Surrounded by close family and friends, Mark A. Rhode and Linda W. Malfa of Odessa, FL were united in marriage in a quaint, intimate ceremony at the historic St. William’s Church on Long Point in Raquette Lake on Friday evening, September 25th.
Mark and Linda’s children, Spencer Rhode, Colton Rhode, Carolyn Malfa and Laurie (Malfa) Rubin, witnessed the ceremony performed by Francis “Bear” Trichilo.
After a champagne and wedding cake reception in the boathouse at St. William’s, the wedding party and guests boarded the W.W. Durant where, according to Captain Dean Pohl, they witnessed the best sunset of the season while enjoying a delicious dinner.
It may seem odd to some that two people who live in Florida would travel to the Adirondack Park to get married, but Mark, whose Adirondack roots run far and deep, has loved the mountains since he was a small boy.
His parents discovered the splendor of the Adirondacks in the early 1960’s when their family was young.
After spending many years camping and renting other people’s camps, the family purchased their own camp at North Point, Raquette Lake.
Since then, Mark has been drawn to the Adirondacks as if by the Song of the Sirens, or in his case the mournful cry of the Common Loon.
Linda is a relative newbie to the Adirondacks. She spent most of her early life in New York City and had never ventured further north than Saratoga Springs.
Until she met Mark she had never camped or slept in a cabin.
Even though their early years were spent in New York State, life had taken both Mark and Linda to Florida where they eventually met and fell in love.
Mark asked Linda to marry him on a frigid day in January 2015, at Buttermilk Falls, Long Lake, NY.
Linda not only said yes, confirming her love for Mark, but realized that she, too, loved the Adirondacks and looked forward to making them as much a part of her life as they have been a part of Mark’s.
While discussing potential locations for the wedding, Linda asked Mark, “What is your favorite place in the whole world?” Without hesitation, Mark answered, “The Adirondacks.”
When asked why, Mark explained that the mountains hold his soul and it’s the place he goes to re-focus and re-balance his life. It is not a place that can easily be described, but rather must be experienced.
Solidifying their vows on Adirondack Park soil seemed fitting to them…what better place to start a marriage?