Just about now, give or take a few minutes, 41 years ago, Jim and I were on our way from our wedding rehearsal to his parents home for a rehearsal party. We were stopped at a red light, in front of Dave Lewis's Garage, when an extremely inebriated guy in a pickup truck plowed into the back of our Volkswagon beetle.
Dave called the police and came to help us remove our rear bumper from the pickup's grill. When the cruiser arrived, they got there just in time to prevent the driver and his equally drunken son from from getting physical with Jim and Dave. Jim, you see, had taken offense to the names the father was calling me and the language he was using while screaming about how it was our fault for stopping in front of him!
The officer, who knew us, and knew we were getting married in the morning, put the two offenders in his car while Dave pushed the truck onto his side lot. The policeman told us they would definitely spend the night in jail to sleep it off but advised us that if we wanted to press charges we'd have to be present in court on Monday morning.W e were young (boy were we young!) We were in love. We were leaving on our honeymoon.
We were stupid! While I chalked up my splitting headache and nausea that evening to pre- wedding jitters, it turned out later that I had injured my neck that evening and the vertabrae had fused, causing me back problems ever since.
But at the time we didn't think it was a big deal. Our younger brothers managed to make the back of Jim's VW look okay despite the lack of a bumper. They even took it and washed it and gave it a hot wax. (which the idiots managed to ruin the next day by writing "Just Wed" all over it in menthol shaving cream- removing the wax and the finish for all time. It still said "Just Wed" when we finally-traded it in for a roomier MGB)
Everyone was making such a big deal and there was so much noise and my head was aching. Every time I tried to get something to eat Mom 1 or Mom 2 would call me away to meet someone else. Finally, my dear friend and bridesmaid, Peggy, dragged me into the bathroom, sat me on the floor, and brought me a plate of food. She gave me some aspirin and I began to feel better.
When Jim's Mom literally threw me and my family out of the house at 11:30, so there would be no chance Jim might see me a moment after midnight, he followed to say good night. I begged him to just jump in the car with me and elope right then and there. He hesitated for a couple of minutes and then said, "They'd never forgive us."
He gave me a hug, grinning over my shoulder at my Mom who was laughing at me and whispered,
See ya down the road,