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A Big Woods Wedding


Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, July 9, 2001

A medieval scene greets guests as they walk down green paths through open woods and across hilly fields to a small white tent with open walls. The groom could be Robin Hood, complete with his Merry Men, anxiously waiting for his bride to appear, tall, slender and beautiful like Maid Marian.

In this setting, Sandra Albro, daughter of Corina and Greg Albro of Elkton, Oregon will marry Brandon Rutter, son of Mary Lewis, Decorah and Phil Rutter, Canton. The wedding site is on Brandon's boyhood home, the Badgersett Research Farm in our own Big Woods.

The bride and groom met at Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA, where they both received undergraduate degrees. The Merry Men, including Brandon, make up an eight-member singing group from Swarthmore officially known as the Sixteen Feet. The group has existed for many years, with new members joining as others graduate. They sing in the Do-wop style, using their own voices as accompaniment instead of musical instruments. Their first music today is "Pachobel's Canon."

As part of the ceremony, friends and relatives stand to speak for the couple. Emotions run deep at a wedding. Some of the guests shed a few tears. Sandra touches her eyes now and then with the embroidered handkerchief that is a gift from her dad--an unusual gift she said and the best thing he could have given her for this day.

Mary, Brandon's mom, spent a lot of time rehearsing the poem she wrote for the couple, so as not to cry while delivering it. Even so, her voice breaks at the end when she says,

"Celebrate the look in my son's eyes when he gazes upon his beloved.
See the tenderness of her touch along his arm.
Find in their laughter a song as old as the earth and as new as this day.
Embrace them with your hopes, for they have found each other."

After saying their vows, the newlyweds walk arm in arm through the tent and down the green path, while the Sixteen Feet sing "An die Freude" ("Ode to Joy"), from Beethoven's Ninth symphony.

The reception takes place in a wooded hollow. As guests approach the site, they see two large open-walled tents with long tables stretching from side to side. Torches burn on the periphery of the hollow. Someone breaks out the mead (I mean beer) and sparkling cider. This medieval feast comes complete with a roast pig, dark bread and, as concession to modern times, pasta salad and cut vegetables.

Perry, Brandon's bro .....
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"The Great Wall of Weaver"

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, July 2, 2001

As if near record flooding along the Upper Mississippi was not enough already, mid and late Spring 2001 for the most part proves to be gloomy, cool and gray. With the exception of two or three consecutive sunny, unseasonab ..... 
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Reader Mail!

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Virginia CooperMonday, July 9, 2001

Question: I need to move my perennials in late summer. Although this is not the right time for all of the plants, can you give suggestions of how to keep them alive? How should I prepare them? Should I trim ..... 
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A Stickler for Reality

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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By Wayne PikeMonday, July 16, 2001

Having been home from our trip to Colorado for a couple weeks, I have had time to reflect on some of the events and observations that we made. Traveling to another state can hardly be considered exotic, but i ..... 
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The Mighty Ducks

Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Monday, July 9, 2001

It has been quite awhile since I was a volunteer coach. My first opportunity came in my early twenties when Bob, a friend of mine, and I were coaxed into coaching soccer to a mixed group of six and seven year olds in a YMC ..... 
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Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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Fri, Jul 13th, 2001
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