Mainers like Nolan are the reason people move to the Pine Tree State and spend their lives here, as Hannah and I have done for the past 35 years. When our friend George Derby got his van stuck in the mud of our side yard on a ping pong Thursday, I called Nolan to see if he could help us out. Fifteen minutes later, (15 minutes!) Nolan hooked up a heavy metal chain from his truck and pulled the van out.
When I asked Nolan how to best get rid of poison ivy along the road by our house, Nolan sent two of his Patten Ground Care employees to pull out the poison ivy for us. By the way, the two are Jamaicans (Donal and Dorant) who thanks to their body chemistry do not develop rashes from contact with poison ivy.
When Will was off at St. Michael’s College near Burlington, VT, Hannah and I bought a heavy-duty ping pong table from Dick’s Sporting Goods in Portsmouth. Having no way to get it to home and in need of some serious muscle, we called on Nolan who used his truck to transport it back to our place on Chases Pond Road and help me set it up.
And now with winter coming, Nolan is the first one on the scene when the big snows fall. Nolan makes it a priority to plow our 150’ driveway, shovel out the garage doors, shovel a 70’ path to our generator, and dig a path to the propane exhaust vent (which if not done, shuts down the heating to our house which causes our water pipes to freeze). He’s done this time and again when winter nor’easters come to York.
Nolan has looked after his best friend’s parents for a long, long time.
Friends since second grade, Nolan and our son Will played indoor soccer and youth basketball during their elementary school years. Will still thinks of the basketball coaching he got from Nolan’s dad John in sixth grade as the foundation for his success as a high school and college player.
Working side by side with Nolan, Will got his first full time summer job as a landscaper for Patten Ground Care, which lasted for eight years.
Years later in Virginia, Will asked Nolan to be his best man at his wedding to Laurel Ann near Richmond, Virginia. Months ago, Nolan returned the favor in kind by asking Will to be the officiant at his wedding to Kara on a late November Wednesday.
Though Will speaks regularly to groups of athletes and alums in his position in the Athletic Department at Ithaca College in central New York state, he has had no more important speaking engagement than for today’s Kara and Nolan Nuptials.
Pleased that Will asked for Hannah’s and my feedback on his speaking plan for the wedding, we are further gratified that his words are to keep the focus on Kara and Nolan, not on him, the officiant. We have been to weddings where the minister sadly makes it all about himself with his clever word play and dominating presence. Will gets it. It’s Kara and Nolan’s Day!
As the localest of local boys, Nolan (and Kara) have chosen the Foster’s Downeast Clambake in York Harbor as wedding venue. The Wednesday wedding is timed nicely for the kickoff of the Festival of Fostering Trees. Foster’s raises money to help kids who have not been adopted and have aged out of the system. In lieu of presents, Kara and Nolan have asked guests to donate to the Foster’s program.
Come 530P on November 29, 2017, with Will and Nolan waiting at the front of the hall, Kara and her dad come down the aisle. A hundred plus have gathered on the benches at Foster’s to hear Nolan and Kara’s story of finally making it to the altar after 16 years.
Eloquent and brief, Will sets the stage.
The purpose of a partnership is to create something greater than we can create alone. Not because of any deficiency or incompleteness, but because each of us is unique, with our own talents and abilities. In partnership, we improve the opportunity for creating something meaningful together.
With Kara’s sister Bethany reading an email Nolan wrote to Kara and then Nolan’s brother Travis reading an email that Kara later wrote to Nolan, the ceremony is touching and personal. Standing in front of Nolan and Kara, Will ends with some of my favorite lines ever to conclude a wedding service.
Before we send you on your way, I would first like you both to savor this moment. Not just the feeling of immense love for one another, but the feeling of love and support from those gathered here today. It is a true testament to what you mean to the people in your lives.
Kara … Nolan—I could not be more excited for you to write this next chapter of your lives together. And with that, it is a distinct honor to pronounce you husband and wife.
And it’s all a wrap in 15 minutes. Is that a crowd favorite or what!
The reception right here at Foster’s is equally cool with lobster rolls, clam chowder, fruit, cheese and crackers all washed down by champagne, wine, or beer. Though there are tables for sitting, this reception is not a sit-down affair served by wait staff. People can move around easily to connect and reconnect with old friends. It’s relaxed and comfortable and so fits who Kara and Nolan are.
The best of it all for Hannah and me is to see the genuine love and affection Nolan and Kara show to each other throughout the evening. Smiles, holding hands, looking at each other and listening when the other is talking. This evening Hannah and I see the embodiment of love in Kara and Nolan.