A Beer Line Proposal
I asked Deirdre to marry me while we were on the beer line (although nowadays I usually call it “the hot dog line”) at the Golden Gloves finals in Madison Square Garden in March, 1977. Actually, I think I said something somewhat suggestive that Deirdre construed as a proposal and, when pressed, I agreed that it had indeed been a formal request for her hand in matrimony. It was easier that way. Drunks and addicts often don't say what they mean because they don't know what they really feel, but they are loath to stir up any controversy that might get in the way of the next drink or fix.
We announced our engagement to our assembled family's at Reidy's, a restaurant tucked into a skyscaper in midtown Manhattan that was owned by Maurice Reidy, the erstwhile proprietor of Club Fordham, where Deirdre's father had played some saxophone in the '30s. I don't recall, but odds are that we got pretty soused.
We were both slightly drunk and very hung over when, in deference to our parents, we were wed on November 11, 1977, by a monsignor of the Roman Catholic Church, a faith we had both abandoned. Deirdre's father threw a hell of a party at the St. Regis Hotel; he arranged to have a quart of Jack Daniel's stashed behind the bar just for us as we danced to a second-tier society orchestra playing our theme song, Gato Barbieri's Last Tango in Paris.