of After Hours Formal Wear. The wife is just plain gussied up.

Reggie and Sarah, post-wedding. Also cleaned and gussied up.

And note, Reggie is wearing a suit. Full compliance, people. Full compliance.

Now we're into the reception. Sadly, being neophyte photographers, Our Woman in LA and I only have a couple of photos of the bride and groom together, which, of course, is the whole point of the day.

Here they are, schmoozing with the party guests.

Here are the ladies. Kerry, Heather, Sarah, Our Woman in LA, Jennifer, and MJ.

No jokes here. As the night would go on, there would be drinking and dancing for this crew. Alas, I'm not allowed to show all the pictures. So use the imagination, folks. Fun times.

Me with Reggie and Grant Blair, an old buddy and newly minted teacher recently returned to Chicago from a sojourn to North Carolina that lasted five or six years. Grant's also got a blog worth checking out, about life working for the Chicago Public Schools. It's at

The three of us have been pals for more than 15 years now. As a result, there are dozens of photos of us over the years in roughly this pose, only with changes in age. Except for Grant, who somehow has escaped aging altogether.

This is the groom, on his happiest day. And yes, he's licking an ice sculpture.

How'd this happen?

Well, as you might guess, the drinks were flowing. And Steph turns to Greg Rolnick, and the following conversation begins:

Steph: See that ice sculpture? How much would it take for you to lick that ice sculpture?

Greg: I'm not doing that!

Steph: A hundred dollars!

Greg: OK, I'll do it.

Steph: I don't have a hundred dollars.

Greg: How much you got on you?

Steph: Twenty.

Greg: I'll do it.

He licks it. Takes the money. Chris walks up.

Chris: What's up?

Greg: I just licked the ice sculpture.

Steph: I paid him $20 to do it.

Chris: You should have asked Schumann to do it. He would have done it for free.

Schumann walks up.

Schumann: What's up?

Chris: Steph wants to know if you'd lick that ice sculpture for free.

Schumann: Has she met me? Let me at that thing!

And there you have it. One shudders at what he might have done, given $20.

After that, the evening began to wind down. Folks began to head back. We took a few "cute couple" picks. And, of course, the bar closed.

On the way back, Steph decided to make a few calls on the house phone at the Pheasant Run Resort. I'm not sure anyone answered.

But Wieland, you're asking, how do we know that you had a really good time. Where's the proof?

The proof, my friends, is in the day after picture. Witness my lovely bride . . .

That says it all, doesn't it? I think the room's still spinning.

Anyway, that's the wedding weekend in a nutshell, folks. Tune in tomorrow for part three of "Where in the World is Our Man in LA?"

It was great seeing Steph and you at the wedding and I enjoyed the writeup/photos. Also, thanks for giving my up-and-coming blog a little pub on your site. Let me know when you'll be swinging by the Windy City again.
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