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Wedding Party Bios: Erika Nolley

Erika is John's sister and the middle child in his family.

Erika seeks out a lost mini-golf ball for rescue
Name: Erika Nolley Age: 40
 
Theme Song:
 
Little-Known Fact:
Erika cried through the entire movie of Star Wars as a baby but is now a devoted fan.
 
Interests / Hobbies:
Drawing; reading; tennis and other sports; spoiling a rotten cat; rescuing lost mini-golf balls
 
Spouse & Family
Erika is engaged to be married to Wayne Furman later this summer.

Erika spent a good bit of her childhood wearing a football helmet. She had no favorite team, no idolized player; in fact, the helmet was rather plain, simple cherry-red plastic with a white stripe down the middle. She couldn't have cared less about football. John gave her that helmet for her second birthday, and she wore it incessantly thereafter. It was for her own protection, you see. Erika they called the Wild Child, and not without good reason.

Imagine for a moment a Sunday afternoon in mid-May: the sun pushing away April's clouds, but the yellow rays not yet into the heat of summer--perfect weather for a walk. No less than baker's dozen of parents have had the same idea, plopping squealing toddlers into strollers if only to get out of the house for an hour or two. One couple watches their child more closely than the scenery, as if afraid of what havoc might ensue should their attention stray for even a moment. Step closer. Do you see the kid strapped tightly into the stroller, bronze curls spilling from beneath a battered football helmet? That's her, and don't let her good looks fool you.

We still don't know how she, while seat-belted into that shopping cart, managed to get that bin open in Walker's, but suddenly there were beach balls, footballs, kickballs, and volleyballs all strewn over the floor, bouncing down every aisle. She just sat there, perched on her throne, shouting, "Yeah! Ball! Big Ball!" over and over again. Her parents gave up on the stroller at that point, opting instead for a harness.

Erika and Brooke whisper sweet nothings to this paper mache elephant

As the middle child, Erika didn't have long to enjoy being the "baby," with little sister Brooke coming along as the "bonus baby" not quite two years later. Erika took to her little sister well, once decorating her face with dessicant cream as an attempt at a clown's grease paint and giving her a lopsided "Mr. T" hair cut on another occasion. She had this fun little game where she'd go up to Brooke and stroke her fuzzy head, saying, "Nice Bee-be, nice Bee-be." Then she always gave Brooke a couple of smacks on the head for good measure: wham wham!

Perhaps the oddest and most Reader's Digest-esque anecdote of Erika's sordid past involves a playground merry-go-round. While playing one afternoon with her brother and various other neighborhood children, Erika began a favorite game of theirs, namely stretching out her legs over the merry-go-round's edge, the wonders of physics working to splatter her and John's brains on the asphalt (a feat they'd let Einstein come close to accomplishing more than once).

John warned her: "Don't stick your legs out too far, or Gravity will pull you off!" (Yeah, he hadn't yet realized the difference between inertia's centripetal force and gravity; he was only seven or eight!) Hearing that, Erika turned to face this black kid who shared the playground, looked him seriously in the face, and said angrily, "Gravity, don't you pull me off!"


Erika managed to grow to adulthood despite such antics as a child, and today she is engaged to Wayne Furman with a wedding set for later this summer. She currently teaches in Bedford, VA.

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