47 years ago and it seems like yesterday. I’ve told our wedding story before in this space, but here’s an edited and expanded version: I spent the night before our wedding in my apartment at 66 West 85th Street and Ann at hers at 33 West 63rd Street (although we were already living together on and off). Her apartment would become our first home.
Our one-week trip to Puerto Rico a few months before we were married became, unknown to us at the time, our honeymoon in advance. I was between my first job in publishing where we had met a few years before and returned from our holiday to start a new one in Westport, CT, which I would occupy for the rest of my working life.
That trip was memorable for several reasons besides being our first vacation together. We got to see the new 747 when we landed. Little did I know how often I would fly that plane across the Atlantic and Pacific in my future, frequently with Ann. Our hotel was on the beach and Tony Conigliaro was staying there, the Red Sox outfielder who was hit by a pitch a couple of years before, but made a comeback and, in fact, that season which he was about to begin would be his best. Also, I finally got to rent and drive a VW Bug, something I had coveted when I was younger but could not afford to buy and maintain in Brooklyn. Driving through the rain forest was particularly memorable. But what I most remember is the high anxiety I felt about starting a new job upon our return. Consequently in the evenings I would read industry journals and technical books about running a business, something that did not make Ann particularly happy.
Nonetheless, during that trip we decided that marriage sometime in the future would be preferable to just living together, so upon our return, Ann placed a call to The Ethical Culture Society which she regularly attended. There was one Leader who she knew personally and admired, Jerome Nathanson, the man she wanted to marry us. Naturally, we were thinking of sometime that summer but he had only one date open in the next seven or eight months – the following Sunday in exactly one week. We looked at one another and said let’s take it.
Consequently, Ann began hasty wedding arrangements, including ones to fly her mother and Aunt in from California, picking out a dress for herself and mother to wear, hiring a caterer and picking out flowers. We chose the list of attendees, mostly our immediate families and closest friends, including a few colleagues from work and of course, my young son Chris from my previous marriage. Ann’s brother and sister-in-law graciously offered their home in Queens for an informal reception. Everything had to be done on a shoestring and obviously with a sense of urgency.
The ceremony itself was what one would expect from a brilliant and humorous Humanist Minister. A substantial part of the service captured our enthusiasm for the then victorious New York Knicks, with names such as Bill Bradley, Dave DeBusschere, Walt Frazier, and Willis Reed sprinkled throughout our wedding vows. Later that night we returned to my 85th Street apartment. I had to go to work the next morning, my driving to Westport, while Ann took a one day holiday to spend with her Mother and Aunt Lilly. So our married life together began.
I posted a brief photographic essay of our years together marking our 42nd anniversary which can be seen here.
Fast forward to now. Romantic love deepens into a friendship like no other. So how did we celebrate?
First Oysters and Clams on the half shell at Spoto’s and then later, off to the Sunday jazz jam at the Double Roads Tavern in Jupiter with our friends, John and Lois.
There we again saw the upcoming jazz prodigy, Ava Faith, only 13 years old.
Ava Faith back at Double Roads Tavern Jupiter now. 13 years old and just gets better and better! pic.twitter.com/AvE8zDKEVL— Robert Hagelstein (@lacunaemusing) April 23, 2017
It will be interesting to watch how she matures but it is good to know that the Great American Songbook is being passed on to a younger generation. Much credit in this geographic area goes to Legends Radio and its founder Dick Robinson and to the Jupiter Jazz Society and their founders, the incredibly talented keyboardist Rick Moore and his wife Cherie who helps to organize and publicize the traditional Sunday evening jam.
As we are on the topic of music, a special shout out to David Einhorn, a professional bass player who had been out of the country for years, and is now back and playing in the area and occasionally comes by our house to jam with me on the piano -- above which his sister Nina’s painting hangs.
I hear him beating timing into my head, something less important when one plays solo as I have done all of my life. His recordings with the late, great pianist Dick Morgan are a shining light to me. Thank you, David.
And thanks Ann for putting up with me these oh so many years!
|A card from our friends, Art and Sydelle, hand illustrated by Sydelle|