It’s hard to believe, but May 26, 2011 marks 10 years of marriage for my wife and I. I remember our wedding day as if it happened just an hour ago and it’s hard to fathom that the next 10 years may pass as quickly. 10 years ago, we were in our twenties, and one of us had more hair than he has now. 10 years ago we had no kids, and today we have a 4 year old, a 2 year old, and a 9 month old, and a 6-year old Yellow Lab. 10 years ago my mom was still alive, and today she’s in a better place. One thing that has NOT changed in the past 10 years though is my Chevelle (well, up until about 2 months ago because now she’s in a billion pieces and on her way to becoming a Pro Touring holy terror).
The morning of Saturday May 26, 2001 was rainy, and it was a challenge to keep the Chevelle clean. I stored it overnight in my mother-in-law’s garage to keep it out of the major storms, mainly because the trunk leaked (a lot). Her house is older and had a really narrow and tight garage. It just fit. I remember dragging the headers while backing out.
Laura arrived at the church before I did, so I ate breakfast with my buddies, gassed up the car, and then gave the keys to my brother-in-law to be Greg. It would be his job to pull the car around front for our church exit and to keep my buddies from doing anything too stupid while decorating it. I’m not a fan of the pepper-in-the-sun-visor trick, the pull-all-the-plug-wires trick, of the remove-all-of-the-lug-nuts trick. Greg did a great job, and so did my buddies. I assume that my dad supervised. The Chevelle was done up well with cardinal and gold streamers, our college colors, paper bags, beer cans (and one Diet Coke can), and shoe polish on the windows that had run a little bit in the rain. All was ready for my bride.
Watching the video of this event really makes me smile. First, my wife looks beautiful, and what’s extra cool is she looks exactly the same today. The sun was shining, and the red interior and her white dress were a perfect contrast. All of our friends and family came – and seeing them all again brings back a flood of fun memories. After I put Laura in the Chevelle and closed the door I heard my mom yelling at my buddy Shag (don’t ask) to open the door so someone could get a picture of her. In the video she’s the woman helping Laura into the Chevelle and yells “YEE-HA” at the end. It always makes me glad to see my mom again and to hear her voice, and hearing her yell, even a happy yell, was something I was used to. She sang at our wedding and even played the processional organ pieces.
When it was my turn to get in the Chevelle I did so Duke-Boy style – while wearing a tux. I don’t know why I did it, but I still think it was a cool move. Then I fired up and we headed out to leave….except I wanted to have a memorable exit. I was thinking of a burnout of some kind but didn’t want to do something huge like a brake stand and blow the driveshaft. That would kill the cool factor in a hurry. I decided just to dump the clutch and make some noise. I didn’t like my position when we left, so I backed up to get a better run. My buddies, without any discussion ahead of time, were already out in the street blocking traffic. God bless them all.
The rest is history. Laura was just cranking her window down when the tires lit and waved as we left. Since then there have been a lot of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m sure 10 years from now we’ll be driving the same white Chevelle, and maybe we’ll take the kids to Hwy 63 in Oskaloosa, IA and do another burnout in front of the Methodist Church to celebrate. I can’t wait!
By the way, if you’re my wife and you’re reading this, know that I love you. Happy Anniversary! Thanks for letting me chase my dreams. If you’re not my wife, just skip this part.