Spike

Fyl and I got married in 1980. Reagan had just been elected, no one had any money, and we had the ceremony at my folks’ place down in Brea on the exurban edge of Orange County. It was affordable that way. Our car had died a couple months earlier and it was either get a car or get married and you don’t wedding presents for buying a car. So we got married so we could get the cash to buy a car. I suppose there were other reasons, some even romantic, but in large part it was to buy a car. It had all been so sudden people just assumed Fyl was pregnant, though I suppose they’ve given up on that by now. I remember someone in the family, I can’t remember who, came up to our seedy little stretch of East Hollywood to give us a ride to the wedding. It was the day beforehand, maybe two, so we could get the license and do the rehearsals and waterever else passed for wedding preparations at the end of the impoverished seventies. The wedding was nice. Two or three dozen people, all sorts of home cooked food, my dad so nervous he Cecil Taylored the wedding march. My brother Jon was the best man, my sister Kathi the maid of honor, and my brother Lex’s band played Beatles tunes out on the patio. It was all quite wonderful. Finally, after a long, long day and far too late into the night, my Dad gave his suddenly married son and brand new daughter in law a ride home. I remember him singing Sunrise, Sunset (from Fiddler on the Roof) somewhere along there, the freeway traffic zipping past the suburbs in the dark. Back in Hollywood he parked the car and the three of us lugged the bags full of wedding presents (a few of which we still have, forty years later) and leftovers up the little walkway between the bungalows to our own. I handed dad the key. He popped open the door, flipped on the light and nearly tripped over a passed out body on the floor. It sat up, looked at Dad, blinked, and said Hi, I’m Spike. I think Brick and Fyl are getting married today.

Oh Spike aka Andy Spike aka Philip Andrew Merrick. Rest In Peace.

Box of wedding stuff

(2013)

Found a box way up on the closet shelf.  Our wedding stuff. A third of a century old. Like a freaking time capsule. My my how thin I was in the pictures. And young. And dashing. And unwrinkled, my still thin wife helpfully points out. And tall, I add, being that I still am and will be forever. Infrastructure, ya know. Some things don’t change.

November 29th, 1980. I don’t remember much of that day. The weather was a perfect southern California late autumn day. A flawless blue sky.  People come out to California on days like this and never go back. And I remember my brother’s punk rock friends, one of whom, all leather and spikes, knelt like a knight of old and kissed the bride’s hand. I remember my Dad being so nervous he Cecil Taylor’d the Wedding March. And how everyone was so poor then, back in 1980, after the endless recession of the seventies. So we were married at my folks’ house and the ceremony was sweet and the feast home-made and wonderful and my other brother’s band played Beatles songs out on the patio.  Continue reading