by Dave Boehler
for The Beacon
Two Sheboygan car dealerships made a huge contribution to Dennis O’Kane’s daughter’s wedding a few weeks ago.
Not financially. Or a limo. But wood pallets.
O’Kane, an electrician who works in the area, used them to build a bar that measured 23 feet one way and 16 the other, to go with 16 stools.
“I’m known for going way further than I need to,” he said. “As usually happens with most of my projects, the project takes over the idea and it gets carried away.”
Kassidy asked her parents, who three years ago built a house just outside of Manitowoc, if she could have her wedding outside.
“Everyone was like, ‘you’re catering your own daughter’s wedding? Are you nuts, with everything you have to do?’” he said.
O’ Kane is deaf in one ear and says he hates going to weddings or parties where they blare the music and he can’t hear anything.
He already knew there was going to be a large canopy in his yard, so …
“My thought was, if the wedding is out in the tent, and the bar is in the garage, then it gives the people that have a hard time hearing a separate place to have a conversation,” O’Kane said.
He says building the bar was something to do for fun, and he started by cutting the pallets up after finding them around Christmas time.
The top of the bar was made out of the smoothly-planed pallet boards, and the rest of the wood was used for the framing of the chairs.
“It did end up being bigger than we had originally anticipated, but to see the pictures of the day of the wedding – my garage is 30 by 50 – it was packed full of people around the bar,” O’Kane said. “It was just absolutely amazing how many people were around the bar.
“I’ll tell you, I’ve been involved in a lot of these events, none were more perfect from start to finish as far as weather and all the people involved. It actually was quite phenomenal.”
O’Kane knew the bar wasn’t going to stay in his garage – his wife reminded him it needed to go after the wedding because it took up so much room – so he made it in 8-foot sections for easier removal.
He listed it for sale on social media and someone already bought it for the new house they are building.
“I thought it was pretty cool it’ll still live on with somebody else,” O’Kane said.
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