Last week, I reported that Sarasota Season of Sculpture was holding an unusual benefit on Valentine's Day to help the Gulf Coast city permanently acquire the J. Seward Johnson's staute "Unconditional Surrender," which is based on the famous photograph "The Kiss at Times Square" taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt for Life magazine on V-J Day on Aug. 14, 1945. They held a marriage vows renewal ceremony this morning in front of the sculpture, and it was just lovely.
More than 70 couples turned toward each other and recited their vows in unison, led by an emcee who did a terrific job — probably better than the officiants most of them used the first time around. The weather was perfect and the whole thing couldn't have been more romantic. A few women even wore wedding dresses. Some had been married more than 40 years and some had only been married a few years, but everyone got flowers, cake, champagne, a "remarriage certificate" and, of course, a Valentine's Day to remember. And, they got to help Sarasota become a couple thousand dollars closer to owning the Johnson sculpture.