On this day, 35 years ago, I married a beautiful young Italian-American woman named Susan Marasco. How I ever convinced her to marry me is still a mystery. You see, despite what many believe, I do understand my own failings.
How she has put up with me is also a mystery. She must be a Saint. At least that is what she has told me several times a week for 35 years. (Just kidding!)
The wedding was part of a full Catholic Mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ardsley New York. The elaborate reception was at a country club and the groups were basically split between the Italians and the Irish, and everyone brought gifts. The gifts from the Irish side were nice, but the Italians brought cash. Big wonderful envelopes stuffed with Cash.
Susan’s wedding gown had a special sort of cape with a very large pouch sewed into the inside. I did not understand what it was for until the Italians began giving her the cash envelopes, which Susan quickly secreted into the magic pouch.
Later than night, (yes, our wedding night) Susan spread out all the unopened envelopes on the bed and took out a pad of paper and a pen . She would not allow me to just open the envelopes and dump out the cash on the bed like I wanted. You see, along with the cash, each envelope had a note inside telling us who it was from.
Susan carefully wrote down exactly who had given how much cash. When we returned from our honeymoon, Susan wrote all the thank-you notes to every guest. Each note was different. The larger the gift in comparison to the guest’s income, the more elaborate the thank you note.
Thirty five years has gone by on the blink of an eye. Two children, three States, one book, many stories and many jobs, cats and bunnies later we are still together.
We don’t look at the wedding album very often. Unfortunately, many of the people in it have passed away. Our parents and relatives came from that World War II generation of heavy smokers and drinkers, and consequently they did not live very long. One of the reasons I started this website was to keep the memories and stories of many of these wonderful people alive. Somehow, the stories of how they lived seem much more real than the old pictures.
Susan continues to be the love of my life, even though she is a stubborn as the day I met her.
Whatever does come next for my beautiful Italian bride and me, the Colombian singer Shakira expressed it best when she sang,
“Whenever, Wherever we’re meant to be together,
I’ll be there and you’ll be near, and that’s the deal my dear.”
Happy anniversary Susan. Thank you for 35 years.