Thirty-six years ago, Laurie and I were married in the Nassau County Courthouse by Judge Bea Burstein. The ceremony was attended by our parents and siblings, my grandparents, and a couple of friends. As it was a Friday morning, most of our friends were working and a 9:00 a.m. wedding was not easy to attend.
The reception was at a restaurant called The Viennese Coach that evening. It had been arranged only a few days earlier by Laurie's parents, so no printed invitations went out. In fact, since this was back when very few people had answering machines, only those people who were actually home to answer the phone when Laurie's mother called actually got invited. More than a couple of our friends were upset that they hadn't been invited.
Less than a dozen pictures of our wedding day exist, all of them taken by Laurie's father. Our friend Stephan Kravitz, who has photographically documented virtually every event before and since, acquiesced to the request of his then-girlfriend to not bring his camera.
We honeymooned in Mexico -- Acapulco and Mexico City, to be precise. Because we had to fit it into Laurie's teaching schedule, we were there during Easter Week. As a result, virtually everything was closed the entire time we were there. Added to that, I had a case of "Montezuma's revenge" and spent much of the Mexico City portion of the trip in "el bano."
We decided to come home a day early. Yes, back then it was easy and free to change your reservations. We had left both of our cars -- and our keys -- at my parents' house. We did not call to say we'd be home a day early -- long distance charges were outrageously high -- but we expected that someone would be there.
Imagine our surprise when we landed at Kennedy Airport and got no answer when we called. So we called Stephan, who came and picked us up and drove us to my parents' house. Indeed, my father, my mother, and both my brothers had all gone out somewhere. (And, since this was also long before the cellphone era, there was no way to get in touch with any of them.) The only one in the house was Skippy, but none of us had ever trained the dog to open the door.
Still, Laurie and I needed to get home to our Westbury apartment, the keys to which were with our car keys inside my parents' house. So, what did we do? We broke in! Well, to be precise, I broke in, then opened the door to let Stephan and Laurie in. All the time I was prowling around the house with a flashlight, with Skippy barking, not one of the neighbors looked out to see what might be going on.
I located our keys, took Skippy for a walk, and left a note explaining that we'd been and gone.
As it turned out, my father -- a captain in the NYC Fire Department -- was working. My mother, not expecting us back for another day, had gone to visit and stay the night with my Aunt Alice in New Jersey. And both my brothers were out on dates.
I don't recall who got home first, but my brother Jimmy says that the next morning he mentioned to my father that we were home. My father hadn't seen the note. "Didn't you notice that their cars were gone?" Jimmy asked him.
"I thought maybe you or Richie took them."
"We have our own cars. What would we be doing with four cars?"
Anyway, thirty-six years later, we are still together. And we've at least learned to take our keys with us.