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Family Man 10-11
Celebrating silver
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Since Tuesday marked my 25th anniversary of marriage to the former Janice Michelle Collins, I thought it would be appropriate to harken back to our wedding day a quarter century ago. Don’t worry. There’ll be no gushy, kissy face stuff that will make you gag included in this column. That’s what Facebook is for.
What do I remember most about my wedding day aside from my lovely bride? As any orange-blooded Tennessee fan would tell you … the Vols. Yes, somehow when we scheduled our nuptials, we did it on the day of a Tennessee Vol football game. You soon-to-be married folks, make sure to consult your football schedules before tying the knot. Just a piece of friendly advice from a guy who has been there, done that and got the t-shirt.
October 10, 1992. It’s almost like it was yesterday. Tennessee was playing Arkansas on a year where Tennessee was supposed to be pretty good. However, as you Vols fans know, Tennessee tends to play down to their competition and this was no exception. The game was going down to the final moments just as it was almost time for me and the groomsmen – also Vol fans – to walk into the auditorium. But, much to the chagrin of the really overbearing wedding planner, the groomsmen, the ushers and even the groom were nowhere to be found. That is, until she checked the parking lot to find seven guys in tuxedos all gathered around my car like we were having a prayer meeting in the parking lot.
“What are you doing?” she yelled, sending the groomsmen scattering with her mere scowl. “Your wedding is about to start and you’re out here listening to a football game?”
All I could do is throw up my hands. “It’s the Vols,” I blurted out.
Narrowing her eyes, she pointed toward the church where the groomsmen were scurrying. “Get your tail in that church. NOW!”
I reluctantly did as I was told. I went inside, got married and ate some wedding cake. Meanwhile, two things happened. It started raining and the Vols lost.
This set in motion a series of unfortunate events that began to unfold that evening when we headed toward Nashville to stay the night. We were going on a cruise the next day for our honeymoon. However, I failed to make reservations for a hotel thinking we could easily find something. Wrong. It was some kind of Vanderbilt homecoming. Who goes to a Vanderbilt homecoming? Well, enough to book every room in town that night.
The hotel was the least of our worries as our car broke down, leaving us stranded off of Harding Place. We were bailed out by one of my wife’s uncles who graciously allowed us to stay the night at a house where he was house setting. Yes. We spent our wedding night in a strange bed, belonging to a person we didn’t know.
But, long story short, the cruise ship didn’t sink on our honeymoon and the car was fixed when we got back. Now, 25 years later, we can look back on it and laugh, well, except for the Vols blowing the game to the Razorbacks. That still isn’t funny.
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.