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This is Pam Christensen Fogliani and Dennis Fogliani and for those of you who don't know, Pam and my husband, Jerry, are first cousins. If you were as old as the number of years us two couples have been married you'd be dead.
We will be married 50 years in June and help me here, Pam, they are coming up on 52 years in February. ... Correction from Pam: 51 years... So, okay, God willing you aren't dead. You just look like you should be.
This is their wedding story. Sort of. Kathy Ingram-Regopoulos , will pop in on the comments and help. Jerry will blush and ignore it. Here we go ...
Pam and Denny are having an extravaganza of a Valentine's themed wedding at St. Veronica's. A High Mass and a church packed to the rafters, followed by a big reception at the only place in town back then that could hold 500 plus people, the old Steelworker's Hall. Jerry is serving as a groomsman. One of Pam's bridesmaids, Jeannie, has a huge crush on Jerry. Pam has paired up the two for the festivities. Jerry has told me this, telling me that while I am invited, he will have his groomsman duties so perhaps I'd rather not attend. Fat chance. cheap mother of the bride dresses
On the appointed day I am in the second pew, the family pew, sitting behind Pam's mother and father and grandparents and next to Jerry's mother, sisters, brothers and most importantly, cousin Kathy, who like me, is there alone. But not because her significant other is in the wedding party. Oh no. He's not there because he decided he'd rather go to the boat show at the Cow Palace with his mom and dad.
I will interrupt to add that non-Catholics, and count me among those, will not begin to comprehend how very long a High Mass Wedding runs until experiencing one for themselves. Especially when the bride makes a detour to put flowers at the feet of the Blessed Virgin and prays there. And then the Bishop takes a moment to unfurl a scroll and read a blessing from His Holiness, the Pope. And then when all but about 15 people of 500 come forward to take Communion.
In fact, when Jerry and I got married not long after, the priest, who became good friends with my parents, told my mother over dinner one night that he wanted me to convert and have a High Mass for my wedding. My mother looked at him with a raised eyebrow and snorted, "Louis!" (She always called him Louis, not Father), "Louis! You've met some of my family. Do you honestly think they could keep quiet through an entire High Mass?" So that put an end to that question.
So, after the ceremony, we all journeyed over to the Steelworker's Hall where the wedding party was seated at the stage end and the chairs around the dance floor were filled with old Italians.
Somebody, and my money is still on Jerry's mother Pat, determined that Kathy, who was beautifully handling the boat show no-show or I, busy being way too good about the bridesmaid with her hooks in my boyfriend, would "blow" before the party was over. Whoever it was assigned Jerry's older brother, Bob, to be in charge of us and keep us out of trouble. Which he did by plying our 19-year-old selves with champagne. Constantly.
About 2 hours in to the festivities with much solo dancing, I decided I was blind in one eye and told Kathy, who accompanied me to the bathroom to check thinks out. We were slow going, leaning into each other and giggling, despite the misfortune of my blindness, when we were passed by two mothers holding a large flat cake box in front of two walking, puking girls. Instantly, we felt superior... whoever was in charge of those two had let them drink. And eat. We were lucky. Bob hadn't let us near so much as a cracker.
We make it into the bathroom, do our business, which in my case includes pulling up my half slip because I've got on a mini dress but was too cheap to buy a shorter slip so I just wore a regular one right to under my bra ... and I peer into the mirror to find I'm not blind at all. One of my false eyelashes has come unglued and is hanging over my eye!
We return, find Bob, drink more champagne and check the time because Kathy has to meet her boyfriend and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Hopper, who she's never met ... remember this, as it is important ... outside at a prearranged time. They are going back to the boat show and then to dinner. As the time nears, the two of us decide to wait outside. We play hopscotch until the car approaches.
As the car pulls to a stop at the curb, we peer inside, smiling. Her boyfriend is driving, his mother is riding shotgun and his dad is directly behind the driver's seat. Does the lug get out and open a door? No, he does not. He leans back and unlatches the right rear passenger door so Kathy can climb in back. As he does so, he says, I swear, "Uh, mom and dad, this is Kathy."
Kathy reaches in to the back seat to shake Mr. Hopper's hand and affect a proper introduction. But she gets no further than "Nice to meet you Mr. Hop ..." when she trips and falls face forward across the seat. She face plants right into Mr. Hopper's crotch ...
... there's a little bit of panic. Kathy is trying to wiggle free. Mr. Hopper has got both hands up in the air trying to figure out what to do. Mrs. Hopper is tisk-tisking her disapproval and the boyfriend is just sitting there looking at the scene in his rear view mirror. I try pulling her out by her feet. Between her wiggles and my tugs, she gets upright. Eventually they depart.
Sidenote: As Kathy is to relate years later when we reminisced about weddings and Pam's in particular, it being rather epic as weddings go, she tried to act sober on the car ride. When the boyfriend's mother turned to ask how the wedding was, Kathy replied, "Oh! The little pallbearer was so cute!"
I go back inside to find Jerry is done with his groomsman duties and after a few dances and chats we depart. Out on the sidewalk, heading to the car, I tell him about my eyelash, complaining that at least 30-40 people had to have seen it and nobody said a word.
So, he says, if something was wrong, you'd want to be told? I answer with an emphatic "Yes!"
"In that case," he says, "Your slip has been hanging four inches from your dress for the last hour or so."