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Two say 'I do' amid medieval trappings

Prince Jonathan and Karen the Fair celebrate along with hunchbacks, wenches and King Henry VIII.

photo
[Times photo: Toni L. Sandys]
Prince Jonathan Bojar and his new bride, Princess Karen Horvath, above, cut loose on the dance floor after their medieval-themed wedding Saturday.

By JOHN BALZ, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published October 25, 2002


The English medieval calendar never centered on a year so much as on a king. Last Saturday, at Alvin and Jayne Bojar's house, the date might have been 11 Alvin I, Oct. 19, reflecting Alvin's 11th year of reign in Tampa.

That night, they celebrated the wedding of their son, Jonathan, and his bride, Karen Horvath, complete with hunchbacks and wenches and merry mead.

Officially Jonathan and Karen were legally joined in holy matrimony at a ceremony 18 days ago in a Rhode Island tower. That wedding was for the Northeasterners. This one was for the Floridians, which made this one, for all practical purposes, a scripted theme party.

Neither Alvin and Jayne nor their guests were theme-party virgins. Fourth of July, Halloween, Chinese New Year: They were all excuses to celebrate at the Bojar house in Town 'N Country. People came to Longboat Boulevard in capes and tunics to sing and dance and consume.

"When people are in costume they let their inhibitions go," said Gordon Campbell, playing the role of Henry VIII.

It was just fun -- ye olde jolly fun in this case -- organized by and arranged for people with creative energy to burn.

"We dress up for everything," said Jonathan Bojar, playing the role of the Prince of Tides in white pants (perhaps a shade tighter than M.C. Hammer's signature slacks).

Jonathan, 29, who works for AT&T, and Karen, 32, of World Com, met in Connecticut when they both worked for IBM.

Name an extreme sport and chances are Jonathan's done it: speed skiing, cave diving, sky diving, ice climbing.

He proposed to Karen on a ski slope in Vail. They live in Carrollwood.

"He's the biggest adventure I've taken," said Karen, playing the role of Karen the Fair. "He does not stop. He cannot stand still."

She imitates his fidgeting and wonders: "Can you imagine our kids?"

At the wedding, Jonathan appeared no stranger to fatherhood. The Cardinal asked: Would anyone "dare to rend this union asunder"? A dark-haired teenage vixen called out "Jon! Jon! What about this?" and pointed to her swollen stomach.

It was all, of course, in jest.

Jonathan and Karen gave their vows in verse. Here's the family version: By the water, sun falling; under a shelter, bliss a calling.

Instead of kissing Karen the Fair, Prince Jonathan chased after her with a white flogger in hand.

Queen Jayne, a former caterer with training in Tuscany, prepared the food: string beans with walnuts and dill, turkey legs, brisket, asparagus. Best man Manuel Siera wore a floppy hat like the one Christopher Columbus wears in art museum portraits. Siera also drank beer from a horn.

The mischievous found themselves in the stocks, as partygoers threw Nerf balls at them.

Not everything was authentic medieval. A Jimmy Buffett track played during the happy couple's first dance.

King Alvin, noted by his crown and by a name tag that said "It's Good to Be King!" swirled around his subjects throughout the evening. Bojar, now 70, has ruled other sorts of kingdoms: He drilled Texas oil wells, traded on Wall Street, produced on Broadway.

"He's a Renaissance man," said University of Tampa professor Tim Kennedy without a hint of irony.

When Bojar found out about Jonathan and Karen's engagement, he knew the wedding had to be something more than a plain old catered reception.

"I thought, 'It's gotta be a theme party,"' said Bojar. "Jayne'll do the cooking; we'll do all the arranging. It's gotta be different. Anyone can call up the Wizard and have him throw a party."

-- John Balz can be reached at (813) 269-5313 or at balz@sptimes.com

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