283. Getting Married

Sixty-one years ago today, my sister Joan Darlene Gorman and Thomas Arlan Fitzpatrick were married.  Friday, June 16, 1950 – was a beautiful June day in Iowa.

We still lived at 605 Tenth Street in Cedar Rapids on the day of the event.  The wedding took place at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

Joan’s white satin gown had a mandarin collar and an apron peplum, with two large bows in the back above the train which was “bustled” for the later festivities in the evening.  I wore Joan’s gown at my wedding a year later.  One or more of our daughters should have worn it in years to come, except Joan stored it in the garage where a family of mice took up residence, raised their family, and demolished the gown for future use.

I was Joan’s maid of honor, and the bridesmaids were Mrs. Al Morris, and Tommy’s sisters, Shirley and Barbara.  I wore pink, and the other girls wore blue.  The dresses and sweetheart bonnets we wore were home-made of cotton percale and each outfit cost six dollars!

Tommy’s best man was his brother Leo Fitzpatrick.  His groomsmen were Al Morris, his brother, Ed, and his brother-in-law Larry Driscoll.

In those days, Catholic weddings could only be performed in the daytime. Instead of a reception following the wedding, Joan and Tom hosted a dance that evening at the C.S.P.S. Hall.

My friend Louise Mackey and I thought it was the most glamorous event we had ever witnessed, but eventually, the glamor deteriorated when somebody introduced us to Pink Ladies.  I don’t know how Pink Ladies are made but I think they had gin in them along with something that made them frothy and pink.  I can testify that no matter how tasty they may seem at the time, Pink Ladies are designed to kill you without mercy, or barring that, to make you deathly sick with a hangover and a steely resolve to never again indulge in their company under any circumstances.

After the wedding Joan and Tom spent their honeymoon in Chicago, Illinois, and when they returned home to Cedar Rapids, they set up housekeeping in a little apartment at 1201 First Avenue S.E.  I’ll never forget that tiny abode.  Joan and Tom painted the walls a deep red color, of all things, and the woodwork a pristine white. Joan decorated the windows with sheer white Priscilla curtains.  It looked spectacular!  Today, their little apartment has been replaced with a gas station.  And no, it’s not nearly as attractive.

Tommy worked for Leck Construction at the time they were married but he later entered the concrete construction and finishing business with his brothers.

Tom and Joan retired to Sun City West a few years ago and they love it!  Both have some health problems, but they still find time to launch and carry on interesting activities and good visits with family.

They have six children, 17 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren.


Have a happy 61st anniversary, Joan and Tom.  Try not to get in trouble while celebrating up a storm! Skip the Pink Ladies.



Another wedding anniversary today – their 16th – is that of my nephew, James Michael Ford and his wife Sandra Jean (Buchel).

I don’t have a picture available yet, but my niece Christy is going on a quest to find one when she comes to visit her dad, Don Ford, next month.

Jim and Sandie have four children (from previous marriages) some of whom you’ve read about earlier in this blog; Jeff, Scott, Kaylee, and Katie.   Jim is president of a bank in Medford, Oregon.  Both Jimmie and Sandie love to travel, and actually they’ve had to through the years in order to keep up with the adventures of the kids.

I hope Christy can fill us in more when she gets here..  In the meantime, I’ll look forward to hearing what they did to celebrate their 16th.  Happy anniversary, Jim and Sandie!

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3 Responses to 283. Getting Married

  1. Denise says:

    Happy Anniversary, you two lovebirds!! We love you! 🙂
    Craig, Denise, Tom and Josie

  2. Tim Fitzpatrick says:

    Is that my mom…IN SHORTS!!
    Happy anniverary dad and mom, and many more. We love you!
    Denise, Tim and Jack

  3. Chris says:

    ♪♬ Happy Anniversary! ♪♬
    What a beautiful wedding party! Love to you both from Chris and Mark ❤

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