key west, 1991

My friend from Miami was getting married right after our college graduation - so a number of our friends were invited to their "surprise" wedding, planned by the parents of the prospective bride and groom. We were basically told to assemble at their house in Dade County and to expect to spend 3 days on this experience.


I was still in DC at the time, living in my run-down student group house with seven of my male and female friends. My friend Wendy and I decided to road trip all the way down to the tip of Florida. I didn't have a driver's license at the time, so she did all the driving and I tried best to keep her entertained. Wendy was obsessed with the soundtrack from Jesus Christ Superstar, so we listened (and sung along) to that tape over and over. She was driving, so I had no choice.


We got to our friend's house where we boarded a tour bus. No one knew where we were being taken to as the bus headed south; by then, the only logical destination was somewhere along the Florida Keys. So we got a vacation in Key West along with a wedding. Nice.


The guests were housed in a number of bed-and-breakfasts. The parents of the to-be-weds immediately set out to go look for some pot to smoke around the pool, which was funny, because I recalled being completely weirded out when I met them a few spring breaks ago - pot-smoking was a family affair in this household, a completely mysterious culture for me at the time. Revisiting that, I still could not digest the concept.


The wedding itself took place on one of those touristy pirate ships. My friends, with their costumed wedding party in tow, were married by Pirate Bob. We spent our few days in Key West soaking in the excess of the Jimmy Buffet vibe of the place, and then returned to Miami for our home destinations.


This picture of me was taken a short while after I drastically cut my super-long hair, which was like my signature during college. In the sentimental shojo-manga fashion, I think a big reason why I did that was because this boy I was in love with dumped me. Right before I got it cut, I did some black and white portraits with a friend who was taking photography classes... she did some interesting things with eggs placed on my long hair while I was lying on the floor.


In many ways, this wedding trip was the last hurrah for my group of college friends with whom I was close since freshman year. They throve on being different from the pack, in a self-deprecating, satirical way. I went along with most of their bizarre adventures but was not one for the ideas. They were also good-natured people. Since graduation, we all scattered toward different areas of the country, the world, separate callings in life. I am no longer in touch with any of them. I do hope that my friends married by Pirate Bob put together a good life for themselves.

  • barrybar PRO 10y

    Sa_ku_ra, I am amazed by the stories you tell. First of all, I started reading two lines and immediately returned to the picture to make it a favourite. It is super, the scene, the rich colors, the pose. BTW, I do look forward to seeing some of those egg-hair pictures. Hard boiled poses, I'm sure. :))

    I love the way you tell your stories, the small details, the immediacy, the sights and the sounds. Extremely entertaining. I've read less interesting stuff in books that I paid for.

    Keep those pictures and those stories coming. I cannot get enough. There's a word for it: insatiable.
  • gem66 10y

    Sa_ku_ra. First, I love the photo. What a bold pictorial statement! Your two arms rise against the dramatic sky like two palms along the beach. I have to keep looking back at it because I like it so much.

    Your story reads like a novel. A secret destination in the Keys. A pot smoking host family. Set up in a B&B. A sumtuous wedding. And then the breakup of the old gang. But what a bang-up way for it to end.

    That's a very well done in my estimation.

  • sakura PRO 10y

    Patrick and Gary - thank you both so much ;)

    If it wasn't for this group, I wouldn't have thought about looking through my old photographs... and then I remembered this episode!
  • barrybar PRO 10y

    There may come a day when I will not venture outside of this group. Some wonderful stories and great pictures as well. And thanks, sa_ku_ra, for inviting your friends. I hope all our friends in this group would feel that they owe their friends a good story and invite them here.
  • Paolo Ippoliti 10y

    You know, I didn't noticed this one before. Intense story and picture.

    As for Jesus Christ Superstar and singing along, please downolad these two tracks:
    1, and 2, and let me know your impressions :)
  • sakura PRO 10y

    Oh good lord, she's singing the entire soundtrack!! ... wait, I did that, didn't I. I hope I was a little more in tune. We had the soundtrack going in the background, so at least our rhythm was ok.

    This reminds me of the goofiness of that entire trip and that period of my life. Thanks Paolo!
  • Paolo Ippoliti 10y

    That recording is crazy, isn't it? I heard she sang through one of Carly Simon's records too. One day I want to do the same thing, just have to pick the right record :)
  • sakura PRO 10y

    It was - I burst out laughing whenever she segued into a new song...

    Let me know when you pick the right record. I'd love to listen to you sing through all of it!
  • Lisa 10y

    Sak-- sorry for the poor memory, (I have some excuse as I was not on board) but was that Lee's wedding??
  • sakura PRO 10y

    haha, yes it was :)
  • puckles 10y

    i am struck, sakura, that only since you've passed i've learned how much we had in common...

    i wish i'd talked to you even more...
  • butterbiscuit 9y

    beautiful. the story and the picture.
  • Alfie Garland PRO 9y

    grand clouds!
  • vespetta 8y

    i love the colours of this shot
  • ellen jo roberts PRO 7y

    Great photo, great story.

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Generation X, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Wesley Cainglet 7y

    wow nice one
  • Chris Bloom PRO 7y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Photo 1991, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • Sara S 7y

    This is a wonderful photo, and a very interesting story.
  • onetalentdog 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called piece of heaven, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
  • onetalentdog 6y

    Hi, I'm an admin for a group called summer freedom, and we'd love to have this added to the group!
105 faves
Taken in June 1991
This photo is in 3 groups
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