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Our wedding on Zuckerberg’s Island – A memoir

July 10, 2011

Leola and Ron were married on July 2, 2011, in Castlegar, B.C.

Leola and Ron at their wedding ceremony on Zuckerberg's Is., Castlegar, B.C., July 2, 2011. More wedding photos available on Ron's Picasa Albums posts, below left on home page.

Leola Jewett and Ron Verzuh were married on July 2, 2011, on Zuckerberg’s Is. in Ron’s hometown of Castlegar, B.C.

Leola and Ron exchanged vows and rings in an intimate ceremony amidst the gorgeous surroundings of the island, a five-acre park at the confluence of the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers where Ron was served as caretaker.

The civil ceremony was conducted by Bonnie Thompson, a commissioner of marriage. Two of Ron’s best friends, Wayne Peppard and Bob Melnick (a.k.a. Bo Diddley), acted as official witnesses.

A wedding reception was held at Bob’s home on the banks of the banks of the Slocan River near Crescent Valley, B.C., after which we enjoyed a short honeymoon by following the Columbia River into Oregon.

The wedding bands were from Kolmel jewellers of Nelson, B.C., and Chris Kolmel managed to get the rings ready in record time, including the engraving of a line from Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.

When this Canadian man and this American woman met and fell in love a year ago, they soon had a constant companion. It was Neruda. From his Love Sonnets we read the following three poems, slightly modified, as a sign of our enduring love for each other.

Ron to Leola (Love sonnet I)

Leola: the name of a plant, or a rock, or a wine,

Of things that begin in the earth, and last:

Word in whose growth the dawn first opens,

In whose summer the light of the lemons burst.
Wooden ships sail through that name,

And the fire-blue waves surround them:

Its letters are the waters of a river

That pours through my parched heart.
O name that lies uncovered among tangling vines

Like the door to a secret tunnel

Toward then fragrance of the world!
Invade me with your hot mouth; interrogate me

With your night-eyes, if you want – only let me

Steer like a ship through your name; let me rest there.
Leola to Ron (Love sonnet XLVI)

Of all the stars I admired, drenched

In various rivers and mists,

I chose only the one I love.

Since then I sleep with the night.
Of all the waves, one wave and another wave,

Green sea, green chilli, branching of green,

I chose only the one wave,

The indivisible wave of you.
All the waterdrops, all the roots,

All the threads of light gathered to me here;

They came to me sooner or later.

I wanted your lightening hair, all for myself.

From all the graces our homelands offered

I chose only your savage heart.

Ron and Leola to each other (Love sonnet XLVIII)

Two happy lovers make one bread,

A single moon drop in the grass.

Walking, they cast two shadows that flow together;

Waking, they leave one sun empty in their bed.
Of all the possible truths, they chose the day;

They held it, not with ropes but with an aroma.

They did not shred the peace; they did not shatter words;

Their happiness is a transparent tower.


The air and wine accompany the lovers.

The night delights them with its joyous petals.

They have a right to all the wildflowers.
Two happy lovers, without an ending, with no death,

They are born, they die, many times while they live:

They have the eternal life of the Natural.

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11 Responses to Our wedding on Zuckerberg’s Island – A memoir

  1. Don Devine on July 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    Congratulations! All the best in your marriage! A beautiful place to start from.
    Don Devine

    • Ron Verzuh on July 16, 2011 at 3:05 pm

      Thanks, Don.

  2. Peter Birt on July 11, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    Well. Well. Congratulations Ron and Leola!

    • Ron Verzuh on July 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      Thanks, Peter. We’re still hoping you’ll send us some of your favourite love peotry. Cheers from us both, R.

  3. Mike Dumler on July 12, 2011 at 7:02 am

    Congratulations Leola and Ron, although nearly an elopement, your wedding looks (and sounds) you had been planning it this whole past year. Of course, as Edna O’Brien said, “But Love would not be love if it did not slip over into the excessive.”

    Best wishes and Fondest regards – Mike

    • Ron Verzuh on July 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      Thanks, Mike. See you soon. R.

  4. tomkumar on July 12, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    congrats, again the island, again love, again memories and arches of fidelity and promised mutual exploration inside and outside, and then down the river, fondest best wishes to you both, may the river always flow, tom.

  5. Ron Verzuh on July 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks, Tom. See you in a week or two. R.

  6. cynthia&akivah on July 23, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Many heartfelt congratulations Ron and Leola!! It sounds like a beautiful ceremony. We wish you years of happy travels together. Look forward to meeting Leola. xoxo

  7. Ron/Maureen on December 17, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    Congratulations Ron – I wondered why you had dropped off the earth again. Good reason!!! All the best drop in sometime if you get to the Island – the big one that is.

    • Ron Verzuh on December 19, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      Yes, the best of reasons: LOVE! Season’s best, Ron

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