Dear Allen,
    I want an amusing/humorous/funny poem.  It will be read at a dinner party.  Below is enclosed some of the details about the party and circumstances. 


Dear Poet,

            I will be attending a combination 10-year-wedding anniversary/50-year-birthday party this June 15. Gary MacDougal and Charlene Gehm are celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary. They were married 15 June 1992. Gary also decided to out/include/acknowledge Charlene's 50th birthday at the upcoming event. Charlene was born 14 December 1951.  She is one of those lucky people who look much younger than they are.  They are hosting the function at Inverlochy Castle in Fort William, Scotland. It was built in 1863 and is something of which fairy tales are made.  The beautiful frescoed ceiling of the Great Hall with its Venetian crystal chandeliers and handsome staircase reflects a relaxed, tranquil atmosphere of a bygone era.  The breath-taking views from the rooms overlook the Castle's private Loch, splendid grounds and surrounding mountains.  The comfortable, luxurious, and understated elegance of each room is enhanced by elaborate period furniture that any museum would be proud to have.  Some of the collection was given to the castle by European Monarchs.

In September 1873 during a trip to Balmoral, Queen Victoria spent a week at Inverlochy and wrote, " I never saw a lovelier or more romantic spot". 

And to my way of thinking she is right.  It has some of Scotland's finest and most beautiful scenery. The castle offers various outdoor activities such as: fly fishing, clay pigeon shooting, golf, guided walking, pony trekking, tennis, hunting in season, and falconry displays. You may want to see Inverlochy Castle's website: to get a feel for how special it is and how great it is to be included in this weekend extravaganza.  It is somewhat of a reunion.  Many of the guests were at their wedding 10 years ago.

The celebration begins Friday afternoon 14 June and ends Sunday afternoon 16 June 2002.  All will be housed at the castle enjoying the Michelin-three-star menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  There goes the diet!  Coat and tie are required for dinner Friday night.  The formal party is Saturday night and is the event.    Formal kilts or tuxedos are suggested at dinner.  Charlene and Gary want no gifts but would appreciate a Charlene story, poem, toast or comment.  That is where I would like to have your help.  I need an amusing/funny/entertaining dinner poem that incorporates Charlene, Gary, and the event

Charlene is a charming and beautiful woman.  She is a former leading ballerina, and enjoyed a long and successful career with the Joffrey Ballet.  It was a brilliant.  Her 13 year career spanned three decades, starting  in 1979 and extending into 1991.  Some of Charlenes' favorite roles are:  Arpino's Suite St. Saens, Robbin's Opus Jazz, Cranko's Romeo & Juliet, and Ashton's Illuminations.  She also had prominent roles in Wedding Bouquet, Rodeo and Nutcracker among many others.  She even partnered Rudolph Nureyev in Nijinsky's The Afternoon of a Faun.  Other jobs were interspersed in this period.  She appeared on  Broadway in The Phantom of the Opera,  and Jerome Robbins' 1980 revival of West Side Story.  Being used to the bright lights modeling was a natural.  She was featured in Esquire, People Magazine, and jeans commercials.  She appeared on Entertainment Tonight & on 5-PBS dance specials.  Currently she is working with the Lincoln Center Institute.

After a few misfires, Charlene and Gary finally met.  It was the beginning of the relationship; the year,1987; the place, New York's Roseland Ballroom; the reason, a Joffrey benefit event.  About five years later on 15 June 1992 the relationship was taken a little further up town.  Magic happened on Fifth Avenue.  It started at St. Thomas's Church with a romantic, incredible, long-to-be-remembered-New York-5th Avenue wedding.  It was followed by a reception at the Metropolitan Club just a little further up the street.  After the events there was not a flower left in the gardens or a candle remaining in the shops.

           I met Charlene in the eighties through Herb Scholder.  Herb was the company manager for the Joffrey Ballet.  My acquaintance with Charlene has been celebrated with sumptuous dinners in exotic places such as: Hong Kong's Peninsula Hotel during an Asian tour, Charleston, South Carolina, during the Spoleto Festival, a midnight dinner on a wisteria-covered-roof-top restaurant in legendry Granada, Spain, during the Granada festival, and the Campanile Restaurant in Los Angeles during a West Coast tour.  I was lucky enough to help celebrate her fortieth birthday at a gala dinner hosted by Gary at the Harvard Club in New York   These are just of few of the many places and experiences I have shared Charlene and Gary.  There are too many to mention all of them, but there is a common thread.  They were all extraordinary!  Through all this, the truly big mystery of life remains---how does Charlene keep that incredible figure? 

Since their marriage Charlene and Gary have been actively studying geography.  In the past ten years no exotic spot was left unvisited. I received post cards from the South Pacific, Borneo, Cambodia, Europe, Africa, India, South America and many other places I never knew existed.  Gary has remained active in politics, writing, Eastern European Economics, business and remodeling.  He is currently a senior advisor on Ryan's Illinois gubernatorial campaign.  Annual visits to Bulgaria as a consultant seem to be the norm. His writing achievements include the book, MAKE A DIFFERENCE: How one man helped solve America's poverty problem.  No sequel is expected, but Washington is using it as blueprint.  He also finished a major remodeling project on his NYC home, and is on the board of directors of United Parcel Service .

Extraordinary Times
Ladies and gentlemen,
can I have your attention please?
Every now and then in life,
there's opportunity you should seize.
Because days, weeks, months happen,
and the years they can go so fast,
and words that should get said,
don't - and if they do they never last.
So I'm going to change all that,
change it right here and right now,
I hope the right words come along,
I'll give it my best shot - anyhow.
Now, we're gathered here in this splendid place,
it's full of history and times gone by,
so maybe it's time we remembered,
so here goes - I'll give it one good try !
Now Charlene is a charming and beautiful woman,
a ballet dancer in her younger years,
a glorious career that spanned three decades,
across the accolades, the applause and the cheers.
She's also featured in Esquire and The People,
and she's appeared in many a stage play,
Charlene once partnered Rudolph Nureyev,
and made a phantom appearance on Broadway.
Now, after a couple of misfires,
Charlene and Gary finally got together.
It was in 1987, at New York's Roseland Ballroom,
where the story started that will run forever and ever.
Fast forward five short years,
and magic happened on Fifth Avenue,
it's where childhood dreams became reality,
it's where two people in love meaningfully said "I do".
There was not a flower left in a garden,
or a candle in a single store,
it was a "long-to-be-remembered" wedding,
in fact, I know I'll treasure it for evermore.
I first met Charlene through Herb Scholder,
and since then we've dined in some exquisite places,
Hong Kong, Charleston, Granada, Los Angeles,
so many extraordinary times, so many laughing faces.
But if one thing ever bugs me,
it's how Charlene manages to stay so wonderfully slim,
I guess for every gastronomic Michelin dinner,
there's about twenty sessions down at the gym.
Now Charlene and Gary are actively studying geography,
or at least that's their lame excuse,
they've got this insatiable wander lust,
in fact, I think they've become quite foot loose :)
Gary has remained active in business and politics,
and also writes a meaningful line,
he's certainly helping to "Make A Difference",
and I'm delighted that he's a friend of mine.
In fact, they are just so very wonderful,
I'm proud to call them both very good friends,
and there's one more thing I'd to say,
before these lines come to their respective ends.
I think Gary and Charlene are a sensational couple,
actually, they're the finest that I've ever met,
and knowing that they're both such high achievers,
it's pretty safe to say: "You haven't seen anything yet"!
Your lives have been remarkable,
and that's another reason for these rhymes,
it's a way of recording for posterity,
what truly have been extraordinary times.
So Happy 10th Anniversary,
that's really what these lines were for,
just know that we're very proud of you,
and we're looking forward to your next encore.
 Copyright Allen Jesson :) 2002

Eugene kindly replied:


"I think the poem is wonderful.  It is just what I wanted.  You have my credit card information.  Please complete the transaction.  Thanks for helping me.  Feel free to use the poem in anyway that may help you."
Eugene L. Gardner