On Saturday, John Larson and Theresa Klear committed themselves to each other in a beautiful wedding ceremony in South Bend, Ind., where the two first met while attending Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College respectively.
I have never seen John so happy, and I have known him since attending Canton-Galva Middle School together.
It was a great weekend, and I’m glad I was able to attend.
However, it wasn’t an easy trip.
Fellow schoolmates Justin Bacon and Adam Bandy also attended, and we decided to make the journey together in Justin’s truck.
Adam is in the Air Force stationed in California, so he decided he would fly to Wichita. I agreed to pick him up, and then we planned to meet Justin in Emporia, where he is working on his Master’s of Business Administration degree.
Adam was initially slated to arrive in the ICT around 9 p.m. Thursday.
He missed his flight.
He got another flight booked, but then he experienced a two-hour delay in Denver.
He didn’t get to Wichita until around 2 a.m. Friday.
We finally got to Emporia around 4 a.m., and the three of us were on the road toward South Bend by 4:30 a.m.
This wasn’t a great start to the trip, especially since earlier in the day I had gone to Adam’s parents’ house to get a car to take to Emporia due to my car’s transmission acting funny.
The keys weren’t where they were supposed to be. Adam’s parents had accidentally taking them with them as they too traveled to South Bend for the wedding.
Leaving Emporia, we were all tired. Adam curled up in the back seat and slept almost all of the way to Chicago while Justin and I took turns driving the strange back roads Google Maps had suggested as our path to South Bend.
Adam drove us through Chicago, and Justin and I were sure we were going to die.
Since all three of us were in the wedding, we had to be at the rehearsal by 5:30 p.m. Friday, but there is a time change between here and there, causing us to lose an hour.
By the time we got to South Bend, it was approximately 4 p.m., and the first thing we had to do was pick up our tuxes.
After we got that taken care of, we found our hotel and got cleaned up.
We arrived at the rehearsal a few minutes late.
Justin and I were ushers, so our jobs were easy. Adam was a groomsman. He had a little more to learn about how the ceremony was going to go.
Afterwards, we had a meal and watching a slide show Theresa had produced featuring photos of John and her.
Then we hit the bars.
The next morning, we got up earlier than any of us would have liked and got dressed for photos.
At the ceremony, Justin and I seated people like professionals, and Adam stood at the front of the chapel. He did OK I guess.
Following the service, more pictures were taking and the reception commenced.
To kick it off, John and Theresa, who both were part of a ballroom dancing club, wowed the crowd with a spectacular choreographed first dance.
Justin, Adam and I owned the dance floor from then on. We danced with everyone and had a great time.
I am happy to report I was the first one to dance with the bride during the dollar dance, and I was also the first male to dance with the groom during the dollar dance.
I made it special for John by squeezing his butt and then giving him a quick peck on the cheek at the end of our dance.
As the reception was wrapping up, we rounded up a bunch of people to go to the bars. First we went to a nearby Buffalo Wild Wings. After that, we took the herd to an oyster bar that was near by.
At this point, Adam began falling asleep at the table, and the ladies were we’re with slowly dwindled down to just a couple. Justin and I kept going strong, though.
The bars in South Bend close at 3 a.m., which was cool for us Kansas folks who are used to a 2 a.m.-closing time.
We went back to the hotel and passed out.
The 11 a.m. check-out at the hotel came much too early.
We packed up, dropped our tuxes off with the wedding party and said our goodbyes.
Adam had elected to fly back to California out of South Bend, so Justin and I hit the road.
We experienced a little delay at first because we got distracted by food at Wendy’s and missed our turn.
Eventually, after navigating several divided roadways, we hit the Interstate and headed for Kansas.
Instead of taking the same route home, Justin and I decided to take I-80 to Des Moines, Iowa and hook up with I-35 to take us back to Emporia.
Was it a faster route? I’m not sure, but it felt like it.
I finally got back to Moundridge at 11:30 p.m. Sunday, and it felt good to be home.
It was a fun weekend, but I’m glad I took a day of vacation Monday, especially since I basically put out my entire week’s paper on Thursday before I left.
I’m still tired though. I probably will be for the rest of the week as I attempt to get caught up on sleep.
That’s fine, though, because I was honored to be there for John and Theresa on their special day.
I wish them both many years of wedded bliss. They are going to be great together.