David Bruce: The Funniest People in Families — Weddings, Widows

Weddings

• Frank Benson was the manager of a traveling Shakespearean troupe and a man who enjoyed sports. Once, he heard a rumor that one of his actors, Harold Large, was expected to ask a certain woman to marry him. Mr. Benson asked his wife, Constance, if she thought the woman would accept the marriage proposal. She replied, “I don’t know. He hasn’t made his fortune yet.” This shocked Mr. Benson: “Good Heavens! I don’t know what she wants — the fellow is one of the finest half-backs in England!”

• One of Dini von Mueffling’s best friends was Alison Gertz, who had contracted HIV, which developed into AIDS. Dini met a man, they fell in love, he asked her to marry him, and she accepted. However, Dini was worried about what Alison would say when she told her. She needn’t have worried. After learning that the man, Richard, had asked Dini to marry him after knowing her for only three months, Alison asked, “What took him so long?”

• Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach once wrote the wedding invitation for two of his friends, promising them, “It’ll be the holiest wedding invitation in the world!” The invitation read, “The whole world is invited to the wedding of Ne’eman Rosen and Malka Gorman.” The invitations were given out all through the Haight-Ashbury district, and attending the wedding were many people whom Mr. Rosen and Ms. Gorman didn’t know.

• In the late 1890s and early 1900s, educated women were rare. For example, Ernestine Carey was educated in college at a time when few women were and those few were looked at somewhat strangely. When she married Frank B. Gilbreth, Jr., a newspaper reported, “Although a graduate of the University of California, the bride is nonetheless an extremely attractive young woman.”

• A woman walked into a fabric shop and asked for a fabric that would rustle when she walked. The proprietor found a suitable fabric for her, then out of curiosity asked what she wanted it for. The woman replied, “I am getting married to a blind man, and I want to make a wedding dress that rustles when I walk down the aisle so my fiancé will know when I’ve arrived at the altar.”

• Sonja Ely’s five-year-old granddaughter was holding a wedding for two of her dolls. At one point, she spoke for the groom, saying to the minister, “Now you can read us our rights.” Speaking for the minister, she then said, “You have the right to remain silent, anything you say can be held against you, you have the right to have an attorney present. You may kiss the bride.”

• In 1982, figure skater Dorothy Hamill married Dean Paul Martin, the son of entertainer Dean Martin. President Ronald Reagan was one of her neighbors at the time, but she didn’t invite him to the wedding because she feared that the presence of the Secret Service guards would interfere with the wedding and with the enjoyment of the guests.

• Tom Cahill used to be the coach of the Army football team. He played his college football at Niagara, where he was once caught sneaking into bed at 3 a.m. His punishment for breaking training was to copy the text of an entire book. He chose Selecting a Mate in Marriage and copied it from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.

• Richard Vaux, a Quaker, was secretary to a legation that appeared at the English court. He fit in well at court and wrote home that he had danced with Princess Victoria (who later became Queen of England). His mother read the letter, then remarked, “I do hope Richard won’t marry out of meeting.”

• A Harvard football star was getting married. As he knelt before the bishop, the guests started laughing. The ushers — all of whom were football fans — had printed on the sole of his left shoe “TO HELL” and on the sole of his right shoe “WITH YALE.”

Widows

• Dipa Ma started studying meditation after she fell into a deep depression after the sudden death of her husband, which followed the deaths of two of her children. She asked herself, “What can I take with me when I die?” Looking around, she saw many material possessions and her daughter, but nothing she could take with her when she died. She then thought, “Let me go to the meditation center. Maybe I can find something there I can take with me when I die.” In meditation, she found peace.

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Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved

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