Part 3 – Hippy Wedding Chariot

The trunk could have doubled as a dance floor.

The trunk could have doubled as a dance floor.

Means of transport to ad hoc August  honeymoon: 1964 Chevy  Belair sedan. Cost: Borrowed from my sister. Imagine its paint finish eroded to a stonewashed blue…

stonewashed

..and you’ll get an idea of what it looked like.

Next, picture “JUST MARRIED” inscribed across its massive rear window — in aerosol snow.

Lastly, gauge the romance index of a marriage  inaugurated by this proposal: “I’ve always wanted to marry someone like you or Nancy B.”

For the record, Nancy B. was already married to his college buddy, leaving the door wide open — for me. Luckily, romance was low on my agenda. Escaping the dominion of an overly-protective, old school Italian father was not. Getting married at age 22 seemed to be the only way out.

But what did I know. Two days before the wedding I bought a fifteen-dollar white empire-waist, eyelet cotton dress off the rack at Macy’s. Completing my ensemble were pink satin ballet slippers and powder blue Danskin tights.

I would have preferred weaving flowers through my hair, but my father had insisted on a veil. Insisted.

In a nearby town I located a church-lady hat store that sold wedding headgear. The veil cost twice as much my dress — but it was worth every nickel, if only to keep the peace.

From the neck up, I would look righteously virginal. From the neck down? Very Nutcracker Suite.

The wedding ceremony, performed by a Unitarian minister named Irving, took place in my parents’ living room. The reception was in the backyard. Guests sporting Casual Friday attire were entertained by a one-man-band-style accordionist who owed my  dad a favor. My cousin manned the bar.

At sunset, the newlyweds left the reception and headed north in the Belair. As we crossed the George Washington Bridge, four young guys in an adjacent lane saw the snowy scrawl on our rear window and started honking the horn and waving their arms.

“Good luck!” they shouted out the window, just seconds before rear-ending the car in front of them.

Talk about inauspicious beginnings…

What I was Reading: A lot of D.H. Lawrence: The Rainbow, Sons and Lovers, Women in Love, The Virgin and the Gypsy, Odour of Chrysanthemums.

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