March 26, 2005

Dear Mr. Bush,

The sun--the sun--shone brilliantly off the swooping stainless steel arcs of the Frank Gehry bandshell, visible just beyond the huge arched windows in the nearly-empty room we stood in. The walls were a thick green marble, the ceiling an ornately coffered slab, and our own quiet voices echoed in the expanse of the room. Just outside was a bustling crowd each there for their own reasons, some nervous others excited, all standing beneath a stunning glass dome which was older and more beautiful than anyone gathered beneath it. The building itself is extraordinary, and every time I have walked in it over the years I catch myself gasping in its splendor. It was as good a place as any to get married, I suppose. And so we did.

"I think that you've probably made a private commitment to each other before coming here," the judge said to us, hesitating just slightly as if worried that the words may carry the wrong impact and somehow be interpreted as shameful. But Janice and I just glanced at her massive belly, swollen to the breaking point with our child, and laughed. That commitment was made many years ago, Mr. Bush, and has grown only more resolute. What transpired today was simply legalities--no rings, no changing of names, no hoopla--it was just a simple five minute exchange of words and then a walk in the new spring sun past glorious bits of architecture, buildings and structures both very old and very new.

To the permanence of buildings and the ephemeral changes of life,



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