By Mark Carpenter –
We lost another good man last weekend. Yes, another good man left the happiness and solitude of the single life for the shackles and chains of married life. (Relax, I’m only kidding.)
One Mr. Tony Williams was fortunate enough to find a lovely young lady who will be brave enough to put up with him for many, many years and the two of them tied the knot on Saturday night in Peebles. Just having passed my 25th wedding anniversary just three days earlier, the wedding made me thing back to my own big day and still the two things I remember most are throwing up all morning (that must have been a sign) and then plunking my wife-to-be in the nose during the ceremony (that should have been a sign for her).
Now, as I pulled into the parking lot for Tony’s wedding, the first thing I noticed was a Peebles police officer sitting in the parking lot. That certainly made me wonder but once I saw the trio of Young, Young, and Davis make their appearance as groomsmen I understood the need for the police presence. Going to the wedding of the North Adams athletic director was a lot like being at a North Adams basketball game-same crowd. I noticed, however, that there were a number of Peebles residents scattered about in the audience. I had to think about this for a moment and then it dawned on me. They were only there to protect squatter’s rights, make sure not too much of that green and gold permeated their fair village. The rivalry stands.
The wedding was set for a 5 p.m. start and for about a half-hour there was a whole lot of music, first from a woman with a wonderful voice and then from a very skilled piano player. As the minutes passed though, one thought kept creeping through my mind. Where’s Tony? This thing was supposed to kick off at 5 and from seeing him work as A.D., I knew he wasn’t one for games starting late. I noticed a flurry of activity behind a door to the hallway and a horrible image came to me. Actually, a humorous one as I could just imagine Tony making a run for it with Chris Young hot on his heels.
But alas, Tony kept his nerve and made his appearance in the sanctuary at precisely 5:31 p.m. by my watch. At exactly 5:34, the enormity of the situation hit him and some tears began to well up in his eyes, but to his credit, he kept it together, much unlike myself 25 years earlier. He even kept it together when his lovely bride made her appearance and began her walk down the aisle, so kudos to the A.D. one more time. I was kind of expecting him to raise his arms and holler like he did a few years ago when his basketball team won a championship, a moment that I most graciously caught on film.
He made it through the vows, the prayers, the ceremony, even the candles that Frankie couldn’t light, and he saved the best moment for last. As he and his new bride and the wedding party, led by the glamorous Jacee Davis exited, a wonderful and intoxicating sound filled the air. No, it as not the sound of family members crying tears of joy that this whole thing was finally over, it was something so much better than that. To match the tie that I was wearing just in honor of Tony, the sounds of the University of Kentucky fight song suddenly turned that beautiful sanctuary into Rupp Arena north. The perfect ending, the perfect touch. I even found out today that the song was not Tony’s idea, but his bride’s. She’s a keeper!
I guess I would be remiss if I didn’t offer some marital advice to the newlyweds, not that I am an expert but I have lasted 25 years, which only proves that my wife is a far too patient woman, or the kids want to keep me around, not sure which. There are times that it will get pretty ugly and there are times that you will smile and laugh so hard you can’t stand it. There will be times when you just have to have your own space so you retreat to another room for a break. That time will end when one of two things happen- you are so miserable yourself that it’s just not worth it or you just get hungry and decide that being nice will get you a good meal.
Also, learn to share the television set, or have one for yourself in another room. You obviously have part of that battle won as you two will certainly be watching the Wildcats together. No better marriage bonding time than that, ask the experts. But there will be times when you have to suffer through a few hours of HGTV, watching people sell houses half the size of yours for 100 times the price or selling overpriced junk at a flea market. Pretend to enjoy it, again you might need dinner cooked.
At some point, there will be the pitter-patter of little feet around the home and that is when everything changes. From husband and wife, you overnight change into Mom and Dad. It’s a good change of course, but sometimes a tough one to deal with. Here’s my advice-don’t forget the husband and wife part. Being Mom and Dad is very cool, but you can’t forget where it all started. The key-have a good, always available babysitter. Then head to Lexington for the night and listen to your wedding music played by the pep band. How cool is that?
I could ramble on and on, but you get the point. It is simply a matter of enjoying the adventure, wherever it takes the two of you. Personally, I hope it never takes you far from North Adams High School because I would be in trouble without you. I made a vow not to text you with any sports questions while you were honeymooning- so far, so good. I figure what better wedding gift can a writer give to a friend than to write something. I am sure that as every wedding anniversary passes, you will pull out this column and read it over and over again. Another one didn’t really bite the dust, another one became a very happy man with the love of his life, smiling together to the beautiful music that led them out of the church and out on the road to happiness.
There is one more little nugget of advice that I can guarantee you will keep you both happy forever, but you may already know this. Just go to a ball game every night. Congratulations and go Cats!