Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Hearts of Gold

My Parent's 50th, 4 years ago
54 years ago my parents were married.   I am one of 7 children and feel incredibly fortunate to still be part of their lives.  Three weeks ago I spent a long weekend with them at their condo on a golf course in North Carolina.  As we usually do, we reminissed about the past, talking about friends, family, teachers, coaches, and neighbors; people that made us laugh, inspired and challenged us. And of course we thought fondly of the ones we miss who have passed away or have moved out of our lives.  I like to think I share my father's love of story telling and writing,  but my mother's humility, so today I'd like to share an email my dad sent today, looking back 54 years to the day he married my mom.  

Hello to all,
Yes, today represents a specific anniversary and as such Mimi and I had lunch at Chick-fil-A.  We thought it was fitting in that the meal served 54 years ago at The Commander Hotel opposite the Cambridge Common was also a chicken dish.  Probably roasted with veggies.  Today's was grilled, served in a bun with fries (don't tell my diabetes group of docs).  We reminisced about the attendees, some of which drove a good distance from places such as New London, Conn. and Lewiston, Me.  We danced to' La Mer' and were entertained by a great family friend of my mother's, one Kate Cadigan.  She could play the piano and sing with grand style and effect.  My brother, Herb, gave the requisite toast to which my old mentor from The Heights newspaper at B.C. the Reverend Arthur A. MacGillivray, S.J. whispered to me, "Pure Hallmark".
King David (although he was but an aide in waiting at that time) and his othrer ushers "fixed my Mercury by tying empty cans to the rear bumpber and some how or other hiding other metal pieces inside the rear hub caps.  Later in the day as we drove towards the new Mass pike ( which started or ended at the Newton Marriott-----in fact I can't remember if the Marriott existed then.
We drove off westwood on the pike after the reception and after cleaning out the hub caps.  We stopped at Lee, Mass. and called back to 61 Florence Ave (Alice's house).  Were we surprised!  In those days the reception usually ended the celebration.  However, the party had moved from The Commander to 61 Florence Ave.  They really were having such a good time that tried to relate all their joy to us.  My father ( who never drank) he just appeared to.  Well,he danced (which he loved to do) with Lucie ( a Nova Scotian friend or cousin who had come for the wedding to help with the cleaning.  Phil Dobbyn ( an usher ) was dancing ( or trying to with Alice's mother ).  "Who told you could dance"  Phil later laughingly related to us was the comment from his partner.  I guess it may have become a bit boisterous for at least one or two wedding guests. Some presents (which had been displayed in their sunroom) ended up in the broken present department.
Alice and I continued on our honeymoon trip through Pennsylvannia Dutch country, a peek at President Eisenhower's home in rural Maryland, a game of golf ( naturally) in Virginia, a visit toGeorge Washington's Mount Vernon, and Thomas Jefferson's home at Charlottesville.  We sneeked a quick peek at Richmond , Virginia which still displayed Civil War hurt on some of its buildings. Somehow or other we found the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia.  It remains as one of the most beautiful roads to ride in America.  After all that sightseeing, we stopped in Delaware and visited with my army friend, Dan Ford and his wife Jodi.  Dan was a hardnosed Pennsylvanian who he claimed came from the anthracite section of Pennsylvania (which of course meant it was the toughest) and had been the fullback and captain of University of Delaware's Bull Hen football team. Bill and Jane Waters were living in Bronxville, NY and as the saying was going they were  'on the way'.  It was Friday and we catholics ate fish every Friday.  So the stop with the Waters was doubly pleasing to us. We also stopped and visited with my friends from New London, Otto and Mae Osmond.  They had moved to Norwalk Connecticut to a really neat house.  On many a night we were invited to their New London house for dinner.  First we'd swim.  Yes, their house was situated next to the Thames river.  So we could jump from his back yard right into the river for the evening swim.  Afterwards we'd sit and chat in his livingroom drinking beers and smoking Camels.  The 'we' in this part of the story is me and Don Roux.  Don started with the phone company with me and initially we had roomed at the New London YMCA.  Don had been the captain of Bowdoin's football team and as I noted earlier he was from Lewiston, Maine.
That's the story of our honeymoon 54 years ago.  We came back to Massachusetts without a place to stay (the rental apartment on Maplewood Street had not opened up for us just yet) and so we finished our honeymoon at 21 Ashford Street, Allston for a few days or weeks ( I don't remember the details).
Looking back on the adventure, it was spectacular. Since then we've been blessed with many and varied trips. The first one became the most memorable. Thanks be to God, we used to say in those days. And we really meant it.  We did it all on cash!! Credit cards weren't current then and no one wanted to cash a check in Virginia and Pennsylvania from an odd looking and talking Bostonian.  I had quit the SNETCO and had started learning the insurance business.  I was being paid $6,300 annually. I didn't know what Raytheon was paying Alice.  She was and is worth a million!!!
April 30, 2014