Nuts, Bolts and Vows
by Steve Wilke
On the eve of Valentine’s Day, we hope you enjoy this throwback to an article we featured in July of 2013 about a wonderful life event that took place right here in our store.
For Randy and Theresa, getting married in McGuckin Hardware started as a joke. They spent so much time at the Boulder, Colorado store, they had mused 12 years earlier that if they ever did marry it would be right there in the Tools department. As that jest gained momentum during years of dinner banter, light dialogue and playful dares, Theresa’s 25-year-old son Lucian made a claim it would never happen.
On the evening of July 21, 2013, with a small band of well-dressed family members and close friends, Randy Richmond and Theresa Blanding walked hand-in-hand down the aisle, –aisle 16 in the Tools department that is– the tall, broad-smiling groom sporting a black fedora, the beaming bride with a small vibrant bouquet, and her son Lucian snapping photos in front of them as they strode in sync along the waxed floor lined with circular saws.
“McGuckin’s has been here forever and it’s so useful and practical,” said Randy, who with his new wife, refers to McGuckin Hardware as the ‘temple of usefulness and longevity.’ “Marriage should be practical, as well as romantic. We were in here every day for something anyway…rope, or clips.”
The couple bought a wide array of items from the hardware store throughout the years, including for Randy a favorite pair of overalls, which he said are the perfect clothing to wear in Egypt’s 110 degree heat, but are not ideal for social interaction in caste-conscious Germany, whose residents might think him an immigrant Turk.
Throughout his life, Randy Richmond pondered worldly conundrums as he traveled, excavated ancient Egyptian sites and became a lifetime member of Mensa.
“You’re not talking to a chimp, here,” said the University of Arizona Egyptologist and psychologist, who also wrote books on the 12-step program for alcoholism.
Randy said he met Theresa 14 years ago in a class in Sedona, Arizona, and she hated him right off the bat. She complained about him to her friend, and dwelled on his antics for months. He said her behavior made him think maybe there was something more.
“I wore her down like water on rock,” he said, laughing. “Love and hate are tied very close together.”
Theresa Blanding, a mother of three, consultant and award-winning jewelry maker whose work is featured in an Arizona showroom, wants a gallery of her own in Boulder someday.
“For me personally, I lived up at 8500 feet in an old miner’s house as a single mom,” said Theresa, who will keep her last name. “I was always coming to McGuckin’s to figure things out, and they were so helpful.”
As the couple’s relationship grew, the hardware store they had come to love seemed like the perfect place to solemnize their love for each other, and suddenly their old joke seemed more like a necessity.
On the big day, a Sunday, Theresa had no plan, except to head to the temple of usefulness and longevity and have a low-key, ‘guerilla-style’ wedding that would make a flash mob proud. The question as they scouted for the perfect venue within the store: should they tie the knot in Builder’s Hardware department near the rope, or would they get hitched in Automotive? Randy remembered his musing and knew the ceremony had to take place among the tape measures, hammers and saws.
He removed his fedora as they said their vows.
Aaron Tye, a McGuckin automotive employee, made a celebratory announcement over the intercom system, which was greeted with resounding cheers crashing in from between aisles and robust applause from all four corners of the store. The group finished with more wedding photos — this time with the whole group –in front of the shovels in the Garden department.
The pictures were posted to Facebook later that evening and almost immediately the couple watched their phones and social media profiles light up from friends and clients in Vienna, Madrid, Amsterdam and St. Petersburg, also including a friend in Cambridge who didn’t know Randy had even been to a hardware store.
This was the perfect way to get married, said Randy, to not drag everyone from around the world here, but to bring the wedding to them through social media. Oh, and for all the wedding presents, the newlyweds requested only McGuckin gift cards.
“People need consistency in their lives,” Randy said. “All roads lead to McGuckin.”
The couple is planning a honeymoon in Paris.