Becca Uherbelau might be the daughter of a former state legislator--and she might run in her own political circles--but she's no square.
Becca, the 29-year-old spokeswoman for county chairwoman Diane Linn, counts the grungy eastside dive Beulahland as one of her favorite bars. She has tattoos--though, being the savvy politico she is, she admits hers are placed strategically so they are hidden under work clothes.
It was in 1995 that Becca first met Jim Castle, now 26, at a Vespa scooter rally. She found him attractive, she says, but a relationship was off-limits. At the time, she was 21 years old and already involved. And Jim wasn't even 18.
The tables turned six years later. On the night of Becca's 27th birthday, she met Jim again at a mutual friend's party. Becca isn't sure who made the first move, but she remembers the two shared a kiss. They
now mark that night as their official first-date anniversary.
If you judge them by their respective professions, Jim and Becca lead very different lives. Jim, whose tattoos cover both of his arms, works regular hours at a machine shop, where he makes doors. Becca, as Linn's communication director, spends long days on the phone and directing press conferences, working the kind of high-profile job that doesn't end when the clock strikes 5.
Yet no matter how different they might seem, Becca says she fell for Jim almost immediately. Within the first couple of months of dating, he'd passed an informal checklist she'd gathered over the course of "good-but-not-lasting relationships."
Jim scored points because he wasn't jealous of the time Becca spent with her dog. He got along with his mother. He surrounded himself with good people. He was also a musician--while Becca plays fiddle, Jim plays standup bass. And here was the kicker: He struck a chord with Becca's mother, Judy Uherbelau, the former state representative.
"I grew up in a single-parent household, where I was taught never to marry before 30," Becca says. "She was automatically at home with [Jim]."
Within a year, the couple moved in together. And though they talked of marriage, Becca says she was still surprised when Jim proposed last April. Because the couple wanted to marry outdoors, they immediately began to plan a wedding that would take place less than six months later.
When the day arrived, the result was an individualized ceremony that showcased not just the couple's commitment to each other, but also their ability to blend high and low culture with ease.
On a hot late-September day, the couple was married by a gay officiant on a friend's farm in rural Boring. When it came time for the exchanging of the rings, their two dogs (Australian shepherds) presented them. Diane Linn was in attendance, and so was Becca's former boss, mayoral hopeful Jim Francesconi.
The politicians mingled with some of the couple's other friends, who included a referee for Portland Organic Wrestling, a toothless groomsman and four punk rockers with mohawks.
For dinner, wedding guests dined on a roasted pig that had been cooked underground--a Micronesian tradition that Becca suggested because of her father's heritage. Kids in attendance were entertained by pony rides. By the end of the night, the adults had gone through 18 magnums of champagne and a keg of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
And what of the bride and groom? They were still around--and still decked out in their wedding-day clothes--playing fiddle (bride) and standup bass (groom), capping off their big day with a late-night jam session.