Hobart residents and Brickie fans Joe Such and Erin Kleckner were married recently in Brickie Bowl. | Karen Caffarini/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: October 7, 2013 12:06PM
When Joseph Such proposed to Erin Kleckner, she knew she wanted her wedding to happen in a special place.
As friends and family — and perhaps a few curious strangers — looked on, the couple exchanged vows on a recent Friday night at one of the most iconic and beloved locations in the city — Brickie Bowl.
“I drive past Brickie Bowl all the time. I thought, Why not?’ Everyone told me I wouldn’t get it, but no one told me no,” the 29-year-old bride said.
The 35-year-old groom was on board, as were the attendants and guests.
“When my fiancee said what about Brickie Bowl, I said sure. I stood on the sidelines here as a Brickie and three-quarters of my wedding party were on the team,” Such said.
The couple received approval from both the School City of Hobart and the city itself, which had taken over the former football field in a land swap with the schools just a few weeks before the wedding.
The new Mrs. Such said she kept the location a secret until just before the big day, but word quickly spread through the community. Joseph Such said people they had never met asked if they could come to the wedding.
Having been largely unused for years and in the midst of changing owners, the field wasn’t in the best shape. But the couple and the park department got to work mowing the lawn and cleaning it up.
The wedding itself took place on a hot Friday night with ominous-looking clouds hovering overhead. They waited until everyone was gone before bursting into a heavy rain.
Guests were urged to come casual — some came in jeans and shorts. The groom and his groomsmen wore yellow shirts and tan slacks. The bridesmaids and flower girls wore yellow dresses.
The bride, dressed formally in a long, white sleeveless bridal gown, arrived in a golf cart. The ceremony was performed by a close friend, and fellow former Brickie player, Art Miller, who is an ordained minister.
“Joe asked me if I’d do it. He’s one of my best friends,” said Miller, who came from his Arizona home to be a part of the occasion.
Parks Supt. John Mitchell said the city is looking at utilizing the Brickie Bowl for concerts, youth sports and other events. He said weddings hadn’t been considered, but the city could be getting more requests now that the Suches’ special day turned out beautifully.
As Chris Kleckner, who played under Coach Don Howell in the 1970s, said, “Once you’re a Brickie, you’re always a Brickie. This place is a monument.”