Martin Schmidt’s parents were teenagers who put him up for adoption. Thirty-six years later, he reunited them — and officiated at their wedding.
The wedding is the subject of the best New York Times wedding story we’ve ever read, and inspired out latest “Shoot This Now” podcast, where we talk about stories that need to be made into movies. You can listen to the podcast on Apple or right here.
Schmidt is a road foreman for Gunnison County, in Colorado. The story spans Colorado, Hawaii, and Loyal, Wis. — the small farming town where Schmidt’s birth parents, Michele Newman and Dave Lindgren, became high school sweethearts. It raises questions about destiny, fate, and yes, loyalty.
Oh — and there’s a “Big Lebowski” connection. The reason Martin Schmidt was able to unite his parents in holy matrimony was because he is ordained, years ago, by the Church of the Latter Day Dude. The religion is inspired by “The Big Lebowski,” an abiding Coen Brothers film starring Jeff Bridges as Jeff “The Dude” Leboswki, a zen master of slacking at its best who becomes caught in a tale of intrigue and — you’ve seen it, right? If you haven’t seen it please skip out silly podcast and go see it.
We have a lot of ideas about how Natalie Shutler’s story for the Times could also be translated to the screen. Our discussion spans the nature of love, the power of second chances, and “Breaking Bad.”
Most importantly, it’s about the beauty of adoption. Even before Schmidt reunited his birth parents, he felt loved and protected by the couple who adopted him, William and Cynthia Schmidt.
“They absolutely loved me like I was biologically born,” he told The Times. “I have a great family.”