Thursday, September 5, 2019

Happy Anniversary to us.....

On September 5, 1970, Bernadine Pisano and Jim Bradley got married.

She was 20 and I was 23. By that time we'd been in love for five years---since I was a Senior and she was a Freshman and we met in Latin I class.

We were children.

It was an awkward ceremony since an Episcopal priest was on the altar of Our Lady of Victory Roman Catholic Church in Gary, West Virginia with the RC priest--first time ever for something like that!

The procession took longer than the wedding because, of course there was no Eucharist because an Episcopalian groom from a Methodist and Baptist family was not welcome at the RC altar.

Off we went to Gary Country Club for the reception--no meal, just snacks and alcohol in the basement for those who imbibed. Most of my family didn't--but I whispered to those who did in the receiving line where to go.

Then off to Cambridge in my father's car since I had wrecked mine a week before and it wasn't repaired.

My parents lived in Princeton, 20 miles over mountains from Gary, where we had our blood tests. They did the wrong test for me and I was on my way to give up more blood to be married when on the only long stretch between Princeton and Gary, the truck in front of me signaled a right turn, which in those places meant pass me on the right.

NOT THAT TIME!!! He WAS turning right and I drove my yellow Volvo--my graduation from college present--into a little lake.

In my father's car--we changed back at Thanksgiving--Bern and I traveled to Roanoke, Virginia and the Hotel Roanoke for our first night married. We were late for dinner and had to count all the money the Italian and Hungarian relatives of Bern had given us in envelopes in the receiving line and put it in the hotel safe.

We ate dinner in an almost empty restaurant with at least five African American waiters surrounding us, filling water glasses as soon as we took a drink and fussing endlessly.

Then, at almost mid-night, a Black waiter came to our room with a bottle of champagne on ice that my friend Dan Kiger had ordered and the order got backed up. The morning after our wedding I drank the whole bottle and had the greatest tour of Roanoke imaginable!!

We spent one more night and then left for Cambridge and a marriage that is almost half-a-century old today.

Lots of stops along the way. But here we are now. Two children in happy marriages and four granddaughters later, moving into our 50th year together.

Can't get much better than that, so far and I can tell.

Can't get much better than that....

Happy anniversary to us!!!!

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.