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Father of the Bride - Acting Edition Paperback – January, 1998
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About the Author
From an early age, Edward Streeter (1891-1976) had an affinity for writing. He edited the school paper and the class book at the Pomfret School, and he was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Lampoon until he graduated in 1914.
From Harvard he went to work for a building-supply business in Buffalo, but he soon began to write for the Buffalo Express. He continued to contribute articles to the Express while he was stationed on the Mexican border with the New York National Guard. It was there in his division's newspaper that the first of his famous "Dere Mable" columns appeared. In 1918 Streeter published a collection of these columns, Dere Mable: Love Letters of a Rookie, which became a bestseller while he was away fighting in France. He wrote three sequels: That's Me All Over, Mable (1919), Same Old Bill, Eh, Mable (1919), and As You Were, Bill (1920).
Though he still published stories in magazines, Streeter gave up the literary life to become a successful banker. After eighteen years, Streeter published Daily Except Sundays and began his second career as a satirist, following in the footsteps of contemporaries like Robert Benchley and Ogden Nash.
In 1949, Streeter published Father of the Bride. The book was a major success, selling more than seventy thousand copies and becoming one of the year's top-ten bestsellers. In 1950, Father of the Bride enjoyed more celebrity when it was made into a film starring Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor.
Streeter went on to write six more books: Skoal Scandinavia (1952), Mr. Hobbs' Vacation (1954), Merry Christmas, Mr. Baxter (1956), Chairman of the Bored (1961), Along the Ridge (1964), and Ham Martin, Class of '17 (1969).
As a humorist, Edward Streeter enjoyed only modest celebrity, but his most famous work, Father of the Bride, has lasted the ages. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Chapter 1: THE GREAT DECISION
No matter what Kay might have done about marriage it would not have been looked upon with any great favor by Mr. Stanley Banks, merely because he happened to be fonder of his first-born than he realized.
During her teens he had dismissed all aspirants with a contemptuous snort. From the time that Kay had first revealed herself to the social world, minus a mouthful of braces and plus a permanent, leggy adolescents with porcupine hair had begun to beat a path to 24 Maple Drive. Mr. Banks had regarded these inarticulate sufferers with a jaundiced eye.
If they caused him any uneasiness it had been wasted. Not that Kay spurned male attention, but, during those exciting days, she preferred it to be universal rather than specific. Nature had endowed her with what amounted to a season pass to every dance, sporting event and week-end party that her strength permitted -- and she had the stamina of a six-day bicycle rider.
She was also restrained by an early infatuation for her English teacher, a brilliant young man with large front teeth and a tendency to stomach ulcers, who had once told her that she had an intellect. This otherwise unconfirmed diagnosis gave her secret ambitions. The result was that the youths who fluttered around her with such uncoordinated eagerness seemed callow to her beautiful blue eyes. Lord Byron and Leonardo da Vinci being dead, the field had struck her as limited.
And so the tender years had slipped by. With their passing Mr. Banks' emotional pendulum had swung the other way. He found himself wondering what was wrong with the child. What was it that caused men to bob into her life for a few brief weeks or months -- and then disappear forever? She couldn't go on being a bridesmaid until she was an old lady!
It worried him and unconsciously his attitude changed, even toward Kay's most casual acquaintances. Unlike the old days, when he had been curt, suspicious and, on occasions, frankly hostile, he now began to receive them with an open-armed cordiality that would have driven any alert young male out into a snowstorm.
Then suddenly -- without warning -- it was obvious that something was happening to Kay. Some alchemy was at work within her. There was a light in her eyes that none of Dr. Barnes' vitamins had ever kindled. The fashionable, dead-pan expression that she usually wore for home use was replaced with a radiance that made her, at times, almost a stranger to Mr. Banks.
"What's gotten into Kay, Ellie? She acts queer to me."
"I don't know," said Mrs. Banks. "Maybe she's in love."
Mr. Banks made noises of contempt. "In love! Who would she be in love with?"
"I haven't the wildest idea."
"Nonsense," said Mr. Banks. "You must have some idea."
"Well, do you remember that about two weeks ago Kay said she'd met a boy named Buckley Something-or-other at a cocktail party?"
"Never heard of him," said Mr. Banks.
"Of course you have, dear. Don't try to be stupid. And do you remember that a few nights later he came here to take her to some cocktail party?"
"You don't mean that big overgrown ham with the shoulders? Listen, Ellie, you women jump at the damnedest conclusions. Just because a man -- "
"All right. I'm wrong. You just wait and see."
They waited, and as the days passed it became apparent that Buckley was coming more sharply into focus. His name crept into Kay's chatter with increasing frequency, though always casually. It had never been very clear to Mr. Banks just where Kay spent her time, but wherever it was Buckley evidently spent his there also. Furthermore, he was apparently a young man with decided views on everything from football to God -- views which, for Kay's money, had not been equaled since the Delphic oracles went out of business.
Mr. Banks felt a resurgence of his old attitude. This new moth, which was beginning to fly so close to the flame, became definitely distasteful to him.
"I don't think much of that fellow," he said to Mrs. Banks after Buckley had spent a painful ten minutes in the living room waiting for Kay.
"I don't know, dear," said Mrs. Banks. "Why don't you just leave Kay alone and let her work things out for herself?"
"I'm not interfering with her," said Mr. Banks crossly. "You're the one that's always worrying."
A hush of anticipation had fallen over the Banks family as in a theater just before the curtain rises -- but nothing happened. Kay continued to look dreamy. Buckley, during his brief appearances, maintained his air of uneasy aloofness. After a few stiff moments they would both rush, unleashed, into the night.
Then, unexpectedly, the storm broke.
They were gathered round the dinner table on one of the increasingly rare occasions when Kay ate at home.
"Where are the boys?" asked Mr. Banks.
"They've gone to a night game with Joe Stanley," said Mrs. Banks. "They couldn't wait for dinner. Ben said they'd pick up something to eat in town."
"Don't those two boys ever stay at home for a meal?" grumbled Mr. Banks.
Kay sighed. "Ben's not a boy, Pops. He's a man. He's old enough to have a family."
"Well, Tommy isn't," said Mr. Banks. "He's in high school and he's supposed to stay home nights and do some work."
"Oh, by the way, Mom, that reminds me. I won't be home this weekend," said Kay.
"Where are you going, dear?" asked Mrs. Banks.
"I'm going to spend it with Buckley's family."
Mr. Banks dropped an unbroken cracker into his soup. "Look here," he asked, "are you going to marry this character?"
"I guess so," replied Kay. She continued to work on her soup. Her tone had been so even and casual that the import of her words did not immediately register, and the conversation threatened to end on this simple note. As a matter of fact it did for quite a while. Nothing could be heard but the thoughtful intake of cream of tomato.
Mrs. Banks broke the silence. "And when," she asked with timid sarcasm, "are you thinking of getting married?"
"I really don't know, Mother. It all depends on Buckley's plans." Kay's voice was that of a tired kindergarten teacher. "It might be months or it might be in a few weeks -- or it might be just any time at all. We can't tell yet. And there's one thing -- we won't be pinned down. Buckley's very decided about that sort of thing. He just won't be pinned down."
Mr. Banks felt his neck begin to push against his collar. He took a long drink of water. "I hope," he said in a strained voice, "that Buckley won't think I'm nosy or trying to pin him down if I ask a few simple questions."
Kay looked bored. "O.K., Pops. I suppose we have to go through this. It does seem to me, though -- "
"Well, to begin with, who the hell is this Buckley anyway?"
"Now, Pops, please. If we're going -- "
" -- and what's his last name? I hope it's better than his first one."
"Pops, I'm not going to sit here -- "
" -- and where the hell does he come from -- and who does he think is going to support him? If it's me he's got another guess coming. And who in God's name -- "
Mrs. Banks interrupted. "Stanley, nobody's deaf and you don't have to swear every other word. It's just plain mortifying with Delilah in the kitchen listening. You don't give Kay a chance. Let her -- "
At that moment Kay, the darling of his heart, turned on him for the first time in her life. "Listen, Pops, I'm twenty-four years old and Buckley's twenty-six and we're grown people -- and as far as your supporting Buckley, I'll tell you right now he's the kind that wouldn't let anybody support him. He'd rather die first.
"That's the kind of person he is. He's a wonderful person. He's the kind of a person that's absolutely -- I mean absolutely -- independent. The kind that will always tak --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Hot Toasty Rag, May 15, 2017
Dozens of jokes have been inspired by the proverbial “nervous bride”, but what about the man in the...Read more
you'll love the original book! Easy, enjoyable reading.