Richfield, Ohio, Sunday, August 24, 2014, 8:40 a.m.
The highlight of the morning was seeing a man who looked remarkably like Woody Hayes eating breakfast in the motel lobby. He wore suspenders, a white tee shirt, and a pair of “urban camo” walking shorts, which I’m fairly sure he didn’t purchase because of the motif.
Meanwhile, I looked exactly like someone who had just awakened after overindulging at a wedding the previous night.
I saw the last ten laps of Joey Logano’s victory in the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol on TV in the room after listening on the radio on the way back. I checked the Twitter feed from time to time at the festivities. As best I can tell, it was an exciting race, full of thrills, chills, and at least one flying HANS Device.
During the weeks leading up to the wedding, I had thought several times of Merle Haggard’s “The Farmer’s Daughter”:
Tonight there’ll be candlelight and roses / In this little country chapel / That’s almost falling down / There’ll be tears in this old farmer’s eyes come evening / When I give my one possession to that city boy from town / His hair’s a little longer than we’re used to / But I guess I should find something good to say / About this man who loves the farmer’s daughter / And who’ll soon become my son-in-law today.
Mama died eight years ago December / And it was hard to be a dad and mama, too / But somehow we made a home of this old farmhouse / And love was all my baby ever knew / He could be the richest man in seven counties / And not be good enough to take her hand / But he says he really loves the farmer’s daughter / And I know the farmer’s daughter loves the man.
To my knowledge, and to appearances, the bride, Jodie Valade, wasn’t a farmer’s daughter, and Nate Ryan’s hair has never been longer than anyone other than Bruce Willis is used to. I have a farm but not a daughter. The ceremonies were held in what passed for a quaint country chapel, and I found the song coursing through my head, along with beer-fortified blood, all evening.
To my credit, I didn’t try the chocolate-covered bacon. I didn’t think it would go with anything, particularly beer.