This Week's View

by Deanna Lee Birkholm
August 22nd, 2005

The Wedding

This week's view is something entirely different.

My husband JC (or Castwell) and I celebrated our 32nd Wedding Anniversary on Friday. I've mentioned we met fly fishing at Keystone Landing on the mainstream of the AuSable River in Michigan. Almost exactly a year later, we were married at Keystone. We had to postpone the wedding one week as the Judge (who had been one of our fly fishing students) had to attend a legal conference.

The judge really wanted to marry us with his waders on, but I convinced him to take them off and put on more appropriate attire. Looking back it might have been unique at that. The judge is Bruce Scorzone, who at the time was the youngest elected District Judge in Michigan. He and his best friend Gus Triantafellow had been our students in the college fly fishing class.

There were some glitches, a nice dorothea hatch and spinner fall were going on, (just as the evening when we met) and everyone wanted to fish. So fish we did.

As it was getting dark we decided we better get on with the ceremony. JC and our best man Neil Travis had cut a downed log into proper seating heights, and Coleman lanterns were hung in the pine trees. There was punch (with mayflies serenely floating in it) and a wedding cake on a table with a red rose centerpiece.


Judge Bruce is on the left in a sports jacket.

JC had sprained an ankle a week before on a break wall in the Upper Peninsula so he was in a walking cast.

We did 'march' under crossed fly rods, a pair of 5 wt Orvis Madisons which we fished often on that section of the river.

All in all it came off quite well, about 20 friends showed up to witness the event, including Jim's parents and his Aunt Audie from Traverse City, the head of the Ethnic Studies at the University of Michigan and his wife from Ann Arbor, friends from Detroit, Dean Spidel and his wife Carol, from Cass City...(Dean took all of the photos you see here) and various fishing companions and students.

    Neil and Bonnie Travis were both our witness's and best friends - above they are signing our marriage license. Many years later, Neil became City Judge in Livingston MT, and Bonnie is still head librarian at the city library.


There are a few children in the photos, the two in plaid are my younger daughters, Kathy and Lisa, who were our flower girls, and the third one in the striped top is Barbara Travis, Neil and Bonnie's daughter. My oldest daughter, Denice was in Germany as an exchange student and did not attend.


The bouquets were all made of silk and preserved flowers - and I still have mine. You may have noticed the bride and groom both wore pants. They did match, and were suede. Reasonably fitting for an outdoor evening wedding.

Our friend Neil has said, it was a different time in a land which does not exist any more, but for JC and me it was a wonderful start to a life together. Some of it was just awful, but we survived the awful and built a lasting love and friendship.

I write this to encourage those of you who are struggling, those who have not yet found the person who will light their live and be their bliss. There can be happiness and joy. It isn't always easy, and it takes work on both parts. For us, having a shared background and frame of reference made it easier to have shared values. Without that, I can't imagine being at peace.

Most of all, to each of you, I wish you love. ~ DLB

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