April Fool’s Parties
… a retrospective

 

We were married on 01 April 1974 … April Fool’s Day. The significance of the date was because we kind of, sort of met at a concert on April Fool’s Day 1972 – the group was Emerson, Lake, and Palmer.

We had each gone to the concert with other friends from our college and all congregated way up in the stands of the Jacksonville Coliseum. Jeannie and I had met just briefly at school but hadn’t made much of an impression at the time.As the concert began, all of our friends drifted off to get closer to the stage and all of a sudden, Jeannie and I were together, all alone, listening to the incredible music. Between sets we talked and talked and the magic of the evening progressed. Before the concert was over we found ourselves holding hands.

It was that evening that we fell in love, and except for a few bumps here and there we have been in love ever since.So, we felt that it was such an auspicious date, we should get married on the first of April.

As we had been living together for over a year at that point, and on a tight budget, we thought that rather than a traditional honeymoon, we would have a party. Well it had to be an April Fool’s Party. You will see below most of the invitations that we created and their themes. They were designed to be somewhat cryptic, and to provoke both thought and creativity. The level of participation over the years by all of our friends was gratifying, even though they were often puzzled (as was the intent).

Enjoy these little markers of our lives together.

Click each invitation to see larger view.


 1974

Our first April Fools Party started after the wedding and reception. Rocks (and stones) of many varieties were brought by our friends.

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1975

We continued the theme of asking friends to use their imagination and bring something for our show and tell.

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1976-77

We moved from Jacksonville to Gainesville in 1977, and Chris went back to college for his BA and then MS. So we missed having our AFP for a couple of years (or we don’t remember and can’t find evidence with an invitation!)

1978

This was the first party away from Jacksonville. Though Chris was deep into his studies, we made the time for a grilling party.

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1979

It was time to take the party somewhere for an afternoon of fun and activities. No hot air balloons were involved but it made for a good theme!!

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1980

Another daytime party, we held this one at the beach. We rented a beach house near Washington Oaks State Park. It was a great place to party and enjoy the beautiful spring weather. The invitation was folded into a stamped paper bag which was then folded addressed and mailed.

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1981

It was time to again ask our friends to be creative as this year’s party returned to our home. Basically a costume/mask party.

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1982

Chris was completing his master’s degree, so this was the last party we held while living in Gainesville. Anticipating our move, we included a garage sale in the hope that our friends would buy some stuff to lighten our move!

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1983

We had moved to Apopka and started new jobs. Since Chris had completed college and the associated exams, we thought it would be fun to challenge our friends mentally by asking them to take a PEE or Party Entrance Exam!!

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1984

After several years of games, we returned to the theme of show and tell. It was quite interesting what some considered an “article of dubious relevance”!

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1985

Looks like we missed another year in 1985, and don’t remember why.

1986

Returning to the games theme, we proved that we’re never too old to play! It was fantastic, as our friends really showed their spirit with the exercises they put us through. We remember egg toss, chopstick-in-the-bottle, but the best was the synchronized-wading kiddie-pool event!

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1987

It was time to travel again, this time to one of Florida’s beautiful springs. But mother nature did not cooperate. After heavy rains, the park at the springs was closed. So we shifted our venue to the Chestnut Hill Farm, owned by long time friends. With the weather forecast for freezing, we helped our friends save their crop by covering the field with protective plastic. You just never know what activities will be involved with the AFP.

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1988

This year we did not have a party. We traveled to Australia and New Zealand, leaving April 1 and returned May 6. What a grand adventure!!

1989

Over the years, as our friends started their families, it was more difficult for folks to join us. So we planned this year’s party in 2 parts. The picnic at the state park during the day allowed children to attend. Then the adults shifted to our house for the evening (adults only) party.

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1990

After living in the Orlando area for 8 years (Disney World, Sea World…), it was time for an April Fools theme world. Don’t remember what was brought as “suitable to the theme”…

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1991-92

Jeannie lived in Atlanta for a consulting assignment in 1990- early 1991. Guess we were too busy catching up with living together again and missed a couple of parties.

1993

It was a late date for this party, guess we were out of practice, so this one was held in May. It was fun nonetheless .

 

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1994

This invitation was sent from Belize AFTER the Party date, hehehe. This April 1 was our 20th anniversary so it was time to travel somewhere interesting. We prepared the party and address labels to send from Belize but no one joined us (guess mailing the invitation after the day of the supposed event was not well timed!!)

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Detail of invitation

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1995-96

We did a bit of traveling and didn’t manage to organize a party either of these years. We were hoping absence would make the heart grow fonder so we would have a very strong attendance when the party resumed!

1997

This party included another foolish request to bring something to show. Our friends brought very interesting interpretations of questionable reality!

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1998-2001

These were busy years, with travel both for fun and Jeannie’s job. After almost moving to Bristol UK, we decided to move 3 miles down the road to a larger house in a great neighborhood.

2002

Since time had slipped away without a party for several years, we brought that into the theme for another “bring something” party at our home

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2003

We decided to engage another sense for this year’s event. Our friends entertained us with foolish noise…

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2004

Our home burned in December 2003, and we lived in an apartment while we rebuilt. This took a full year, and was the best excuse we’ve had to miss hosting the annual April Fools Party!

2005

Of course this year our theme had to reference the fire, with the usual request for friends to bring something to illustrate their response to our request.

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2006

The effort to rebuild our home was still fairly fresh in our minds and inspired this year’s theme. Our friends brought more interesting items to show and tell.

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2007

This was the year the government introduced the modified food pyramid so we decided to publish our own. A variety of food was brought and consumed!

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2008

While we were planning the event for this year, Jeannie’s mother passed away quite unexpectedly.

2009

We have been so fortunate with many years of love and foolishness; it was easy to decide this year’s theme.

 

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2010

We invited friends to bring foolish news.

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2011

All the reality shows on TV prompted this theme. We don’t remember who took the honor of “biggest fool”!

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2012

As Chris approached retirement, he was too busy working to restore his office to one that could be inhabited by his replacement. Actually, we don’t remember why we skipped the party this year.

2013

We traveled to China for our anniversary this year. No party was held, but you can read about our trip here

2014

More to come …

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2015 and beyond …

We don’t anticipate a party over the next several years as we will be traveling. To read about our travel adventures, follow us on our blog “Slow Nomads”.
Stay tuned though, as we may host another party from another country, or once we return to the US and settle down…

 Posted by at 3:54 pm