When Drew Hastings told me a few months ago that he was thinking about getting married, I took it with a grain of salt at first.
After a brief marriage in his younger days, Drew has been single for a long, long time. To me, he represented the epitome of the confirmed bachelor, and his vagabond life as a standup comedian was hardly conducive to images of hearth and home.
Then I had a chance to meet his girlfriend, and it didn’t take much time observing the two of them together to realize that I was seeing a side of Drew that I hadn’t seen before. He was clearly completely smitten.
He alluded to the subject of marriage several more times in the ensuing months, getting more specific with each mention. Then, on Tuesday, in the middle of a conversation on an entirely different subject, he casually said to me and Todd Wilkin, “Well, looks like I’m getting married Friday.”
Sure enough, on Friday night, in Las Vegas, Drew Hastings married Taryn Blanchard, a pretty and personable physical therapist from Peoria, Illinois.
Since Vegas was the site of the vows, I had hoped they would choose an Elvis officiate to join them in wedded bliss, since I understand that Elvis wedding ceremonies are something of a cottage industry in that town.
But Drew texted later to say that the ceremony was performed by one “Mr. RamaDom,” more Isaac Hayes than Elvis Presley. Fine. At least, as Drew texted, “It lived up to everything cheesy and over the top about Las Vegas. It was a blast.”
Taryn is mom to a cute little 5-year-old daughter, Willow, who will be starting kindergarten in Hillsboro in the fall, according to the groom.
Yes, there is an age difference between Mr. and Mrs. Hastings. As Drew said, “We plan to grow old together, but I plan to beat her there.” Or, as he put it another way, “I’m not robbing the cradle, she’s robbing the grave.”
As someone in a marriage with a similar generational gap, I know the snide comments and criticisms that will come their way from some quarters. I’m sure Drew and Taryn will let that bother them about as much as Lora and I do. Happily, most people seem to take the position we all should take when it comes to other people’s personal lives and decisions – to each his own.
Drew has known Taryn for about six years, and a friendship slowly turned into something more over the years. Seeing Drew, Taryn and Willow together a few times, I think they’re going to be a very happy family. Congratulations, Mr. Mayor.
On another subject, don’t you think that people freak out a lot more quickly about bad weather predictions than they used to? All it takes is a forecast for snow for traffic to be backed up on North High Street and a run on the grocery stores that practically empties the shelves, as though people are stocking up for Armageddon.
I blame – since I have to blame someone – the TV weather forecasters. Back in the day, you had a TV weather forecast that happened during the evening news at 6 p.m. and again at 11 p.m. They would do their forecast, be it hot, cold, sun, rain, sleet, hail or snow, and then move on to sports.
Today, both the 24-hour cable channels, and even the local news affiliates, will break into regular programming at the first crack of lightning to roll out their bright and colorful digital maps, Dopler radar, and breathless tracking of nothing more serious than a line of thunderstorms.
When there really is something to be concerned about, like a real threat of tornadoes, the warnings lose their punch because of how often they cry wolf. And why do weather personalities feel the need to stand outside in driving rain or three feet of snow to deliver their reports?
As of this writing, the forecast calls for some snow, and some sub-zero temps. It’s been a few years since it got that cold around here, but it’s hardly unprecedented. Nevertheless, it’s all we’re likely to see on TV for the next couple of days.
It’s been a while since we had a long, freezing, snowy winter, and we’re probably making up for it this winter. The good thing is, it tamps down the global warming hysteria for a while, at least until summer, when we’ll all be made to feel guilty again about 90-degree temperatures in July.
The notion that mankind can do anything to control the weather is the height of hubris. Only our modern society could be so arrogant as to think that we have that power.
Whatever the reason, it’s going to be cold for a while, so be safe out there.
Gary Abernathy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.