Today, 06 December 2013 , is the ten year anniversary of my wife staying married to me. Tracy doesn’t really get a lot of play here because the nature of the blog is about the kids. So here’s a few pictures of Mrs Frank’s Place.
Maui, December 8th 2003.
1st halloween, October 2009. Frank in The Dog.
Avalon NJ, 2013 with the kids.
Have you picked up on the theme yet? Mrs Frank’s Place hasn’t changed much. Sure she’s technically aged ten years since 2003, but other than that she is as beautiful as she was then, still the same out of my league girl she was then.
Hey I lucked out, I get it.
As I said Tracy dosen’t get much air time at Frank’s Place. Because of that and in honor of our 10th, the tinfoil anniversary, I give you our wedding day story. A here-to-for untold tale of two very different wedding day experiences.
Of course since we spent the day apart, I’ll write my experience from memory and make up Tracy’s experience as I type.
The wedding was at 4pm. It was December 6th. For all you college football fans you know that means we got married on the day of the SEC Championship game. The game would be kicking off during our reception. We half wondered if some people would skip the wedding to watch the game instead. No matter, we weren’t rescheduling.
So the day started off overcast and cold. Me, the best man – Mike Rogers, and Tracy’s brother Brad had planned to go golfing in the morning. We had to do something waiting for 4 o’clock. I’m not sure Brad and Mike realized the depth of my addiction. There was no way 35deg temps would keep me off the course. So we went golfing.
Tracy slept in. I think. Knowing what I know about her sleep habits now, I’m putting the house on the fact she slept in.
We get to the course and no surprise we have the place to ourselves. It was an unspectacular outing with the only memorable moment coming on the 18th green. It’s at this point that I should mention a trait that appears to run through Tracy’s family. When they get nervous, their digestive system not only fails them, it attacks them.
So as we putt out on the 18th, Brad putts quickly and runs off. Shouted something about the bathroom. Mike and I took our time, made our putts and then chipped and putted for a while waiting on Brad. We waited and waited. Mike finally says, “Brad seemed a little nervous.” My reply, “What does he have to be nervous about, I’m the one getting married?”
As it turns out, Brad was getting nervous about his role. He was giving his sister away. Their father died when they were young and Brad was representing the Rogers clan. Apparently that set off his plumbing.
So after what seemed like an hour, but was only 25 minutes, Brad comes out of the clubhouse. He looks funny. He’s missing a sock and his pants are not adjusted properly. He walks up hurriedly, “We have to go, now.” He walked past us moving with a purpose to the car.
Tracy was having a mani and pedi with her mom and sister-in-law Rachel. Not a care in the world.
Mike and I catch Brad at the car and I finally ask him where his sock is. He says, “It’s with my underwear.”
“Well where the hell is that?”
He giggles a little and says, “It’s in the trash can in the bathroom. We need to get out of here.”
Apparently his “system” got the better of him and he had to accomplish an emergency procedure that somehow involved his right sock and underwear. Clearly neither of those things would fit down the toilet so he pitched them in the trash can. To this day the events are as sketchy as the alien landing at Roswell.
Tracy and company are at the church sipping tea and having their hair done. Again not a care in the world.
Driving what has now become the get away car, we hustle back to Tracy’s house to drop Brad off. As he disappeared into the house I thought we might never see him again. He just lost two pieces of clothing and we were still 3 hours from the ceremony. In the next hour, say hour and a half he might just crap himself out of existence.
Mike and I had the car pre-loaded with our tuxedos so we head to the church. We catch up with the rest of the boys in an upstairs store room in the church. It’s not bad. I’ve dressed in worse places.
Tracy and the girls are in a big lounge area in the church having danish and kibitzing. Not one world care given.
My side of the wedding party is made up of 6 military members plus me, in our Air Force tuxedos complete with white gloves and swords, and 6 civilians in very nice tuxes with red flowers on the lapel. It was at this moment that the greatest line ever uttered in a wedding party was delivered.
Dan Anderton, a great friend to this day, watched in amazement as 7 defenders of freedom struggled with putting on our swords like it was a giant, unsolvable rubik’s cube. One guy figured it out and the rest followed his example. We then stood in a line of seven for a quick picture. Taking all this in Dan says, as he’s pinning on his flower, “Great, you guys get swords. How are we supposed to be tough wearing flowers.” How indeed Dan. It wasn’t Johnny Carson but it busted us all up for some reason.
We get into position in the church and the band is warming up the crowd. The band was all the people Tracy sang with in the church praise band. They were awesome and free. Huge double win there. The only paid musician was a trumpet player from the Knoxville Orchestra. He was bad. How bad? I’ll sum it up this way. Standing in position with Mike- the best man, and the Pastor, Petros Roukas, a Greek right from the Isle, the trumpet player did a solo. Pastor Roukas winced, Mike shot me a look, and then the Pastor says, “Are you paying this guy.”
Yes sir, we are.
“Ask for your money back.” Hahaha. The dude was awful. His terrible play was only highlighted as the all volunteer band was flawless the entire wedding.
Anyway as Mike and I stand at the front of the church, I can see Tracy and Brad all the way at the back through a door. They were laughing hysterically. I thought, yeah that trumpet guy was that bad. Nope. Brad sensed Tracy was nervous after she made several trips to the can, so he attempts to lighten the mood and tells her what happened to his sock and underwear at the golf course.
Worked like a champ. Tracy was not as nervous and made it down the aisle without tripping; one of her big fears.
Nothing calms the nerves more than a good story about losing some loyal clothing in a battle with your innards.
All went as planned after that except for one very quiet moment during the service. Two worlds converged when my father’s very good friend was almost immolated by the father of one of my best friends.
We had candle sticks marking every other pew in the church. My father’s friend Emil, sat in one on those pews with a candle. Emil was on oxygen due to health issues that would eventually call him home way too soon. My friends father, Tom, was sitting behind Emil. Tom bumped the candle stick and glass globe it was in. The whole thing started to fall forward onto Emil and his oxygen tank. Did I mention the candle was lit?
Although hampered by age and a worn out working man’s frame, Tom recovered in time to catch the globe and candle. For the next ten minutes you can hear this glass tinkling as Tom tried to reassemble the whole deal. All captured on the wedding video. My back was to this caper as it unfolded. But I could see my friends Chris and Tim as they were facing out into the church. The look on their faces made it clear. Chris was stifling a laugh and Tim was trying to move people and objects with his eyes. I thought, “Must be Tim’s dad.”
It was smooth sailing after that and at 4pm on December 6th 2003 in Knoxville TN, a Southern Bell and a palooka from Jersey merged families. And no one caught on fire.
So that’s day one in the story of Us.
God help us all.