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Celebrating Forty-Five Years of Marriage: The Rehearsal

polly bruce gerencser cranbrook gardens bloomfield hills michigan 1978
Polly and Bruce Gerencser, Cranbrook Gardens, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Spring 1978, two months before our wedding.

The day before our wedding on July 15, 1978, I picked up the baby-blue tuxedos at the wedding apparel shop, met my groomsmen, and we caravanned southeast from Pontiac, Michigan to Newark, Ohio. The trip should have taken about four hours, but I decided we would take the scenic route instead. This little detour added two hours to our trip. My groomsmen, soloist, and ushers were NOT happy with me. 🙂

Finally, we arrived in Newark. I had rented two rooms at a cheap motel, two blocks from Polly’s parent’s home. After settling in, I decided it would be a good idea to try on our tuxes — which should have been done while we were still in Pontiac. We quickly found out that one of my groomsmen’s pants was the wrong size. Panicked, we drove to Polly’s parent’s home, hoping Mom could let out the seat of the pants. She was able to do so, but the pants had a single stitch line holding them together — a precarious situation to say the least.

Polly and I got into some sort of argument while we were there. The subject has long since been forgotten, but the picture in my mind of Polly stomping up the stairs is not. Mom said Polly was quite stressed out and suggested we avoid each other until the rehearsal dinner. Good advice.

We had an expensive catered rehearsal dinner, KFC, at Moundbuilder’s Park — a Native American burial ground (Newark Earthworks). The highlight of the dinner was one of my groomsmen, Mike, singing the first two stanzas of the Battle of New Orleans, complete with physical animation:

In 1814 we took a little trip
Along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississipp’
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans
And we caught the bloody British in the town of New Orleans

We fired our guns and the British kept a coming
There wasn’t nigh as many as there was a while ago
We fired once more and they began to running
Down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico

Mike also sang a song about Daniel Boone, you know the song that says “Daniel Boone was a man, was a big man, But the bear was bigger so he ran like a nigger up a tree.” It was the 70s. I doubt many in our party would have been okay with this song today.

Afterward, we drove to the Newark Baptist Temple for our wedding rehearsal. No memory of significance comes to mind about the rehearsal. Polly and I said good night to one another, anticipating with joy and excitement our big day.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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  1. Avatar

    Happy Anniversary to you both. Quite a journey you two have been on together. I would say “Might God Bless You with many more years” and, I do mean that but I will say it different out of respect…”Might you both be blessed with many more years on your journey together.” ✌️❤️ Peace and Love.

  2. Avatar

    What a funny story, especially about a bunch of young guys not having the foresight to try on their tuxedos… I have a son that age, that tracks (as the kids say).

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