Last weekend I was on Staten Island, NY for the 50th wedding anniversary celebrations for my cousin by marriage “Kippy” (Catherine) Altini and her husband “Marty” (Martin).
This surprise party had been master-minded by their daughter Barbara Altini O’Brien. She had been planning the event for a year, and wondrously managed to keep it totally secret from her parents.
Today (June 21st) I had lunch with my dear Barbara Hauler, and her husband Donald. You will remember that they too celebrated a 50th wedding anniversary, and I joined in their family celebrations at “Disney” in Orlando a couple of weeks ago.
After those celebrations Don and Barbara Hauler travelled to South Florida. They called yesterday to see if we could meet for lunch in SRQ on their way North. That we did, my good friend Ben joining us.
It is Ben’s birthday tomorrow, but he has announced that it should NOT be celebrated. So, being devious, I “treated” at lunch, and later told Ben that this had been his birthday lunch!
Ben is joining me at All Angels-by-the-Sea tomorrow. There I am to preside at the Eucharist and preach. Kay Dohoney and Barbara Dunne will also be there. Afterwards we’ll all retire to my home for lunch. Kay’s birthday was earlier this month, so this will mark her anniversary, and Ben’s.
Kay and Barbara were members of St. Stephen’s in Pittsfield, and I retired to this neck of the woods in part because they live nearby. They have been partners for 42 years!
( I have other wonderful “Barbaras” in my life)
At the Eucharist tomorrow I will bless the recent civil marriage of Gail Yanov and John Root.
Gail’s first husband was an Officer in the U.S. Navy, and John was an Officer in the U.S. Air Force. Gail with her late husband, and John with his late wife, met when the two men were military attaches at the U.S. Embassy in Malaysia.
So this marriage is one of old friends. I’ve met Gail a number of times, but today was my first meeting with John.
John is a Londoner. He parents left London in 1952, and he grew up in Bristol, New Hampshire.
I grew up in Bristol, U.K. so we talked about the “Bristols” in the United States. There are at least eight of them.
Bristol, R.I. is the loveliest of them. It is the ancestral home of my late mentor DeWolf Perry, and his remains are buried there, together with those of his wife Kitty. I was honoured to lead the graveside prayers in Bristol for DeWolf.
(I own a cannon ball with which the British Navy bombarded Bristol R.I. in 1775.)
And there is the odd Bristol which is in two States, Virginia and Tennessee. The State line runs down the middle of the main street. So there are two City Councils, two Mayors etc.
I visited there in 1991, and it’s not much of a place - (it claims to be the home of Country Music).
My Pittsfield parishioner Don Phipps hails from Bristol, Virginia!
You can read about these and other Bristols on Wikipedia.
And there is also a Bristol FL. It has a populations of about 850, and I drove through it in 2006. I blinked, and already I had left the town!