The Celebrated Hensleys

Today, September 29 happens to be my birthday. The way I remember that is that the same date is also our wedding anniversary. Let me tell you about that.

58 years ago today, I married, I got hitched to, I plighted my troth with, entered into a lifetime contract with, joined up with, made myself one with, betrothed, became a marital partner with, and espoused, and hooked up in holy matrimony with a beautiful woman with red hair whom I was lucky to discover in the wilds of Indiana. 

She was busy. In college, she had appeared in operas at the Indiana University Opera Theater (including, notably. as a pregnant flower maiden in Wagner’s Parsifal). Then, the summer before our marriage, she appeared in musical theatre around the eastern US, appearing in Rosalinda with Kathryn Grayson, Steve Lawrence in Pal Joey, and Giselle MacKenzie in Gypsy. After we married, she recorded vocals on radio jingles for me. 

Then we moved to California, and she quickly found work singing with the Los Angeles Camerata, including doing a notable direct-to-disk recording of the choral movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. She sang with a chorus of New York session singers, joining us in our performance for Liberty Weekend, marking the grand reopening of the Statue of Liberty in 1986. 

She also found time to give birth to our two children and was the most important component of our wacky life together in Hollywood. 

We made a big fuss in 2012, when we celebrated our 50th aniversary, with a backyard full of friends being serenaded by a mariachi band, and have continued to celebrate in the eight years since then. 

In 1982, when we were still getting acquainted, and had only been married twenty years, a good friend named Joshua Freilich persuaded his good friend, Phil Hartman, to help us celebrate by putting together the attached video, which tells the story of our marriage more entertainingly, if less accurately, than we could tell it ourselves. It has not been seen in years, until now, so I’m sharing it with you to honor Phil Hartman. who really should be with us today, but is not. RIP, Phil.

No gifts are required. We've got too much stuff already.