September 29, 2012
Big day in the mountains of Reagan, Michael Jackson and Joaquin Murrieta. Our daughter Deena ties the knot today with some guy from Minnesota.
Got here on Thursday after an 11 run in the Flex from Cave Creek. Took the Ten (I-10) all the way to downtown LA then transitioned to the 101, but got off at Las Virgenes (The Virgins) and took the scenic route down to Malibu (thanks Carson Mell!), past the familiar hills where they filmed Mash, past the lake where Butch and Sundance landed in Malibu Lake (after jumping off a cliff north of Durango, Colorado), past Barbra's beach house, up Highway 1 and into the mountains beyond Santa Barbara.
Got to the Blueberry Ranch at four and went straight to the hanging tree, north of the ranch complex, where I found the groom and his brother buillding the gallows—I mean brush arbor.
That's Mike (the fiance) and his brother Mark working on the rigging and in the mini-jeep is Rolland, the owner of the ranch, who is reading the latest issue of True West.
We had the wedding rehearsal at 4:30 yesterday and then the rehearsal dinner at the ranch house last night. Radinas flew and drove in from all parts of the country. Here's Deena (at left, standing) and Tommy (at right, standing) with all of their Radina cousins, James, Aaron, EJ and Mercedes, with the woman who started it all: Grandma Betty Radina, 86. She is a hardy woman to make the flight and car trip all the way to the remote wedding site:
Went to the Union Hotel on Thursday night after pizza and wine at the Flat Bread Full of Life joint in Los Alamos. I believe Joaquin Murrieta was killed right over the ridge to the east of here. In the Union Hotel Deena had the bartender hit a button which activated a Victorian picture on the wall, and as it slid upwards a hidden video screen was revealed and up popped a video of Say, Say, Say, starring Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson. The video was filmed at the hotel and someone said Jackson's infamous Neverland Ranch is nearby.
Had a wine tour yesterday and on the way back to the ranch I forced the wedding party to listen to ZZ Top's "I Gotsta Get Paid" with the stereo blasting their young, precious ears. I think my daughter was slightly irritated (in her defense she's a bit stressed), but I had to give them an audio send off, so that whenever they hear the tune in the future they'll say to their children, "Yes, that's that horrid rock song your grandfather made us listen to all the way to the wedding site."
Had breakfast this morning with my Kingman compadres Charlie Waters and Dan Harshberger and respective wives at 9 this morning at Paula's Pancake House in Solvang. They all drove in last night.
Ceremony is today at two and I give the opening toast at the dinner party at four.
"For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, I thee wed."
—Old Vaquero Threat