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Robert A. Mills

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(Bonus Blog) BUT WHO’S COUNTING?
8/25/2010 8:36:02 AM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

(Don’t miss the DICOVERY CHANNEL tonight at 10 PM EDT-—find out how grandson Lt. Col. Jason Pifer got where he is today!)


It’s difficult enough at my age (a year younger than Sean Connery,) but remembering thirty-seven minutes ago is a tough assignment—-thirty-seven years is the Mt. Everest of recollection.

“How long are we married on the 25th?” asked my wife, the other day.

To be honest, I merely subtracted three from ten (2010 minus 1973) and common sense told me it was not twenty-seven or forty-seven. Had to be thirty-seven, which in itself was hard to believe (Alex, our youngest, is not quite twenty-six—-she came in 1985, so thirty-seven had to be the magic number.)

“I dunno,” I mumbled. “Fifty-seven, I guess.”

“Damn fool,” Christine replied, under her breath.

August 25, 1973. Church of the Incarnation, Penfield, NY. Reverends James Metzger and Robert Towner officiating. John Mills (brother) Best Man; Susan Rhone (bride’s sister) Matron of Honor.

I dug out an old photo album and looked at the pictures. Everybody looked ridiculously young, a bunch of curious embryos. I thought the album was engraved “Our Wedding” but the cover said merely “Photographs”. Originally, it was a brilliant white. Now it was a faded pumpkin color, like a jack-o-lantern that had been left sitting on the porch until Thanksgiving.

Who are these people? Some I recognized; others were phantoms from a youth that Kodachrome could not capture. Family members looked like lost cast members from an amateur production of “You Can’t Take It With You”. Friends mostly had blank stares that asked, “When do we eat?” Strangers were . . . stranger than fiction.

The bride, of course, was beautiful and looks nothing like the person who had asked me how long we had been married. The groom, as handsome and debonair as a matinee idol, can boast only of silver hair among the gold (and a slightly expanded waistline, not to mention bent shrinkage from 6’2” to 5”10”.)

Random shots at the church and later at the reception (“Across the Tracks”, an elegant place in Pittsford) reveal a litany of characters from a period of past history we remember with an abstract combination of warmth, regret, devotion, pride, loathing, wonder, remorse, distain, sorrow, amusement and affection.

Aside from the expected family (those born at least thirty-seven years ago) there were Louie and Marilyn Andolino, Edith and Sid Greene, an assortment of associates from the travel and broadcasting industries, a few musicians (one of which, Ray Dunlap, provided piano selections for your dining and dancing pleasure) and politicians, neighbors and friends

We hope Drs. Barry Fenton and Herb Schmuglar and their spouses were there, but we are not sure (Barry and Herb both appear in shots of my Stag Party, but not at the reception or wedding. If they were absent, it was undoubtedly due to house calls.

In any event, it was a rather imposing list, and a wild guess is that at least half of them have moved on to those Big Nuptial in the Sky.

Further examination of the album revealed scenes of the honeymoon in our exquisite Churchill Suite, winding staircase to the Bridal Bedroom and all, at the Sheraton Inn Buffalo East Hotel in Williamsville, near Niagara Falls and the New York Thruway. A copy of the bill imbedded in the album shows an exorbitant tariff of $95.29 for the weekend (I had to be back in the studio on Monday.)

Speaking of statements, there was a copy of "Total Wedding Expenses" showing an outlay of $982.00(estimated) that covered the sit-down lunch reception (283.00), the cake (25.00) the church with two pastors, soloist and organist (75.00), Ray Dunlap (45.00), rings (128.00), blood tests (10.00), bride’s dress (97.00), groom’s suit (69.00), flowers (100.00) and honeymoon (150.00).

I think we somehow managed to peel at least $100 off the budgeted total.

All in all, though, it was a grand time. Highlights included my decorated Chrysler in which we escaped, Edith Greene leaning on one of the round-top tables and nearly overturning it, the phone ringing during my Nuptial speech (I answered it and took a dinner reservation) and a group of friends arriving at our suite and staying until 2 AM and all the champagne was consumed.

I have fond memories of our visit to the Carborundum Museum at Niagara Falls (not much was open on Sundays back then) and trying to buy tickets for the Maid of the Mist (only one ship was functioning and the next availability was not until seven PM. Too late.)

Somehow we have managed to survive thirty-seven years (thanks mainly to the tolerance, diligence and practicality of my wife and our devotion to each other,) long enough to provide daughter Alex with a wedding nearly as grand as our own.

Thirty-seven down and . . . thirty-seven to go?


(Regular weekly blogs will resume on Saturday, the 28th.)


Copyright©2010 by Robert A. Mills














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PAPER DREAMS by Phyllis Burton

A young librarian discovers old love-lettters in a book and she is catapulted into a web of terror and deceit...  
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