Bill and Orchid’s anniversary

I have friends, good ones, whose birthdays, anniversaries and other significant dates I simply cannot remember. But Bill and Orchid’s wedding date I remember, for really dreadful reasons.

Bill Anderson is now a well-regarded inker for a number of comics, some of which are listed here and here and here.

But when I first met him, he was just a (not too annoying) kid who wanted to draw. Eventually, he did some inking for Fred Hembeck, the late Raoul Vezina and others on some FantaCo publications. (Here’s one citation – the first item.) He also worked at FantaCo, doing mail order and occasionally working in the store when I worked there in the 1980s.

Don’t remember exactly when Bill started going out with Orchid, but I know it was by the time of my friend Norm’s 30th birthday some 18 years ago, because every picture I tried to take of them that night involved both of them hiding their faces, as though the camera were going to steal their souls.

After they were engaged, Bill asked me to be in the wedding. The day before the ceremony, Bill, the other groomsmen and I rode downstate for the rehearsal. Somebody, probably I, remembered that the next day was the second anniversary of Oklahoma City bombing and the fourth anniversary of the Waco disaster. What made this slightly creepy was the fact that some pilot and his plane had disappeared. Conspiracy theorists on the radio were speculating that perhaps the plane was in hiding to be launched as a weapon on the anniversary of these two events. I was not, and am not, much of a conspiracy theorist myself, but I admit the plane’s disappearance did cause me pause. (Some time later, the plane and its deceased pilot were found crashed into a mountain.) So the guys were in an interesting frame of mind when we got to the church.

Meanwhile, Orchid and her entourage arrived separately. The guys were a few minutes late, but the women about 45 minutes tardy. The priest implored us to be on time the next day for the 3 pm wedding, because there would be a 5 pm church service.

So, the next day, the guys are at the sanctuary in plenty of time. The women were “running a few minutes late”, each call explained. The priest, while saying nothing (other than “Where ARE they?”, repeatedly), was clearly becoming apoplexic. Finally, around 4:05, the women arrived, and the service began. This was a Catholic service with mass, communion and the like. The priest buzzed through the ceremony in record time, just as the parishioners for the 5 pm service were beginning to file in. I’m pretty sure there were no pictures taken at the church, only at the reception.

So, today, Bill and Orchid celebrate ten years of married bliss, with three kids, still (understandably) occasionally late. We’re still in regular contact. Happy anniversary!

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