A lot of you have been asking to hear more about Aunt Aldine. Well, ok. No one has been asking to hear more about her. But I want to tell you more anyway. And, besides, this isn’t really about her.
Aunt Aldine was married to Uncle Marvin. He was always a very nice and fun guy. In fact, they were a very nice and fun couple, even if she did extinguish her cigarette in my new camera case (see blog post below). They traveled with my parents a lot and there were many more parties as the years passed. I refused to be the photographer for those parties, though.
Fast-forward ten years or so after the cigarette incident to my wedding. Of course Aunt Aldine and Uncle Marvin were there. It was a pretty fancy wedding, as weddings go. I had originally wanted to get married in my parents’ living room, but 435 guests later, we got married at The Drake Hotel’s Grand Ballroom in Chicago.
Of the 435 people, Richard and I had invited and knew 35. Figure in about 100 relatives we sort of knew, and then add 200 people we barely knew. The wedding was talked about for years because of its elegance and beauty, but my brother Paul and I still talk about it because of Uncle Marvin.
During the reception, Randy, a friend of the family’s arrived in tails because he had just been a groomsman at his sister’s wedding. He was a great friend, who also happened to be my African American jazz dance teacher. My mother had been a tap dance teacher at the same dance studio where Randy taught jazz. He went on to become the Artistic Director of several dance companies and even did choreography for the movie “Save the Last Dance”.
During the reception Uncle Marvin, who liked to have a drink or two, walked right up to Randy and asked him for another gin and tonic. Paul saw what was happening and quickly, yet politely told Uncle Marvin that Randy was a guest at the wedding, not a waiter.
I wasn’t told about the incident for months, maybe even years. I also wasn’t told that the loud slamming door wasn’t really “the wind”, as Richard had told me, but a friend’s wife who got so mad at him that she slammed a floor-to-ceiling door shut and ran out to find a cab to go to the airport. Really? I believed Richard when he said it was “the wind” –yet the reception took place inside? I guess I was too focused on being a new bride to care what was going on in the outside world.
My brother lives in Indiana and we don’t get to see each other that often, although we talk on the phone and e mail. But somehow that story of Uncle Marvin asking Randy for a drink still makes us howl with laughter.
They were real characters, Aunt Aldine and Uncle Marvin. Here’s a toast to them for some hilarious memories, even if at the time, they didn’t seem so funny.