Left At The Altar

Little Old Lady Comedy

I heard my mother’s voice, “Owen, wake up!” It was early in June of 1970. It was graduation day. I had slept well the night before, even though I was pretty nervous. I looked at my reflection in the mirror, and saw a scrawny kid with dirty blond hair and a cowlick. My underwear always felt like they were about to slide off and only reminded me of my insecurities. (You know, the last one chosen when playing stickball.) I was also thinking about the next week and my fourteenth birthday, so I had a lot on my mind. Before I tell you about the ceremony, I must tell you about the practice sessions we endured the preceding week. They took place in Saint Francis Xavier Church in Park Slope, Brooklyn. A neighborhood best described as a melting pot of working-class immigrants.

The church itself is a historic structure built…

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