A November Coalition wedding
Story adapted from an E-mail to our online
By Chris Lotze
On Saturday, May 12, 2001 our beloved Chuck Armsbury and Nora
Callahan got married. The weather was great, so far one of the
best days of the year. Around three o'clock, anywhere from forty-five
to sixty people showed up in the backyard of November Coalition
headquarters. Chuck and Nora's grandchildren, all dressed up
for the affair walked, and sometimes ran around, with the guest
book and pen-in-hand.
Mark Harrison, staff reporter and writer for the November Coalition,
officiated their public exchange of vows. Mark told the wedding
guests about how the bride and groom met for the first time,
right in the same yard where they were now getting married.
Guests talked with new family members; friends made new ones,
and everyone was happy. The aroma of great food was in the air.
Nora and her best friend from high school, Debi Buchta, slaved
in the kitchen the day before and laid out a feast for the wedding
day. Everyone went through the chow line once, twice, sometimes
three times. Toasts came after the meal. Deep friendships with
the bride and groom were apparent in the messages, but the best
moment of the early evening came when Chuck's daughter sang a
heart-felt love song for her dad. Jillian worked with November
Coalition last year leading the children in song at the Philly
Shadow convention. There wasn't a dry eye in the yard, and even
Jill had to pause halfway through her song to tell her dad not
Here is my hand for you to hold,
Here's the part of me they have not sold,
I wandered far, I've had my fill,
I need you now, do you love me still?
Only you have seen, the hidden part of me,
Call me fool hearty, if you will,
I love you when, do you love me still?
So many smiles and eyes surround me,
Empty expectations, faceless fears,
Sometimes this life is a bitter pill,
I love you now, do you love me still . . .
© Composed by Bruce Hornsby and Chaka Khan
The night wasn't over. People talked, and children played.
Chuck broke out some issues of the Razor Wire and was giving
them out left and right. Two November Coalition people getting
married, at the literal home office, by a Razor Wire writer,
the groom distributing Razor Wire newspapers! I thought at first
it was a little strange, but the more I thought about it, the
more I thought it was pretty cool. It was their way of having
everyone they love at their wedding-and still doing what they
love-spreading the word about the failed drug war (as if anyone
who knows them doesn't know)
|A November Coalition wedding
isn't complete without a little legal paperwork that slipped
our minds on wedding day. Not to fear, Reverend Harrison attended
the Lindesmith Center-DPF Conference, with official documents
in hand. Nora and Chuch spent part of their honeymoon at the
conference where Sandee Burbank of MAMA and TNC's John Chase
were honored to stand in!