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Doug Clark: Can-do kids need your help

Sun., May 9, 2010

Remember those quirky kids who were trying to collect enough aluminum cans to pay for their medieval-style July wedding at a North Idaho castle?

Andrea Parrish and Peter Geyer.

After breaking this Spo-Can love story in January, I never dreamed that the wedding location would wind up being the doomed part of the plan.

The goal is to amass 400,000 cans, after all.

Parrish called the other day to tell me she had good and bad news.

Let’s start with the good: Andrea and Peter have received enough cash and can donations to put them at the 86 percent mark.

Andrea said she is confident they will reach 95 percent by the end of June.

That is, if they can sort through the ton of “sticky, messy, smelly cans” piled high on their back porch.

(Check out for donation details. Or drop off your cans at the Instant Sign Factory at Second Avenue and Post Street, where Peter works.)

Much of the success of this recycling romance is due to the media hubbub that followed that first column. Savvy Alcoa aluminum execs heard the story and coughed up 150,000 cans for the cause.

The payback for secondhand cans isn’t much, of course. But Parrish and Geyer say that 400,000 figure (about 5 tons) is enough to cover their modest $3,800 wedding budget.

Now for the bad news.

The castle plan’s kaput.

For reasons not worth delving into, Parrish and Geyer couldn’t come to terms with the owner.

But that’s water under the drawbridge.

What we have now is a new and more pressing quest. Parrish and Geyer need to secure a new setting (preferably outdoors) where they can hold their anachronistic nuptials on July 31.

I told Parrish I’d beat the drum to see if anyone is willing to offer a site.

OK, so the wedding format is a little eccentric. But we’re not talking alchemy or Merlin magic.

The can-do couple is active in the Empire of Adria, a Spokane club devoted to re-creating medieval ways.

Think of Geyer and Parrish as Lancelot and Guinevere, minus all the sneaking around behind King Arthur’s back.

The wedding will feature a “handfasting” ceremony. This is where soft rope is braided around the intertwined hands of the bride and groom to symbolize their union.

See, that’s not so different from a joint candle-lighting ceremony, is it?

There will be no jousting matches or sword fighting.

(That I know of.)

Parrish and Geyer need enough room to accommodate 150 guests and the flinging of the bridal bouquet via an ancient catapult known as a “trebuchet.”

(Really. I’m not kidding about that one.)

Anyone with a wide-open space and a sense of chivalry should contact me through the information below. I hope somebody does. This is a show that must go on.

“We’ll string up lights,” said Andrea. “We’ll paint the barn. The point of a marriage is to celebrate your life with somebody else.

“If people have fun and we get married, in the end, it’s a successful wedding.”

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at


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