Thirty Nine

We were late getting to our reception because of the photographer. Fortunately my groomsen had the foresight to stop at a bodega in transit from the church to the photographer’s studio. But, of course, they only were able to secure beverages and no pigs in the blanket or other cocktail party fare.

Only days before Eileen and I met with the caterer to go over the list of guests and the seating chart. For some reason, we both ( the caterer and us) made an error in counting and we hadn’t even had a drink yet. So, when we finally had taken all the pictures (or so I thought) and were able to get to the catering hall the first thing we learned is that we had a table-full of guests who had no table. The caterer quickly set one up before we got there and all was well.

Because we were so long taking pictures and so late getting to the hall, we missed our own cocktail party. Looking back I should have made a stink but the caterer had the guilt trip all ready for me: “You don’t want to keep your guests waiting , do you?”

At the time I didn’t but if you ask me today I say screw ’em I want some shrimp and scallops wrapped in bacon.

Mr. and Mrs. James Newell were introduced for the first time and we danced one dance and then didn’t see each other for an hour or two. It was an Irish wedding and adult beverages were readily available.

We did dance to Here There and Everywhere and we cut the cake and all the traditional things that couples do. Pop sang a song or two, definitely Five Foot Two Eyes Of Blue and he ended that rendition by singing “Has anybody seen my gal….without a shirt?”

For some reason I thought it would be a good idea to keep the party going so just when our bandleader was announcing the last song I gave him the high sign that we would have one more hour, having just shaken the hand of the caterer.

Now, September 19, 1976 was a Sunday and all my family (my brother Johnny in particular) was already a little miffed about having to stay out late on a school night and now they had to endure another hour! They bore the burden well and ordered more adult beverages.

I had had just enough adult beverages. Unfortunately, I had had just enough around 8:00PM and I did not stop at just enough. My bride was of the same opinion so that by the end, the real end of our celebration, we were both properly toasted.

Nevertheless, it came as no surprise that we should plan to meet our friends at a bar in the Bronx. McGuinness and Farrell was a bar on East Tremont and one of the owners was a great friend of the family and an attendee. Before going to the bar we had to go back to 1123 White Plains Rd to get our suitcases for we were going to be checking into the Plaza in the city.

While Eileen was attending to the suitcases, being just a wee tired I decided to take a nap. I napped in the driveway, and not in a car but in the driveway.

We got to the bar in our wedding regalia and were finally done with toasting. Our friends Pat and Paul drove us down to the Plaza.

If you never stayed in the Plaza, let me just say that their version of a king size bed is more akin to a small air craft carrier. I was overwhelmed by the luxury and went downstairs to implore Pat and Paul to come up and see it. They abstained.

I went back upstairs as the luggage arrived and heard Eileen mumble something about keys to the luggage and that is where I shall leave you.

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