They played Bach's Brandenburg Concertos when Marv and I were married. My brother played a French horn solo called Romance, and a friend sang Tonight, Tonight and There's A Place For Us from WEST SIDE STORY. (This friend, who was an actor, was killed a few years later during a performance of Oliver, the villan Fagan, shot by a badly packed blank bullet. )
When Marv proposed marriage, back on Valentine's Day, 1964, he gave me a heart-shaped box of candy. Inside, in the center, one of the candies was missing, and in its paper wrapper was a diamond ring. On the previous Sunday night, February 8th, the Beatles had appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show. Marianne thought they "looked like apes." Gaylen was impressed with their "backbeat." They sang I Wanna Hold Your Hand, and She Loves You, and Please Please Me to an audience of screaming teenagers. And I said, "Yes." Absolutely. Yes.
This was my third visit to the L.A. Temple. The first time was when I attended its dedication, as a teenager; the second was on September 10th, 1957, when Gaylen and I were sealed to Mama and Daddy after their marriage for Time and Eternity. Marv's best friend (and Best Man) Richard Barbieri and his wife Eileen were there for us, and Gaylen and Marianne. Janet was mad that she wasn't allowed inside the Temple for the ceremony, but she and beautiful Cindy Moller (who took time off from her job as a topless dancer at the Dunes in Las Vegas) made up for it by providing a huge bottle of champagne (which we kept in the closet, unopened, for years and years....), painting "Just Married" signs in lipstick, and tying tin cans to the back bumper of the car.
Janet was my Matron of Honor, my sister-in-law, Marianne, andMarv's little sister Jean were my Bridesmaids. I wore Janet's wedding dress, that filled both the "something old" and "something borrowed" requirements. The "something new" was my veil, with a sparkly little decoration in the front. Two of my old boyfriends were there. (There. I have survived. Do you see? I am happier than I ever was! Do you see?)
"Hey," one of them said. "You look great!"
I smiled, knowing I looked terrific. Marv and I had been to the beach often. We were both thin and sun-tanned and golden. My hair was blonde and he had hair! I'd say now, looking back from a distance of forty-plus years, that we were perfectly perfect people. Almost.
Some wedding pictures: Marv cutting our cake with a pancake turner. Why didn't we have a knife? I have forgotten. Janet and me, smiling. "You be good to her now," she warned him. No one ever said to me, "You be good to him." At least, I don't remember it if they did. Claude Gillham, a friend whose lap I used to sit on as a five-year-old while I rubbed his bald head, gave me a hug. Mama used to tell me not to rub his wonderfully smooth head, because it would hurt his feelings. FOr the life of me I could not imagine why it would ever hurt his feelings. But this night, I did not rub his head. I held two of my cousins little girls for photographs. And I may have been thin, but my corset was so tight I could not breathe, and I thought the night would never end.
Tonight, tonight. won't be just any night.
Tonight there will be no morning star.
Tonight, tonight, I'll see my love tonight,
And for us, stars will stop where they are....
But it did. And we drove from the desert back to the city, where Marv's room-mate, a cop we called Sweet William was sleeping in the bedroom. So, at three in the morning, we threw a mattress on the front room floor, and we slept.
We honeymooned in Ensenada, Mexico. We stayed at a little motel just out of town, on the beach, called Cabanas Monte Carlo, run by some people from Lebanon, who gave us a calendar with Hernan Cortez carrying off some voluptuous black-haired, half-dressed woman. We ate tacos at places who made their tortillas by hand and cooked them over big metal drums, places run by Chinese, called Fat Choi's Mexican Food. We ate Chinese at places called Pedro's, or Juan's. We ran out of money and lived for three days on corn tortillas, goat's butter, and 7-Up. At night piteros players on the street made lovely ancient music with magic flutes and drums. We took walks on the rocky beaches and watched the sun set. I wore my hair long and loose, and Marv smiled a lot. We loved each other. I'd never had so much fun in my whole life. We were poor but happy. The village idiots.
There's a place for us,
Some day a time for us.
Time together with time to spare,
Time to learn, time to care.
There's a place for us,
A time and place for us.
Hold my hand and we're halfway there.
Hold my hand and I'll take you there
"Since flesh can't stay, we keep the breath aloft. Since flesh can't stay, we pass the words along." --Erica Jong
- ▼ March (4)
- Joyce Ellen Davis
- 1. In dreams I am often young and thin with long blond hair. 2. In real life I am no longer young, or thin, or blonde. 3. My back hurts. 4. I hate to sleep alone. (Fortunately I don't have to!) 5. My great grandfather had 2 wives at once. 6. I wish I had more self-discipline. (I was once fired from a teaching position in a private school because they said I was "too unstructured and undisciplined." --Who, me??? Naaaahhh....) 7. I do not blame my parents for this. Once, at a parent-teacher conference, the teacher told me my little boy was "spacey." We ALL are, I told her. The whole fan damily is spacey. She thought I was kidding. I wasn't. 8. I used to travel with a theater reperatory company. My parents weren't happy about this. 9. My mother was afraid that I would run off and paint flowers on my cheeks and live in a commune, and grow vegetables. I once smoked pot. ONE TIME. 10. I don't drink or smoke. (Or swear, much. Well, I drink milk, and water, and orange juice, and stuff. Cocoa. I love Pepsi.) 11. Most of my friends are invisible. 12. I am a poet and a writer. All of my writing on these pages is copyrighted. Borrowing (without acknowledgment) is a sin.