Thirty-eight years ago, Amy Seiber Davis stood by me in the living room of Rev. Lawrence Jackson in Alton, Illinois, and repeated the words required by law to get married.
Jackman had his wife, kids and pets witness the second marriage for both of us — a marriage that our friends,, acquaintances and readers of my newspaper column in The Telegraph predicted would probably not last more than a year.
Amy’s mother warned her that I “had a reputation” as a hell-raising womanizer and newspaperman who worked hard and partied even harder.
Some friends put up money in a pool on how short the union would last. No one ever collected.
I fell in love with Amy because she is a strong, independent woman. She is an actress who was the resident heroine in the melodramas at the Goldenrod Showboat in St. Louis and has appeared in plays, commercials and other productions over the years. She worked with Al Pacino on a presentation honoring the legendary Lee Strasberg at the Lincoln Center in New York City.
I didn’t make life easy for Amy, especially during the first 15 years. My drinking, which began when I was a 15-year-old student in Floyd County High School, increased and Amy began going to meeting of Al-Anon, a AA-support group for those dealing with a drinker in their lives. She was about two weeks away from leaving me when an intervention showed me what I had become and I took the first step in recovery by attending my first AA meeting on June 6, 1994.
I haven’t drank since and a bronze chip with roman numerals that show 23 years of sobriety goes with me all the time.
Twenty-three years is an important time period in my life, but 38 years with the woman I love, who is my partner and my best friend is much more.
That 38 years is 456 months or 1,976 weeks or 13,538 days — including 10 extra days for leap years. Those 13,538 days equal 324,912 hours or 19,494,720 minutes together as man and wife.
Time, somebody once said, flies when you’re having fun.
We’ve had lot of fun over those minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. We’ve traveled the world together. I’ve photographed her riding a camel just outside of Jerusalem, visiting the catacombs of Rome, walking among volcanos on the big Island of Hawaii, in London on New Year’s and many other places.
We had dinner with former Texas Gov. John Connally in Albuquerque as he privately expressed doubts about the Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John Kennedy. We danced at presidential inaugural balls and attended the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Former New York Yankee home run champion Roger Maris pinched her butt at a reception that also included Whitey Ford, Johnny Bench and other baseball greats.
We’ve had rough times as well but we have faced those challenges together and, I hope, have emerged stronger with a bond that holds us together.
Happy anniversary to my wife, my partner, my friend and the love of my life.