Sunday, October 2, 2011
An Abundance Of Riches!
-W. Somerset Maugham, English writer (1874-1965)
What a glorious Sunday here in New York. It was a perfect crisp Sunday here following a great night last night. Most of you know that my partner, Dan Sherman, and I got married in July when it became legal in New York. Well, last night, we exchanged new vows with 160 of our closest friends and family present.
I was working at Marie’s Crisis on Grove Street.
I was also in rehearsal at that time for John Glines' MEN OF MANHATTAN at The Grove Street Playhouse. Danny came into Marie’s on Saturday night (May 26th). However, we were so busy I never met him that night. As we were closing down, the bartender told me that there was a “cute guy in earlier that night who was interested in me”!
I asked why he didn’t tell me.
He said don’t worry, he’ll be back Monday night when you’re not so busy.
When I came in to work on Monday night, Danny was sitting at the end of the bar!
It was a very slow night so I was able to keep Danny company between customers.
He stayed my entire shift! I got off work at 4AM!
After we closed down, we went to The Sheridan Square Diner for breakfast and talked into 7AM. As we were saying our goodbyes, he asked where I lived. I lived at 119th and Amsterdam at the time. He offered to drop me off on his way home. When he mentioned that he lived in Rockland County, I had no idea where that was. When he got to my place, I asked if he wanted to crash since he had been up all night. No ulterior motives! He thought that was a great idea. Don’t worry, we were completely respectable. He came in and we went to sleep until 1PM (Yes, I remember all the details!) Before he left, we exchanged numbers and promised to stay in touch.
After he left, I got a call from a friend of mine who was the house manager for NUNSENSE which was playing at The Douglas Fairbanks Theatre on Theatre Row. He had two tickets if I wanted to see the show that night. I immediately thought of Danny and called and left a message on his answering machine (Remember this was the days before cell phones). He called me back when he got home and would love to go. We agreed to meet at the theatre. We saw the show, went to dinner at The Cottonwood Café in the Village and pretty much have been together ever since!
It was an incredible summer on so many levels!
Shortly after that, Danny and I were at a marriage equality celebration in Nyack. Many friends, and a few reporters tried to get a firm commitment from us; we were still undecided. Would we? And if so, when?
I said they already have. She said What are you going to do? I said Danny and I are getting married on Sunday! She started screaming, “Tom! Tom!! Richard and Danny are getting married on Sunday!” She then said she wanted to be there for us. I, of course wanted her to be there, but we needed to be at city hall by 7:30 Sunday morning! She said, “I don’t care! We want to be there for you! We’ll pick you up!” I said great! And we planned for that!
I knew that I was in love with him the moment I met him and that love has not wavered at all. I cannot imagine my life without him.
I never thought, under the circumstance of my life, that marriage would ever be possible. God has given us this gift and I promise to cherish this gift for as long as we live. This is definitely something I am not taking lightly. When he said yes to getting married after 21 years, it was just as exciting as that first day we met. You more than anyone know I’m not perfect but somehow I feel perfect in his eyes.
Thoughts of all the birthdays we’ve shared, and the holidays, and the births, and the passing of friends all flood through my memory as I write these words.
Thank you, Glen Charlow, Fran Leonardis, and Miles Phillips (our BEST MAN!) for the photos in this blog! I cannot thank Glen Charlow, Best Man Miles Phillips and all around friend Sue Matsuki in their help and contributions to OUR WEDDING! I also would like to thank Leslie Orofino, Annie Hughes, Reverend Joshua Ellis, Jana Robbins, Sheldon Harnick, Lee Roy Reams, Lenny Babbish, The Rich Siegel Orchestra, Karen Skoglund, Susie and the entire staff of Duke's Ocean Grill in Tappan, and especially all of our guests. OUR TRUE FAMILY AND FRIENDS!
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Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com