The 19th of September in 1976 was a typically beautiful late summer day in the Bronx. I am guessing it was equally as beautiful in the other boroughs of the City of New York, but it was really more beautiful in the Bronx.
It was the kind of day that would enable even the most ardent New York Jet fans to forget the miserable loss to the Denver Broncos.
More importantly, it was the kind of day to get married.
Forty-four years ago today Eileen and I exchanged vows and, in the twinkling of an eye, three children were added to the compact. There would be job relocations and home relocations and commuting and long nights in the hospital and the million of other things that comprise a life.
There were family get togethers and farewells. There were celebrations and condolences. There was way more laughter than there were tears and then all of a sudden you are married forty-four years.
You go back to that day in 1976 in your mind and you can see neighbors and friends of your parents’ lining the aisle as you make your way up to the altar with your brother Mike. It’s no affectation to use “you” here as the person I am seeing can’t possibly be me! I have have brown hair…I have hair! I must be eighty pounds lighter! Could that really be me?
Oddly enough, today Eileen looks the same and so does everyone else who is captured on the film reel that makes up my memory.
Here are some other snippets:
After the mass, the two limos stop at the bodega down the corner from Eileen’s (where I bought Mrs Rooney the Kent cigarettes after she asked me if I wanted a soda…which I also had to buy along with the cigarettes) to stock up on some beer for the long ride to Queens.
We had grey limos as I ordered them only eight days before.
We got to our cocktail party late because Dino our photographer had us modeling for shots in his studio for over an hour.
While we suffered missing out on the food served, we had enough cocktails to get us through the initial phase of the reception.
Our reception cost $18 per plate. (It was forty-four years ago)
Eileen and I danced all night long, sometimes even with each other.
It was a Sunday but we were having such a good time we paid for an extra hour and there would be a collective sick-out the next day.
We left the reception with our friends Pat and Paul and made our way to Eileen’s house for the suitcases etc. It took a while and I took a nap in the driveway, that is on the driveway.
From there we went to McGuinness and Farrel’s bar up in Throggs Neck, me in my tux and her in her wedding gown.
We hadn’t finished partying it seems.
From there, Pat and Paul drove us to the Plaza Hotel in the city.
I was so impressed with the size of the room that I invited Pat and Paul to come up and see it. Paul was ready but Pat thought better of it.
Eileen had picked up her suitcases alright but not the keys to open them up.
Eileen’s brother Jimmy came to the Plaza the next day with the keys.
We signed and deposited checks all morning. We were feeling pretty chipper. Well, we could barely hold our heads up.
We went to Schraffts and had the best cheesburger ever.
The next day we went to Bermuda