"The Anniversary" is the name of a dark comedy with Bette Davis. It is also what today is for me and the Voodoo Queen.
This blog, as it says in the description, is an outpost of the Universal Monster Army. And it was there that I met my bride. The UMA is a Yahoo group for people who love the classic Universal monster movies and the stuff (toys, mags, records, masks etc.) that have been derived from them. It's a group that I help moderate, and it's a group where I have made many dear friends.
It's where I met Jane Considine!
Like many other friends made online, we'd e-mailed often and yakked on the phone a good bit. Eventually, this became a romance, and Jane and I would visit each other. (She was in Pittsburgh, and I was in St. Louis. ) Then one day Jane proposed, I accepted, and we decided I'd move to Pittsburgh.
I had a sale of my stuff. Here's the flier for that sale, beautifully done by friend Richard Olson:
I later described the move and the wedding at the Universal Monster Army. We had several very good friends help us move, and they had quite a job, with all my crap; including a relatively large number of films on 16mm, and of course, all my monster stuff.
Here's a slightly edited version of that account from 2005:
The move of the Drunken Severed Head from St. Louis began at midnight, appropriately enough, just after he and the Voodoo Queen had loaded the last of a pile of reels, each wound with several thousand feet of nightmare dreams printed sixteen millimeters wide. The packed caravan driven was crammed with many--far TOO many--other items as well, such as books of stories of terror, plastic jack-o- lanterns, little dolls representing the undead, etc.. A portion of the eerie cargo had been wrapped by Coffin Ray (Raymond Castile) himself! (A banner on the side saying "Prof. Lampini's" would not have been entirely inappropriate.) [A reference to the movie "House Of Frankenstein".] Believe it or not, the trip also ENDED at midnight the next night, and a thunderstorm greeting Max and Jane as they entered Transyl-- er, Pennsyl-vania.
The next day the newlyweds-to-be unloaded all the tchotkes of terror of the Severed Head into an empty apartment. The front door was fronted by a pair of gas lamps, seeming to usher them backwards into an earlier, shadowy time of the dim past. Both of them remarked that they half expected to see Mr. Hyde or Jack the Ripper! That would have been redundant, since Jane wants to Hyde whenever Max has sauerkraut, and becomes a Ripper himself.
The wedding, a few days later, took place a mere block from the apartment where the terrible two will be making a home come December. Currently (said Dr. Frankenstein, when asked how he would create life), Jane and Max have TWO apartments, her very small one bedroom AND the two-bedroom they will be occupying. (Can't say "living in", since there is a question as to whether either are actually alive.) They feel like barons of industry--or maybe just Baron Frankenstein--having TWO domiciles to haunt. Oh, the luxury!
On the edge of night's approach, in a courtyard of a former priory, they married each other before a small party of guests. The weather was perfect--crisp enough to remind one it was autumn, but warm enough for basic comfort, and the foliage of the trees was a collection of Halloween shades of orange and red. The ceremony had no officiant, as the two lovebats were wed under Pennsylvania's marriage law which offers a "Self-Uniting License" to those who request it (originally meant for the Quakers who founded Pennsylvania.) The wedding did have two friends who assisted in the ceremony, and who were the official witnesses. Max and Jane's self-written vows were said, they exchanged rings, and they then declared themselves wed as husband and wife. This was followed by a hand-fasting rite, where their hands were ritually bound together with a long satin ribbon. As a finale they ceremonially jumped two crossed brooms, as the guests cheered, screamed, or hooted to scare away any mischievous phantoms of ill-will that might be lurking.
As the guests came into the reception room, an elegant, large Victorian dining room, processional music from "The Bride of Frankenstein"--done by a modern orchestra--played. (It was the march from the scene where the villagers have captured the Monster and then carry him off in a hay wagon.) To have this music played at his wedding was long a dream of Max's! The food at the reception came from Whole Foods where Jane works, and though there was enough for three times the number of assembled people (as well as for unassembled people); it was SO good that it was nearly all polished off!
As the guests dined, they talked of many things, but at one table the talk was of one guest's upcoming trip to Transylvania, which led to varied and sometimes nicely-ghoulish talk about the history of the region, Vlad Tepes, Bela Lugosi, and Transylvania's export, "Vampire Wine". (Max and Jane drink it! Dark red, dry but not horribly so, and inexpensive. This year's vintage is a good one.)
After this, toasts were made, buttering up the bride and groom--so they were buttered toasts, apparently. Max toasted his bride by quoting one Cathy Howes: "I love you truly, a little madly, but oh- so-deeply. I want to grow old disgracefully with you! And if love can be sealed with a kiss, may there be kisses enough to make our marriage watertight!" The two married maniacs also toasted the guests, absent friends and family, and the UMA (both as "the Universal Monster Army" and by naming several members in the group.)
Max told the guests that Jane was, apparently, his reward for every good thing he has ever done, calling her his "karma in a cute package." He related how nervous he was in doing the final writing of the vows they made, and shared a list of words he had found that one was to avoid when writing one's own wedding vows:
Jane and Max danced to a song by the famous horror host Zacherley, "Come With Me to Transylvania". (He had wooed her by singing this and Zach's "Howling At The Moon" when first they met.) Max later left a message with Zacherley to tell him of this. Coupla days afterwards, Zach called back and said he was thoroughly delighted to hear about it, laughingly telling Max that he had told his friends about it! Max and the Cool Ghoul talked about the wedding and reception, Zach's career and new CD release, and how much he enjoyed appearing onstage with Bobby Pickett for the first time.
Other music at the reception included Erich Kunzel's "Chiller" album of classics such as "Danse Macabre", music fom Zip Caplan's "Monsters and Heroes", the CD "Monster Party 2000"(including a cover of the theme from "Young Frankenstein"), and Verne Langdon's "Music for Zombies."
During Mr. Considine's visit to Pittsburgh, Max and his new father-in-law got along very well, as they both know every old joke ever told, and he and Max may have traded ALL of them. (Poor Jane! Her eye muscles got strained from all the eye-rolling she had to do!) Son and father-in-law also would sing old pop songs of the 30's and 40's at the drop of a hat, which was fairly often, since hats don't stay on severed heads too well.
The Severed Head has looked into work both in security (his previous line of work), and in meat-cutting, which has a nice Gein-ian sound to it. His search was hampered a bit as his car was stolen a week after the wedding, but it was recovered a few days later, somewhat the worse for wear but driveable.
The Voodoo Queen was off from work for over two weeks, but had little time to relax. After a trip to St. Louis to see friends of Max's, then one to his hilly Arkansas hometown to visit his family, (they could come not to the wedding-- probably a still had to be protected from "revenoo-ers".) Jane helped Max pack and load, then move to Pittsburgh. She and Max prepared for the wedding in a myriad ways, then after a happy wedding and a day and-a-half to themselves, Jane had to get ready to go back to work. The third day after the wedding, she was back in the trenches at Whole Foods, where the holiday season has kicked off. But she thrives there, the queen of cheeses and imported delicacies.
Max thrives on moving stuff into the new apartment from the old, refreshed by the occasional beverage labeled "O-positive."
Well, that's all the belated moving and marital news from this corner of the UMA community. Carpe noctem, fellow creatures.
That's the story! Now for pictures from the wedding! (Several from the reception look like we had no electricity, but it's just because we had a cheap camera.) Enjoy, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN, everybody!