We have been tight-lipped about some very recent and exciting news in the Illahee world. The youngest Strayhorn, Turner, is headed to…THE ALTAR! Turner and his fianceé Marie got engaged last month in Seattle, Washington two weeks before Marie flew across the pond to spend the year in Ferrol, Spain on a Fulbright scholarship. While Marie was completely surprised, Turner had been certain he was going to pop the question, post- summer. He has always been quick to make decisions and follow through with them, and he knew the timing had to be before she embarked on her journey.
While visiting camp over the Fourth of July he let the family know his plan, telling us all individually. It wasn’t until recently we discovered we had all known but kept it a secret from each other (probably the hardest thing I have ever done). It has been an exciting journey and we are all over the moon to celebrate this pair.
Turner and Marie met at Vanderbilt when Turner was a Junior, Marie a sophomore. They met at a local climbing gym, and have shared many climbs since. They spent this past year navigating long distance, as Marie finished up her senior year and Turner began the corporate life in Seattle. Two summers ago they were both at camp as part of our Trips program, Marie never having been a camper or a part of Illahee. She quickly drank the kool-aid and spent this past summer as head of our climbing program while Turner remained in Seattle. She fits seamlessly into our community and is a natural camp girl (thank goodness). With the conclusion of the summer she returned home to prepare for Spain, detouring through Seattle on the way. Turner proposed the first night of the visit during a midnight climb.
While Marie is pretty busy adjusting to her new life abroad, we have taken it upon ourselves to plan the wedding, Curtis being the new staging area. Here is what we have so far; As for the date- any time apart from the months of May-Aug 9th. Guests will be seated on the swim lake dam, lined with llamas donned with hydrangeas, as the couple proceeds up the beanstalk for the ceremony. As it concludes, they will tandem zip down the zipline hand in hand symbolizing the beginning of their lives together. Terry (our camp chef) will cater a delicious meal of fried chicken and rolls in the Dining Hall, and the Dolly’s Trolley will be handing out ice-cream post dinner. Marcus (our camp DJ) will DJ the wedding and Gordon will end the night with a Fireworks show from the dive dock. We are looking forward to the plans unfolding, and are open to suggestions! (but not really 😊 )
Cheers to the happy couple!