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The ramblings and observations of a kidney transplant recipient, although not necessarily for that reason.

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From Hell To Hell and Back to Hell and Back Home Again (Part 1)
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
In the year or so leading up to 9/11, my friends Randy and Elena were planning their 9/15/01 wedding, to be held in the glorious town of Rosarito Beach, Mexico. For those of you that have vacationed in and are familiar with the spectacular beach resorts in Mexico, please know that Rosarito Beach is not one of them and nothing similar to your memories of Cancun. Those of you who have only experienced Mexico via border towns like Tijuana will have a firm grasp on what its like to be in Rosarito. It's a pit. Its 10 miles south of Tijuana on the Pacific coast of Baja, but not far enough from its neighbor to have developed any of the charm you find farther south in Mexico. Its famous only for Papas and Beer, a 50,000 square foot dance club built on the beach. You would commonly find waiters coming to your table and for $5 pouring a shot down your girlfriend's throat, turning her upside down, shaking her, turning her back over, unbuttoning her pants, pulling up her underwear, bending her over, and doggie dancin' her until you give him another $5 to stop, all the while blowing a referee whistle as loud as possible. Still thinking you might want your wedding there?

Now Randy is a friend, but not one I consider very close. We went to high school together, attended similar parties, generally liked each other, and had high school girlfriends that were "bestest" friends, but all my life I wouldn't have expected even to be INVITED to his wedding let alone be asked to be IN it. Though estranged through college years and early adulthood, Randy and I had re-explored our friendship a couple years leading up to his wedding because we worked in the same industry. During that time we had began a tradition of Tuesday night beers and trivia at a local pub, and on occasion Randy would have a party (typically Halloween) and I'd be invited to attend*. I met Elena during that time, Randy's long distance fiancee who he met at a party in LA and maintained a relationship with for 5 years. She had taken a liking to me and regarded me as her favorite of Randy's friends. I think this distinction earned me the following invitation from Randy over beers: "Um...Jerry, I wanted to ask you if you would be an usher at my wedding. It will mean you have to wear a tux and stuff. I know it's kind of weird for me to ask, but I don't have any other friends to ask that aren't already one of the 8 other groomsmen and Elena would really like you to be a part of it." Well, that was a warm offer. How could I say no to that. The wedding was to be held 9/15/01.

The weekend of 9/7, Elena had been up in the Bay Area to do some pre-wedding celebrations with Randy's family and friends, so that many of them who wouldn't make the trek to Mexico could get some pre-wedding bride/groom love. Her schedule was to fly home Tuesday morning and then drive that day to The Oasis Resort, which was not only our hotel, but the also wedding location. Randy was supposed to follow on Wednesday and they would be polishing up last minute details until Saturday. Elena's flight didn't go out that morning. The news of the attacks came early on the west coast and not very many planes got out of SFO that day. Elena and Randy were panicked. First they had to worry about how to get themselves to Mexico. Secondly (and more of a concern in the days to follow), do they cancel their wedding? Will the guests arrive if they don't cancel? Can people coming from long distances get there at all? They ended up deciding not to cancel. It became a "deal with each issue as it comes up" scenario and the first thing was to get themselves there. They drove that day from SF to Rosarito (7 or 8 hours, maybe). be continued.

*a couple of my best Halloween costumes were worn for these parties, including a hiker from The Blair Witch Project with a trail map hanging out the back of my pants like stray toilet paper.
posted by othur-me @ 4:00 PM  
  • At 6:44 PM, Blogger type1emt said…

    just like that-you're leaving us hanging?
    can't wait to read the next installment..

  • At 7:16 PM, Blogger don't call me MA'AM said…

    Me, too. Dude! Don't leave me hanging!

  • At 7:30 PM, Blogger othur-me said…

    Hoorary! I wrote a cliff hanger!

  • At 7:43 PM, Blogger rawbean said…

    haha yes good story indeed! What will come next, no one knows.

    I was supposed to go to England and France a week after 9/11. I have yet to visit these places. Yes I had my plane ticket...

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