Bruce Hanka and Mara Rivas
are an extra special SSQQ Love Story. They started off apart
and they ended up together.
Marla and I consider ourselves deeply privileged to have been given
a front row seat to watch their Romance begin, deepen, and
inevitably move towards marriage. It was fun to watch.
Yes, Marla and I were there right at the start and followed the
progression every step of the way. By the way, did you know
that Marla has started to enjoy matchmaking just as much as I do?
Marla was really rooting for these two to take it all the way to the
A couple in love;
This story started out at sea.
Mara Rivas and Bruce Hanka were both aboard our Rhapsody 2002
Cruise sailing all by themselves. Anyone who has followed the
legacy of the many SSQQ romances on our cruises would have bet money
they wouldn't be alone for long. After all, Mara is knockout
good-looking and Bruce is clean-cut handsome and that brisk sea air
should have done the rest. Yes, the spark should have happened
on that trip, but it didn't. Cupid even had some help - Mara's friend
Joanie kept insisting that Mara pay attention to Bruce. That's
a good-looking man! And he's single. Go
get him, Mara!
But Mara kept
her distance on that trip. Well, maybe Mara wasn't ready.
Nevertheless I have a hunch that at some point during
that trip Mara at least put Bruce up on her radar board. We
aren't sure what Bruce's side of the story is because he has always
been notoriously careful about what he says around me (I wonder
why?) But I guess we can assume Bruce noticed Mara as well.
Although Rhapsody 2002 was the first of many SSQQ cruises for both
people, Bruce Hanka had already been a big part of the studio for
several years at that point. In fact, I remember Bruce helping
me teach Whip classes during the early 2000s. It was during
one of those classes that Bruce played a very
trick on me. I don't believe I have ever forgiven
On the other hand, Mara was a relative newcomer in 2002. She
managed an apartment complex in west Houston. One of Mara's
tenants, Joan Tomlinson, and her boyfriend Max Huff had been taking
lessons at SSQQ. The two of them not only talked Mara into
taking dance lessons, they also persuaded Mara into coming on the
Although Mara resisted hooking up with Mr. Hanka in
2002, she and Marla really hit it off on that trip. Since then,
Mara and Marla have been close friends. As you can see from
the picture, at the 2004 Halloween Party both ladies acknowledged
that they were definitely the SSQQ M and M's.
2004 was a
special year indeed for these two ladies. Mara was a huge help
to Marla during our wedding aboard the Rhapsody in 2004.
During all the unusual headaches that accompanied our bizarre "Oops
Wedding", it was Mara who stayed at Marla's side
and kept her from completely
losing it. Speaking of "Oops", the similarity in their names
has gotten me in trouble many times. I will reveal my
relationship with my beautiful wife Marla has been strained on more
than one occasion when I have accidentally referred to her as
"Mara". Those are the occasions when I get to spend quality
time with my three dogs while I sleep on the couch.
The 2004 Rhapsody Cruise was the trip where Mara suggested a
good use for all those bottles of champagne that were delivered to
each cabin. The bottles were not getting opened because the
majority of the guests on that cruise were not couples. Two
women sharing a cabin didn't feel like opening the bottle. Two
men sharing a cabin didn't feel like opening the bottle. So
Mara suggested that we pool all our
champagne bottles together before one of our Formal Nights and have a party. Good idea!
Everyone got drunk on their butts. You have no idea how big the
smiles were for the camera shots that night! The people
who could stand were dancing and hugging while the people who couldn't stand just sat
there laughing with stupid grins on their faces. A good time was had by all.
That party was such a hit that it started a popular tradition on our
From 2002 through 2005, Bruce and Mara's paths constantly
intertwined at the studio. Independent of each other, they
took many of the same dance classes at SSQQ. Not only did they
dance together at many practice nights, they showed up for many of
the same parties. For example, any casual glance through our
Halloween pictures shows that Mara and Bruce were at practically
every Halloween party during the 2000s. With so much in common -
cruises, dancing, and costumes - during this time, Bruce and Mara
became good friends.
Mara wasn't the only one with the cruise bug. Bruce loved going on Marla's cruises as well. Well, if at first you don't succeed, try try again. Mara and
Bruce continued to tempt fate by going on one SSQQ cruise after
another. Figuring they had survived the 2002 Trip with their
hearts intact, they probably figured they had some sort of romantic
immunity. Wrong; I am sure it was a near miss.
So now they began to defy the odds.
Oblivious to the romantic danger that accompanies all of our Love
Boat Cruises, both Bruce and Mara went on our Jubilee 2003 Cruise,
but not together.
They both went on our Rhapsody 2004 Wedding Cruise, but not
together. And they both went on our Rita Rhapsody 2005 Cruise,
but not together. You can dodge one bullet, you
can dodge two bullets, but if you keep exposing yourself to danger,
someday the Love Bug is going to hit you.
Obviously these two romantic turtles had a slow start, but eventually that
potent SSQQ Love Boat Magic took effect.
And then it happened. Unbeknownst to anyone in our group, the
sparks had begun to fly. First a simmer, then a boil, then it
was time to stir things up and make turtle soup together. Yum!
In retrospect, it was inevitable. They had so much in common
that it was just a matter of time. It was probably the 2005 Rhapsody Cruise that pushed them over the
edge. My hunch is both people are careful with their hearts.
But in the end, they had spent so much time cruising together, sooner or
later they had to bump into each other with their guard down!
Sure enough, during the
Christmas Holidays of 2005, Bruce and Mara became more than
friends. As I mentioned, Marla and I had front row seats.
Mara Rivas was a guest for dinner at our house on Christmas
evening 2005. As everyone sat down for dinner, Mara could
hardly sit still. While the rest of our guests could barely
wait for the wonderful meal that Marla had prepared, I couldn't help
but notice her best friend Mara was clearly preoccupied. Her
body was there, but her mind was someplace else. I
asked Marla what the story was, but Marla didn't know either. She
knew Mara had 'big plans' for later in the evening, but the details
were a big secret. Mara was clearly up to something, but what
could it be?
Two days later, Mara and Marla had lunch. That's when Mara
spilled the beans. She and Bruce were officially an item!
Bruce and Mara have never been apart since. By the time the
2006 Rhapsody Cruise rolled around, they weren't cruising solo any
longer. For our wonderful 2007 Hawaii Cruise, they were
together. And the same goes for the 2008 Conquest Cruise. In
fact, the picture on the left was taken during our 2008 Conquest Cruise.
Don't they look great together?
Mara and Bruce did have an odd twist in their three year courtship -
in Summer 2008 Bruce bought Mara a house before buying her a ring.
Interesting. Inwardly I groaned because it reminded me of an
old joke. "I'm so sick of getting divorced, from now on I'm
just going to find a woman, skip the ring and give her a house
instead." Of course I had the sense not to tell them
that joke since neither of them think I am very funny to begin with. Keeping
my thoughts to myself, it seemed like their romance was still moving
at the speed of turtle.
I was wrong. To my surprise, the house thing seemed to get the ball rolling.
Everything fell into place at once. During a
trip to New York in October 2008, Bruce proposed. Rumor has it
that Mara would have preferred this moment somewhat sooner, but
that's none of my business. We all know both of these guys are
kind of slow to the punch. They should have got it going on the 2002
Rhapsody Cruise when they had the chance!
But now that they had gotten around to it, things
happened fast. Incredibly, after three years of slow poking,
they were tired of wasting time. After their October engagement
announcement, a couple weeks later they threw a house warming party.
Then two short months later, Bruce and
Mara had their wedding on Saturday, December 27. Surely somewhere in the background, At Last
had to be playing on the jukebox. Wham Bam Shazaam! And
just like that, it was House, Ring, Hear
Bruce and Mara had their wedding ceremony in their new home. It was a small wedding limited to family.
Afterwards they had their reception in their home as well.
Marla and I enjoyed spending a wonderful night with Bruce and Mara
as well as with friends from the studio including Steve Gabino,
Vivian Gustafson, Kurt
and Jean Wind, Phyllis Porter, Patty Harrison, Senor Smile Joe Lachner,
Milt Oglesby, and Dee Medina plus everyone I forgot.
Although I am sure Mara and Bruce would rather I didn't say
anything, I believe they were a little bit embarrassed to have their
family meet our SSQQ group. You see, they put us all in a room
at the very back of the house complete with a dinner table just for
us. Then they closed the door "so we could eat in
privacy". Furthermore, rather than let us roam around and
mingle with the other guests, they periodically sent a nice young
man from Ninfa's Catering into the room with orders to refill our
margarita glasses. They figured that would keep us occupied.
And they were right! Tequila had its usual effect.
Oh did we talk! With a nice assist from Margaritaville, we had
the most entertaining conversation all night long! We talked about Bruce
and Mara (of course), we talked about how Phyllis came to be so famous
on our cruise trips, we talked about how Kurt and Jean were high
school sweethearts, we talked about the Scarlet Woman from the 2006
Cruise, we talked about Steve's decision to go bald for a while even
though he had plenty of
hair, and we talked about Milt's days as a musician in the military
band. We talked way into the night. We had just the best time!
Bruce and Mara took turns unlocking the door and popping in to say
hi to us. One of our favorite conversations revolved around
how Bruce likes to use his beautiful daughters to play tricks on
people. During Halloween 2002, Bruce invited his daughter
Kristin to come with him as his 'date'. She was about 21 at
the time. Dressed in a skin tight Catwoman outfit, Kristin was way more than
merely hot. She was supernova good-looking. We
just kept staring at the two of them wondering what the story could
be. Every man at the party was astounded
that a middle-aged guy like Bruce could come up with a babe like
Kristin as his date. Was she a paid escort?
Meanwhile Bruce knew full well the effect his
daughter was having, but he wasn't talking. Bruce was having
too much fun, so he kept his
cards close. It wasn't till late in the night that
Bruce confessed this beautiful young lady was really his daughter!
As you can tell from these stories, our new power couple enjoys
having a joke or two at other people's expense. Sure enough,
all night long Bruce and Mara's ploy worked to perfection. We were
so drunk we couldn't really move if we wanted to. So we just sat contentedly in our seats for hours on end
and yapped away.
Then late in the night when all the important guests had left, Bruce and
Mara unlocked the door to allow us to spend time with them while they
opened wedding gifts.
Hmm. First they didn't invite us to the wedding. Then
they hid us in the back. It was so bad we had to ask
permission to go to the restroom! We may have been drunk, but
we got the message - you know, Bruce and Mara met through the studio
so we were the people you feel obligated to invite. We understood loud and
clear that dancers have about as much social status as gypsies,
tramps and thieves,
maybe even less. God forbid the Dance Cult be turned loose on
the respectable guests.
So why were we even invited? Good question. Then we saw
Mara open a present. Some of the most beautiful crystal
appeared before our eyes! Wow. That was a spectacular gift!
Even the Magi would be hard-pressed to match the caliber of this
loot. As we watched the magnitude of the gifts that Mara
unwrapped, now we knew! We were probably the only people they
knew who still had jobs and could afford decent presents.
So what if we were the riffraff? We didn't care. Even
though Bruce and Mara were clearly embarrassed to let their family know they
had friends like 'us', we loved them so much that we
really didn't mind a bit.
We were so happy to share this special moment with our new SSQQ Wedding Couple!
And did I mention how beautiful Mara looked that night? She
So now it is time for Mara and Bruce to cruise off into the sunset
Oh, one more thing before I forget. I have a little piece of advice for Bruce...
if you want to be happy for the rest of your life, don't ever call her "Marla".
November 2008 -
Jack Myers and Jo Wilson
From: Charley Denton
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2008 11:19 AM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Jo and Jack got married this last Saturday
Hi Rick....just got this letter from Jo
I don't get to see everyone very often with not dancing
quiet as much but Jack's recovery is coming along great
and he's starting back to dance some, so hopefully we'll
be attending more gatherings before long. In the
meantime we wanted to let the group know we got married
this past Saturday, November
29th. Just a quiet simple ceremony with family.
Hope to see everyone soon.
Jo & Jack
Rick Archer's Note: Jo Anne Wilson has been a
dance assistant now for both me and my wife Marla for well over a
year. Jack and Jo announced their engagement a year ago.
They both joined us for this year's Summer Dance Cruise. I
guess that trip worked some magic because just a few months later
they tied the knot.
August 2008 -
Andrew Laham and Pam Conyne
ARCHER'S NOTE: Pam and Andrew were married on August 2nd
From: andrew laham
Sent: Tuesday, July 29, 2008 12:46 AM
To: 'Rick Archer'
Hi Rick!Its been an
overwhelming past year or so with no rest for the weary.
Pam was very patient with me keeping up with her and parenting
duties on top of a crazy work regimen. My daughter just graduated
from high school, so there was (and continues to be) a lot of effort
on getting prepped for college. At the same time that I was so
wrapped up in parent duties, Pam was taking a post doctoral
certification that required a lot of report writing and powerpoint
presentations. And of course my duties with orchestra parents
association and continuing the major structural renovations to my
house that I have been in progress on for 2 and a half years.
Anyway, we are going to take a nice
honeymoon and family building trip.
Then when we get back, its off to college for my daughter, and back
to school for my son. Pam "retired" at the end of this past school
year, however she has been hired back on a contract basis 3 days a
week. So everyone will be occupied... except for me!
I am going to take a long hiatus,
finish the house repairs, recover from stress and exhaustion, and
then check off some items from my "bucket list". Were hoping that we
might be able to start dancing again on a regular basis later this
We'll send some pic's when we get them!-Andrew
July 2008 -
Gary Schweinle and Tracy Kirkland
On Saturday, July 12th, Gary and Tracy made it official before a
crowd of 150 guests.
Gary and Tracy have been an integral part of SSQQ for many years
now. They are an incredibly popular couple for many, many
What made the wedding so special was the incredible number of people
past and present from SSQQ. The entire guest list read like 'who's
who' here at the studio. And there were many more
people from the studio who were invited but never even got their
invitation (a source of great frustration to the Bride and Groom, I
It was indeed quite an SSQQ Family Affair. Counting Mr. and
Mrs. Hat, there were ten couples in attendance who met their spouse
or spouse-to-be at SSQQ. There were six more couples who met
their Significant Others at the studio.
In addition, there several others in attendance who aren't talking
yet who were there as well! (and you know who you are).
In other words, the famous SSQQ Reputation for Slow Dance and
Romance Magic was clearly on display!
Have I ever told the story how Gary and Tracy got engaged?
Gary intended to pop the question on the 2006 SSQQ New England
cruise. Gary had the ring in his pocket as they went to the
airport. Did he ever gulp when he and Tracy got to the
security checkpoint at the airport - he could not get that ring
through without the metal detector going off! Thinking
quick, somehow Gary managed to slip the ring onto Tracy's key chain.
He then put her keys back in her pocketbook which then went through
the metal detector. And that's where the ring stayed until it
was time for Gary to make his move! Tracy was absolutely
flabbergasted to discover her engagement ring had sat in her purse
for several days without her ever knowing!
at Gary and Tracy's Wedding (note:
List is not yet complete)
1. MG and Gay Anseman
2. Gary and Cheryl Davis
3. Heather, Valarie, Kimberly and Amanda Schweinle
4. Dee Medina and Mike Friedberg
5. Marlane Kayfres and Jim Colby
6. Peggy McElroy
7. Wayne Corbitt and Linda Fleischer
8. Sue Brown and Neil Jones
9. Aisha Currie and Greg May
10. Andy Regnier
11. Marcia Thomas
12. Fran Zandstra
and Gus Donnell
13. Phyllis Porter (aka Trouble)
14. Diana Kennedy
15. Betsy Petersen
16. Patty Harrison and Joe Lachner
17. Nick Giara and Pat Wright
18. Pat and Jess Carnes
19. Jerry and Vicki Latour
20. Pat and Kent Mahaffey
21. Nancy and John Reese
22. Carmen Wilhite
23. Leroy Ginzel
24. Louis and Gloria Romero
25. George Sargeant (Mr. Handsome)
26. Keith and Betty Baker
27. Joy Al-Jazwali
28. Robert Friske and Amanda Hodges
29. Bill and Barbara Moore
30. Susan Allen
31. Tim and Bryan Crist
32. Judy and Bill Collins
33. Penny Gunderson and Keith
34. Nina Rutiaga and Ed Sanchez
35. Susan Burdette, Andy Bach, Mary Cioffi, Sherry Thornton
36. Cyndi Kellermeyer and Ed Davis
37. Caitlin Prescott
38. Linda and Bill Holden
39. Guy Breland
40. Julie Wolf
41. Mike Ruland
42. Bob Ham
43. Sandy and Larry McLeod
44. Michael Wolf
45. Wendy and Jim Felker
46. Rick and Marla Archer
47. Steve Gabino
48. Martin and Michelle Houk
49. Jeanne Tobin and Casey Jones
50. Judy Walsh
51. Phillip Liggett
52. Tom Berwick
53. Larry and Debra Hill
54. Nancy Schweinle
55. John Safros and Jenny DeLaFuente
56. Randa Wynn
57. Penney Warren and Tim Bailey
58. Leslie Schweinle
59. Manny and Michelle Angulo
60. Gary and Betty Richardson
It is no surprise that Gary
and Tracy's Guest List was so huge. They have made so many
friends here at the studio over the years.
For example, every Sunday Gary and Tracy help their friend MG
Anseman teach his western class here at the studio along with Gary
and Cheryl Davis (another SSQQ couple).
The role of a Volunteer is important. While the
instructor shows students what to do, it is the Volunteers who give
personal instruction as people rotate through the circle. Over the
years, Gary and Tracy have helped so many people get their
confidence. Many of the people in the audience actually met
Gary and Tracy in dance class.
Gary and Tracy are annual fixtures on the SSQQ Halloween Best
Costume list. They always wear fabulous outfits.
Furthermore Gary and Tracy are a big part of every SSQQ
Cruise Trip. In addition to two solo trips by Gary, together
Gary and Tracy have been on seven SSQQ trips. That is quite an
accomplishment! Nor do they keep a low profile. I can
attest the noisiest and happiest table on every trip is the one that
Tracy and Gary are at!
Over the years, Gary has told me several times that he enjoys
helping at SSQQ because the studio once helped him and his lovely
daughter Kim through a very tough time in their lives. I don't
feel comfortable going into details, but suffice it to say that both
Dad and Daughter were still in a lot of pain when they walked
through our doors in 2002.
To this day, Gary continues to express his gratitude to the
people who were kind to him and kind to his daughter during that
tough time. And the kindness made a difference! Slowly
but surely the dancing and camaraderie started the healing process.
Gary and Kim would drive all the way from Baytown several nights a
week, but they always went home happier for the experience.
Today Kim is a beautiful young woman who is not only a gifted and
graceful dance champion several times over, but preparing to
graduate with a degree in nursing. Gary could not be more
proud of her!
And Gary cheered up as well. He was the life of the party
until a special lady named Tracy came into his life. That's
when Gary began to settle down a bit and move into his current role
as one of the finest leaders this studio has ever seen... and Tracy
was right there beside him.
It is important for me to say this without seeming to boast - there
is a Community at SSQQ that literally looks out for one another.
We are not a church group and we are not a singles group. Our
group has no official title or stated goals. But we are a
definitely a group of people who have grown unusually close to each
other over the years. We have become a Family of Friends, no
question about it.
And it is true that many of the people here do a quiet form of
social work that is absolutely wonderful. Gary and Tracy and
Kimberly have not only benefitted from this warmth, they have turned
around and returned the favor by helping others here at the studio
many times over.
We are so fortunate to have this wonderful couple share their lives
with us. I guess you can say I am definitely taking my
hat off to my friends Mr. and Mrs. Hat!
June 2008 -
Glenn Hebert and Marissa Gorzynski
Glenn and Marissa's Wedding
Story written by Rick Archer
Marissa Gorzynski married Glenn Hebert on June 8, 2008.
I had the pleasure of walking Marissa down the aisle. It was a
great honor for me to be included in my step-daughter's amazing
Marissa is my wife Marla's only child. Marla raised
Marissa single-handedly since her daughter was seven. It was
Mom and Marissa against the world for 18 years.
Although I have known Marissa since 2001 when I first met her
mother, she left for her Freshman year at Texas State University
My first real chance to get to know Marissa was at my wedding
ceremony back in September 2004. She was kind to me and
thanked me profusely for marrying her mother. She said she was
especially glad she didn't have to worry any more when her mother
grew old because Marla had me now. I think Marissa was only
I have only really gotten to know Marissa in the last three years
since she graduated from college. In this time I have been
perpetually amazed at the powerful relationship between Marla and
Marissa. I have never seen two closer people in my life.
Although they play mother-daughter roles occasionally, most of the
time they are each other's best friends. Their relationship
has been delightful to watch.
Marissa is a very talented young lady. I
don't have to tell you how pretty she is. The picture handles
that end of it nicely. Did I mention she graduated Summa Cum
Laude from college? Marissa is one of the hardest working,
conscientious people I have ever known. She gets it from her
mother. Marla did quite a job raising her daughter.
Marissa met Glenn Hebert in her Junior
year at Texas State. They took a Marketing class
together. Thanks to assigned seating, they
sat next to each other with practically no one else remotely
nearby to talk to. As Glenn put it, only a dance class could have
put them any closer together. Their stories vary as to
who made the first move, but it didn't take long before they
After college, Marissa began to work for Enterprise.
Glenn had four more months of school. After he graduated, she
suggested Glenn consider applying at Enterprise as well.
Glenn was hired on the spot and began a phenomenal rise up
the company's ladder. This young man was so good with
people that he was being promoted about as fast as humanly
possible from one position to another.
Figuring he had enough job security now to make his next
move, in April of 2007 Glenn proposed to Marissa on the Riverwalk in San Antonio. It didn't take Marissa very
long to say yes. She knew she had met the finest young
Meanwhile Marissa was getting excellent reviews at
Enterprise, but realized her heart wasn't in this line of
business. Going to night school, Marissa obtained a
teacher's degree in 2007. During the 2007-2008 school
year, Marissa taught First Grade at Andre Elementary in the
Cy-Fair School District. Not to be outdone by her
fast-tracking fiancé, Marissa received excellent reviews for
her first year as a teacher. This time she had found her
Throughout Marissa's first year of teaching, her side project was
working with Marla to prepare the most wonderful wedding I
have ever attended. I swear these two women put as
much energy into preparation as Eisenhower's staff did for
D-Day. The planning was extensive and meticulous.
Now I know why boys don't get involved in this sort of
stuff; we don't have anywhere near enough natural ability.
These two women working together were nothing short of incredible!
I can easily say their hard work paid
off sensationally. Marissa and Glenn's wedding was
absolutely wonderful. It was the best
wedding I have ever been to, although my 2004 Wedding with Marla
was a very close second.
I have to compliment Glenn and Marissa for being a wonderful
host and hostess. Despite the pressure, throughout the
day both of them were
unfailingly kind and thoughtful towards other people.
No Bridezilla performance from this couple!
Marissa was even nice enough to let Marla and I perform a
Waltz at their reception. I asked permission because I
wanted Marla's brothers from California to see what a
wonderful a dancer their beautiful sister had become since
her move to Texas back in 1991. Sad to say, I was off-beat for half
the song. Fortunately none of them appeared to notice so don't any of you tell them!
THE TEAPOT ADVENTURE
I have three funny stories to tell, all of
which deal with mischief and all of which will probably get me into
trouble. I'm not going to let that stop me though.
At the end of March 2008, Glenn, Marissa, Marla, and I drove over to
the house of Glenn's parents for Marissa's wedding shower.
Marla and I had never previously met Glenn's parents, Glenn Sr and Paulette
Hebert. Apparently they had heard I had an unusual
sense of humor, so they were prepared for me. As we sat in
their dining room, Glenn Sr talked about life on the bayou.
First he said it wasn't true that he was going to throw any road
kill in with the crawfish boil later that afternoon. Then he
confirmed that he knew several Louisiana people who had gotten married in
camouflage outfits and Desert Storm gear. But he said those
stories about children being born with web feet after Hurricane
Katrina were simply not true. Just about then one of the little kids
came waddling into the dining room dressed in a bathing suit and wearing
giant web swimming fins. He slowly walked past me and grinned.
Someone had set me up.
You don't suppose Glenn's family was testing me a little, do you?
Later on Glenn Jr and Glenn Sr took me out for a
round of golf while Marissa had her shower. I have never
played golf in my life. That's the honest truth. On my
very first tee shot, I smashed the ball 200 yards. It was the
best tee shot of the group. Tiger Woods! They all looked at me like I had
been sandbagging them. But that was the ONLY good shot I made all
day. It was downhill from that point on. After watching
me, the teasing started. Oh, what fun!
Despite the teasing I grew to like Glenn's family a lot. They were very
kind to Marla and me during our visit.
On the way home, Marla and Glenn started to
talk about how fat they both were. One thing led to another
and they decided to challenge each other to see who could lose the
most weight. The one who lost the least amount of weight would
have to sing "I'm a Little Teapot" at the Rehearsal Dinner.
They both laughed and shook on it. The next hour of the trip
was spent exchanging trash talk on who was going to win and lose.
These guys were really serious.
Marla started going back to the gym. For the next ten weeks,
she dieted furiously and exercised furiously. She was such a
fanatic, I would wake up in the middle of the night and catch her
reading diet books at 3 am. I was impressed. This
woman really was determined to beat her son-in-law! All in
all, Marla lost
somewhere in the vicinity of thirteen pounds. She looked
Meanwhile Glenn seemed to be losing weight at
a similar clip. Each week went by and they always seemed to be
tied. Marissa acted as the go-between, reporting back and
forth from one camp to the other every single pound that was gained
or lost. Such drama!
This tight competition was marvelous motivation for Marla.
Frankly speaking, I think Marla lost at least four pounds just from
the exercise of talking about weight loss on a near constant basis (psst
- don't tell her I said that!)
Every time the four of us met for dinner, the first, middle and last
topic of conversation was the big contest. On and on and on
this went on a daily basis. Now mind you I didn't care who won
or who lost. I was happy to note that both people were
obviously going to be big winners simply from the progress they were
But I was getting a little tired of hearing about it.
At this point, I just wanted to see someone sing. I didn't
care who it was as long as I could get a decent spectacle out
Two nights before the Rehearsal Dinner, we
invited Glenn's family from Louisiana and Marla's family from
California to go out to eat as one
big group. There were 14 of us. That night was
when Marla announced how much she had lost. Glenn announced he
had lost the exact same amount. They decided to call it a
draw. That meant neither person had to sing the following
I was appalled! What, no spectacle? I could not possibly
have been more disappointed. After all that yapping back and
forth, I deserved a public spectacle! This felt like a fix. They were trying to
cheat me out of something I been looking forward to for ten weeks.
I called them on it, but neither person would budge. I was
mad! I wanted to hear someone sing, doggone it!
That's when Marissa said, "Gee Rick, why don't you sing instead?" That
actually shut me up (which is what it was intended to do). But
it also got me to thinking.
The following night Glenn and Marissa threw a party for family and
friends. It was quite a bash. Glenn played bartender and
got everyone drunk as a skunk on margaritas and blue hawaiians.
Marla's brother Neil said it was the first time he had been drunk in
years. Fortunately he didn't sing. We weren't quite as
lucky with Marla's other brother Larry. Larry not only played
the guitar, he sang as well. When Larry started up with "The
House of the Rising Sun", I secretly considered calling the police.
Then out of nowhere Marla and Glenn connected in the middle of the
room. They immediately brought up their favorite topic.
Marla defiantly proclaimed that she had lost another pound.
Amazingly, Glenn countered that he had lost another pound too! I was astonished.
After all the food I saw those two put down the night before, there
was NO WAY they both lost a pound. Something was fishy here.
Now quite frankly I think I have heard
every mother-in-law joke in the book. Here's a few
from my collection.
were in a pub. One says to his mate, "My MIL is an
His friend replies, "You're lucky. Mine is still
bought my MIL a chair for Christmas, but she
wouldn't plug it in.
every successful man stands a devoted wife and a
Mother-In-Law was bitten by a dog yesterday."
"How is she now?"
"She's fine, but the dog died."
mother-in-law is a well balanced person. She's got a
chip on both shoulders.
week my wife and I went car shopping. The
salesman asked if I wanted a car with an Airbag.
I said, "No thanks. I already have a Mother-in-law."
What's the difference between outlaws and in-laws?
A: Outlaws are Wanted!!
These jokes sum up the stereotype, but when it comes to Glenn and Marla, I cannot
imagine two people getting along better than they do. They
always have fun together.
is when it hit me in a blinding flash - Glenn was deliberately doing
whatever it took to keep from embarrassing Marla! He was
such a gentleman that he would not let her lose this contest and be
forced to sing!
Although I instantly admired him for his graciousness, as you
all know I have an evil side that would not be denied.
The following night was the Rehearsal Dinner. At the
appropriate time, I took the floor. I began to tell everyone
the story of Glenn and Marla's wager. I could see the worried
look on both of their faces. This could get ugly. What was
Rick up to now?
First I told the audience about the wager. Then I told
everyone how hard the two of them worked. Then I told the
audience that I believed Glenn had rigged the outcome to avoid
embarrassing his future mother-in-law. Noticing the guilty
look on the young man's face, I knew I was right.
Then I explained how I was sick and tired of all this talk.
What about me? I deserved to hear the stupid song. Someone had to sing. After all, I had rights too!
So I reached in my pocket and pulled out a dozen sheets of
paper with the lyrics to "I'm a Little Teapot". As I passed
the sheets around, I asked the audience if they would mind helping
me serenade Glenn and Marla.
To wonderful peels out laughter, we sang the song. And to
their credit, Marla and Glenn sang right along, laughing and smiling
at each other the whole time.
By the way, Marla adores Glenn.
Bet you couldn't tell.
TOM'S PRACTICAL JOKE
Just minutes before the procession was about to begin,
I was standing out in the hallway with Glenn, the four groomsmen,
the maid of honor and
the four bridesmaids plus several other people who had come in late.
We were all a little nervous. The Big Moment was
just about to begin.
Marla and Marissa were safely hidden from sight
back in a secret room. They were ready to join me once this group
had begun their
procession down the aisle. The plan was for me to go get them
once this Hallway cleared and prepare for our own final trip down the aisle.
Things were positive, but I could feel the tension.
Looking out the window, I saw my friends Tom and Jo Tucker
running furiously up the sidewalk. They were obviously
desperate to make the wedding on time.
Oh, shame on them. Late as usual!
Taking pity on Tom and Jo, I opened the
so they could enter inconspicuously. Now they were
mixed with the same group I was in.
Jo immediately got busy and began to hug everyone she
knew. But Tom spotted Glenn and did a double-take.
What a coincidence - just the
man Tom wanted to see! An evil grin crossed his
face. Tom had a very sneaky agenda!
Tom dug in his pocket for his car keys. He pulled his
keys out and jangled them for effect. Then right in
front of the whole group, he thrust the keys into Glenn's
Tom put his arm around Glenn's shoulders and said, "Son,
this is your last chance! Here are the keys and that's
my car parked right there in front. You can't miss it" Tom
paused to make sure Glenn saw the car.
"It's not too late. If
you go now, you can make your getaway!
I'll hold them off for you. Now run!!!"
Every person in the hallway gasped! It was just
seconds before the ceremony and this evil terrible man had
come out of nowhere to tempt this young man with freedom!
Fortunately Glenn was super-cool about it.
Glenn said, "Nah, Mr. Tom, you can keep your keys. I
found the right girl for me and I really do want to get
And with that, every one of us let out a huge sigh of
relief. Once I started breathing again, that's when I
told Tom I was going to report him to Marla later on... and
that's when Tom began to turn as white as Casper the Ghost!
BUT WHAT IF MARLA
Tom wasn't the only person who was
scared to death of Marla's wrath. Sometimes stuff goes on at weddings
that most people would never actually think about.
This final story is something my beautiful stepdaughter will
conceivably murder me for telling, but I can't help myself.
I am about to give you the inside scoop on the problems of
being a beautiful bride wearing a beautiful bridal gown.
It was late. The wonderful
wedding reception had just ended. It was time for
people to go home. And it was time for our beautiful
couple to make their escape and begin their lives together.
After surviving the onslaught of bubbles, they got in their
car and drove off to their hotel.
Or so I thought.
Meanwhile I surveyed the scene.
There were many wonderful wedding gifts that needed to be
put in my car. Marla and I would take them home for safe
keeping while Glenn and Marissa enjoyed their Maui
In addition we needed to take home flowers and other
decorations as well as all the gifts. There was work
Actually I wasn't that tired. I was in such a good
mood that I enjoyed being able to help wrap things up.
But I did have one problem - I was wearing my expensive
felt-lined Capezio ballroom dance shoes.
I surely didn't want to ruin my shoes traipsing back and
forth on the rough cement with all those gifts. I remembered I had come in
basketball shoes and changed shoes when I got to Ashton
Gardens. I had then given Marla the box to put next to
her purse in the Secret Changing Room.
So I walked over to the Secret
Changing Room. The door was locked. There was no
one in sight. How was I supposed to load all those
gifts in these dance shoes?
As I stood there in the dark Hallway all alone, Marissa
walked in wearing her lovely wedding gown. I was
surprised to see her. "What are you doing here?" I
Marissa explained that she and Glenn had pretended to
leave only to make a U-Turn and sneak back. As
we stood in the hallway, this made no sense so I asked why
they came back. Marissa gave me that tolerant smile of
hers and explained, "I can't stand being in this dress one
minute longer! I have got to get out of this dress and
put on something more comfortable!"
Okay, that made some sense, but not much. My
ignorance of bride behavior was showing. Finally I got
the nerve up to ask, "Well, why couldn't you change in your
"Because Glenn doesn't understand my
dress! The only person who can possibly get me
out of this dress and not damage it is Mom."
Marissa unlocked the door to the Secret Changing
Room. That's when I saw my opportunity to grab my
basketball shoes. I carefully asked permission to
Marissa replied, "Sure, come on in."
The moment I entered the room, I distinctly remember
regretting asking to come in. The room was
barely lit, the Hallway was totally dark and there wasn't
another soul in the building.
I had absolutely no business being in here alone with
the bride. Marissa and I were pretty good friends, but
this was definitely pushing it. I felt very
But Marissa seemed totally
unconcerned. I decided to ignore my fears of Marla
the Attila Monster and get on with it. I would be in
and out of the room in two minutes.
First I had to take my contacts off
and put my glasses on. I was right in the middle of
fiddling with my contacts when Marissa turned to me and
said, "Rick, I need a favor. I need for you to undo
this knot in the back of my dress."
I was stunned. I didn't have any business being in
this room in the first place and I sure didn't have any
business putting my hands on this young woman's wedding
I told Marissa as politely as I could that I didn't think
this was a very good idea. Why didn't I just go find
"No, Rick, you need to help me now!" Marissa looked
I refused to budge. This looked exactly like the kind
of situation that surely would backfire on me.
Sensing my reluctance, Marissa grew insistent. "Rick, you
have to help me. I have not gone to the bathroom in
six hours and if you don't help me get out of this dress
this instant there is going to be a terrible accident!
This is an emergency! Now please untie that knot. I can do
I saw her point.
With that I sprang into action. That
knot was seriously tight. I got down on my knees, but
that didn't work. I realized I couldn't see up close
with my contacts on. So I finished taking my contacts
off. Now I had to press my nose to the knot to be able
to see what I was doing.
There I was down on the floor on my knees with my nose
pressed right into the small of Marissa's back and my hands
fiddling with her dress. Guess who walked in? Ohmygosh. I froze in terror.
"Rick, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?"
"Mom, leave him alone, he's trying to get me out of my
That confused Marla enough that now she froze too. At
that exact moment the knot became untangled.
Marissa screamed with happiness. She turned around, gave
me a grateful hug, then quickly disappeared.
Marla was still confused as to what was going on here.
I took one look at Marla's face and decided to leave the
room before she could come to the wrong conclusion.
I was afraid as long as I stayed in that room, no jury would
ever convict her for whatever she did to me that night.
Story written by Samantha
Archer, Rick's daughter
GETTING TO KNOW GLENN AND
If you had asked me four years ago how many people were in my
family, I'd have said three: my Mom, my Dad, and myself.
While I'm not including the dogs,
I'm completely serious.
As clans go, we
For the first thirteen years of my life, my family tree did
not consist of sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc.
Most of my friends had sisters and brothers they were close
with, aunts and uncles they liked to tell stories about, and cousins
they enjoyed spending their summers with.
But with me, it had always been just
Mom and Dad. We didn't have a family
tree; we had a family triangle.
Sam, Rick, Marissa, Glenn, Marla
Don't get me wrong - my parents have done an excellent job of
raising me as an only child.
I go to one of the best (and most
expensive) schools in the city, I took ballet, tap, and jazz classes
for eight years, and I've never had to share my room.
Plus I think I have every Disney video ever
attribute part of the fact that I experienced so many things as a
kid because I was the only one.
But there was always something missing.
have to be an 'OnlyChild' to understand the vast gap created by
the absence of a sibling. Instead of having someone to play a
board game with while it's raining, you have to resort to a book or
the TV. There isn't anyone to keep you entertained in the middle of
a miserable event that goes on forever. You're much more prone to have an
Basically, you get lonely sometimes.
That said, you can imagine the shock I was given the day my
Dad married my stepmom. That was day I inherited three pairs of aunts
and uncles, cousins I can't even begin to count, and a sister.
Granted, Marissa was twenty-one at the time and graduating from
college. Definitely not someone I would have around to play a board
But that day I was given something I had been missing.
Brothers and sisters are so great because they have to put up with
you unconditionally. I know from experience that best friends come
and go. But siblings are always there.
My Dad and Marla started dating
the same week Marissa left for her freshman year of college.
Needless to say, I never got the
chance to get to know her very well right off the bat.
But as the
years passed, we gradually bonded over the fact that both our
parents are nuts to begin with and they're even crazier
when they are together. During
their periodic outbreaks of insanity, Marissa and I learned to cling
together for reassurance. I now had a sister.
I don't remember the first time I met Glenn,
but it was probably at Marissa's college graduation. Somewhere down the road
the handshakes he would give me turned into
hugs. That's when he began to feel like family.
But it wasn't
until he took Marla out to lunch to ask for her blessing that it hit
me - if he and Marissa got married, I would have a brother.
Well, make that
But still the mere idea of having something close
to a brother made me giddier than a schoolgirl (which I was).
two weeks my entire family (including Marissa!) waited for him to pop
the question. It was as if we were all pressed up against the door
listening in - any longer and we would've broken the door down.
My Dad and my stepmom were ecstatic to make him their son-in-law, my
Aunt Roz and Uncle
Larry were happy to make him their nephew-in-law, and I was
excited for him to become my brother-in-law. My entire family loved
Glenn. All we had to do was wait (this is
not something we're very good at). Pop the
question already! Get it over with!
Finally the day came when Marissa called Marla and told her
mother that Glenn
had finally proposed. AT LAST! They were
finallyengaged. Now all we had to
do was plan the wedding - and then actually go through with it.
Fast-Forward to Wedding Day
The day started with me breaking a glass bowl
outside my bedroom. It had been
perched on a very badly placed wooden stand. As
I franticallyI tried to pick up the
million pieces, I
started to sweat at the idea of my stepmother, the mother of the
bride, finding out that I had shattered
glass directly in front of my father's office.
What if Dad cut his bare feet? But I
was frantic to get ready. Clean up the glass or get a move on?
I looked at the time.
Marla had warned me several times over the past few days that I would
need to be ready at 8:00 am sharp.
It was now 8:02.Marla would be here any minute!
What should I do? The issue was that in
less than 12 hours, my Dad would have to walk down
the aisle. My
overly active imagination visualized the phone call my Dad
would place to my stepmother to say he
not walk down the aisle with Marla and Marissaall because he stepped on
broken glass with his
bare feet all because my makeup came before my cleanup.
I bloody well better do something!
Was this an omen? Was this the beginning of
a day of disasters? I'm not sure how many of you are aware of how Archer family weddings
tend to go, but Dad and Marla set a dangerous
precedent four years ago. This
was not something we ever wanted to repeat.
Just then Dad came in instead of Marla. In lieu of trying to pick up hundreds of little pieces of glass
myself, I quietly told my Dad what had happened.
He took it a lot
better than I had imagined. I joked that I wouldn't want him to be
immobilized for later that day.
"I would've hobbled down the aisle anyway," he told me. I smiled.
Seconds later Marla and I left the house as he attempted to start up a vacuum.
I heard him cursing in the background. Mechanical things are not his strength.
With the first crisis of the day averted, Marla and I drove to the
hotel Marissa had arranged to use for our hair and makeup. The clock
read 8:30. It was at this point in time when I realized my
first duty as a
bridesmaid: I would have to spend the next eight hours in a hotel
room comforting a nervous bride.
But as the day went on, it became apparent that it wasn't Marissa
who was nervous, it was her husband to-be.
Glenn called her at
two-hour intervals throughout the day. As Marissa calmly got her
hair and makeup done, Glenn and Marla had several conversations
about how Marissa was "unavailable," and that "yes, Marla could
give her a message."
Until three o' clock rolled around, the female bridal party sat in
the hotel room watching Dirty Dancing and laughing at each other as
we got our hair done. Marissa's bridesmaids were: Carly
(maid of honor), Tawana, Dandy (Marissa's
stepsister), Melissa Hebert (Glenn's
myself. At 3 pm, we all got into our dresses and headed off to
Ashton Gardens, the place where the ceremony was being held.
It wasn't until we actually arrived at the chapel that
the reality of the
entire experience sunk in.
I think it was seeing the chapel in all its decorated splendor that
made Marissa realize that this was really it. After a year of
planning, the wedding was finally happening.
The chapel was chosen, the
flowers were arranged, the photographer and videographer were hired,
the food was being prepared, the dress was picked out, the
bridesmaids and the groomsmen were all ready to go - all Marissa and
Glenn had to do was seal the deal.
The rest of the afternoon went by swiftly.
It was fun to see all the guests arrive and collect hugs.
Before I knew it, I was being summoned to begin the countdown.
I think my favorite part of the ceremony was the look on Glenn's
face as Marissa was escorted down the aisle by Marla and my Dad.
We all knew that Glenn and Marissa were in love - but nothing
could be as telling as the look on the groom's face as his bride walks
down the aisle.
I didn't cry, and I knew I wouldn't, but I was
happy. I was happy because the moment that Glenn and Marissa were
finally united, there would be more family on the horizon. And in my
opinion, the more the merrier.
You might describe Glenn and Marissa's wedding as one of
those "you had to be there" experiences.
It was perfect. Everything went so
flawlessly that there aren't any interesting stories
to tell about everyone
As I have alluded, Marla and Rick's 2004 wedding had one mishap
after another (Rick
and Marla's Oops Wedding)
Neither Marissa nor I will ever forget the look on poor Marla's
face as she stood there for 45 minutes wondering where Dad had
gotten to. She had no idea Dad went to search for his missing mother on the cruise
ship. After what Marissa saw Marla
go through at her mother's wedding, I think she was determined
to make sure my Dad was kept on his best behavior today.
Good move, Marissa.
Now that Dad was
neutralized, this Wedding nearly came off without a flaw. The
only Oops moment today was a mispronunciation. As
Glenn and Marissa entered the reception as husband
and wife, they were pronounced "Mr. and Mrs. Her Bert." If you know the Heberts, this is an insult to their heritage. It's pronounced
But other than the DJ faux pas, everything
There was lots of food, lots of drinking, lots of dancing,
and most of all, lots of love. One might think me cheesy for writing
it that way, but it's as honest as I can get.
The reception hall was
filled with Archers, Heberts, Weinsteins, and
lots of other people that weren't
lawfully related to us. But it didn't matter. That night we
were all one family. And that's really all I could ever ask for.
April 2008 - James Requenez and Melissa Wilkes
-----Original Message----- From: Crystal Davenport Sent: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 10:47 PM To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: wedding announcement
Sorry it has taken me so long to get you these pics. These are the
friends I told you about that met in your Dance classes. Their
names are James Requenez and Melissa (Wilkes) Requenez.
Melissa joined your dance classes to get away from the stresses of
Medical School and met James there in 2004.
They were just married April 5th 2008, and now live in Denver,
Colorado. She is in Residency for psychiatry and he works as a
computer programmer. They are very happy together and have your
class to thank for it!
April 2008 - Bob
Therrell and Debra Malinowski
Therrell and Debra Malinowski were
married on Saturday, March 29 (I think). Last week I was
at the studio and someone told me "Bob and Debra got married
over the weekend". And that's how a lot of weddings
around here get announced!
I didn't have my camera handy, so I took it to Whip class on
Monday, April 7, and asked if I could take their picture.
Thank goodness they said yes.
Bob and Debra are supremely graceful dancers. They have
a secret - they practice! You might see them practicing all
night long at the studio. Bob and Debra are experts at Western
Swing and East Coast Swing and well on their way to mastering West
Coast Swing as well.
I cannot remember a couple I know less about. Even
though Debra has taken 40 classes over the years and Bob is around
30 classes, there is a real air of mystery about Bob and Debra.
You see, they are quiet people. They are also nearly
inseparable. This means I can't sneak in and get the inside
scoop on their story. It isn't that they are "private", but
they don't go around tooting their horn either.
As you can see, Debra is a Susan Sarandon lookalike. Bob and
Debra are so attractive together. In addition, they are one of
the most perfectly matched couples I have ever seen.
When I watch them on the floor, they look like they could be brother
and sister. Make a point to watch them dance some night - Bob
and Debra are so good!
January 2008 -
Mack Warren and Amy Giles
From: Rick Archer
To: amy giles
Sent: Thu, 31 Jan 2008 10:43 am
Subject: Mack and Amy Warren
Any details you want to add for the newsletter? Where did you go for
By the way, Have I ever told you how pretty you are?
From: amy giles
Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 11:31 AM
Subject: Re: Mack and Amy Warren
Rick.... you flirt! Yes, you have!
Here's the picture you requested. It's fun
and casual and I think captures how very truly happy we are
We were married January 5th in a very small but beautiful ceremony
in Baytown. The next day, we boarded the Voyager of the Seas for a
7-day cruise with 6 other couples who dance. On the first day, we
were concerned that there were no decent dance floors.... we have
been spoiled on the Rhapsody. But then, we found out that they put a
wooden floor over the ice rink for dancing on Country & Western
night! Mack and I took the floor early before the band got there and
did all our favorite moves. We didn't realize we had an audience
until we heard their applause! What fun!
We've been dancing happily together now for almost 4 years and will
for the rest of our lives together... thanks to SSQQ. We met in
Beginning Western Swing and started dating when Vicky Harris (an
early classmate and now great friend) starting pushing us towards
eachother. We have on many occasions and
will again recommend SSQQ as a fun, safe place to learn the right
way to dance, to make good friends and... to find true romance.
Rick Archer's Note: Mack and Amy have been a big
part of the studio for many years now. Both came to the
studio full of heartache, so to watch them meet and grow fond of
each other was a real pleasure.
Mack and Amy went on the infamous Rhapsody 2005 Cruise, the one that
was cut in half by Hurricane Rita. I could see how much in
love they were and I bugged them both about when they were going to
Normally I don't interfere like that, but these guys were so happy I
couldn't figure out what they were waiting for.
I am so glad they finally sealed the deal!
January 2008 -
Manny Angulo and Michelle Crossley
Message----- From: Leroy Ginzel Sent: Monday, February 04, 2008 12:22 PM To: Rick Archer Subject: manny and michelle
I saw Manny Angulo &
Michelle Crossley at a Super Bowl party last night. I asked Manny when
the big day was coming. He said the it WAS
Yesterday, ( Saturday)
with only close family invited.
January 2008 -
Brit Davis and Melisa Melios
Congratulations to Brit Davis and Melisa Melios who were married
Brit and Melisa took three Western classes last summer at SSQQ, then
switched over to private lessons with Jack Benard and Linda Cook to
get ready for their wedding dance.
Here is a letter sent to Linda:
"Jack and Linda, Thanks to no small
effort on both of your parts, our wedding dance went
Everyone was super impressed with our twirling and
twostepping... oh wait, I mean polka-ing (is that a word?) ;-)
Thanks, and see you soon. Brit &
Judging from the pictures, their first dance
was quite a hit!
January 2008 -
Jeff Anderson and Lisa Ramey
From: Jeff Anderson
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2008 2:30 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Jeff and Lisa
Hi Rick, Lisa and I had an awesome
wedding. I have pasted the link and info below. If there’s
some you’d like copies of I’ll be glad to send them. We got the
rights to the photos so we can copy and send them to anyone.
Our Ballroom was totally beautiful as
I’m sure you’ll see. Our first dance was the Foxtrot and during the
Father Daughter Dance, I cut in (at the father’s request) and Lisa
and I two stepped to My Wish by Lonestar. She still
Our honeymoon was in Jackson Hole, WY. Lisa had never seen
snow so we decided to go there. It was beautiful and we had a great
time. We went on a 20 mile dogsled ride, a 90 mile snowmobile ride,
tubing, sleigh riding, etc. etc. The weather was cold and beautiful.
Usually about 0 degrees. But we dressed warm and it was fine. Lisa’s
ready to go again. It was so fun seeing snow through the eyes of
someone who’s never seen it before!
January 2008 -
Jim Burrell and Paula Bione
January 2008 -
Roger Lee and Wendy Zhang
From: Roger Lee
Sent: Friday, February 29, 2008 1:50 PM
To: Rick Archer
Subject: Wendy Zhang Weds
Hi Rick, Wendy and I married on New Year's Eve, 2007.
We met in Sharon Crawford's advanced western waltz class in July
2001. The first night, when we rotated partners and I got Wendy, I
knew I would like to dance with her more than just about anyone.
But, I never thought we would go out together. How things change.
In late August 2006, Wendy and I went ring shopping. Wendy told the
jewelers what she wanted and we went to have a Chinese lunch while
they created and sized the ring.
At about the same time, JetBlue ran an ad announcing their new
service out of Hobby airport. The airline said that you could fly
anywhere in their system, roundtrip, for the price of a barrel of
oil - at that time about $72. I bought tickets for Labor Day weekend
to Niagara Falls. Wendy called this trip our "proposal-moon."
As for a honeymoon, well, we just keep procrastinating. But we have
Thanks to you and your studio for our happy marriage.
Best, Roger and Wendy
Note: Roger and Wendy announced their engagement in September
Wendy told me she knew Roger for three years before they ever went
out together. By the time they began seeing each other,
they had already been friends for quite a while.
It was their mutual love of Waltz that cemented the bond between
them. As Roger pointed out in his email letter, they met in
Sharon (Crawford) Shaw's Waltz class seven years ago. Since
then, the two of them have put in many hours on the dance floor
perfecting their Waltz together.
Indeed, Roger and Wendy are so smooth on the dance floor, they have
become arguably SSQQ's premier Waltz couple. Not since the
John Jones, the gentleman who helped popularize Waltz here at
the studio, have I seen a couple demonstrate this kind of ability.
Roger and Wendy are really a treat to watch. I know because I
love to watch them myself all the time! I definitely admire
I was kind of surprised to find out it took Wendy and Roger two
months to get around to tell me they had gotten married. After
all, I see both of them practically every Sunday and Friday each
week. Once the cat was out of the bag, Wendy pulled me
aside. Never at a loss for words, Wendy said she deeply
appreciated my dance studio for helping to create her marriage.
Wendy made it clear that she knew Roger was a good man because "no
man on earth can fake being nice for seven years!" We
both smiled. That is one of the advantages of meeting
people here at the studio - you get to know people first as friends.
That's a really good place to start.