Galvanized Jazz Band at Aunt Chilada’s, Hamden, CT, June 19, 2016, celebrating Holman and Fran Rice 70th Wedding Anniversary, 1946 – 2016!
by Jean Hadley
photos by Angelo
The Band: Freddy Vigorito, Russ Whitman, Noel Kaletsky, Bill Sinclair, Joel Schiavone, Bob Bequillard, Art Hovey, Tom Artin, Cythia Fabian
As the Galvanized Jazz Band arrived, friends, fans and family gathered. It appeared we were going to have a packed house and an evening of much celebrating.
Balloons, posters, beads, cards, flowers, gifts, and parasols filled the room. Cameras were in abundance everywhere. This was going to be a night to remember.
Fran and Holman’s life started as youngsters in Maine, married after WW2, eventually finding their way to Connecticut, raised two boys and two girls. Their two girls live here in Connecticut and the two boys live in Arizona.
Fran and Holman are proof that through good times and bad, a positive attitude, perseverance, the importance of family and friends and, above all, love and prayers have kept Fran and Holman together for SEVENTY years.
They sang If I Had My Live to Live Over.
I met Fran and Holman when I was first introduced to OKOM, at the Millpond Tavern, here in Connecticut (Galvanized Jazz Band’s Sunday night gig.) Holman was 65 (on Medicare) and Fran was about to catch up the next year. Do the math! Holman will be 90 this year and next year Fran will enjoy her 90th.
Holman continues playing banjo and piano and belongs to the Elm City Banjo Society in his hometown of Wallingford, CT. Fran accompanies Holman at all his gigs and is his consummate supporter
The room was filling, with family and friends, gathering to celebrate Fran and Holman’s union of 70 years and, listen and dance to music of 1946. Indeed, Fran and Holman still cut a rug. Freddy did a splendid job in selecting the music and the band performed top shelf!
Here are some of the songs that brought back memories for so many sitting in the audience.
Old Fashion Love, A Sunday Kind of Love, Blue Skies, If I Had My Life to Live Over (sung by Fran and Holman,) Beale Street Papa, There are Smiles, When Your Old Wedding Ring Was New (sung by Holman to Fran) and, a very touching moment. There were many more numbers and some beautifully delivered by Cynthia Fabian.
It was time for the band to take a break and bring out the cake. What a cake! During this time, friends and family from as far as Arizona, surrounded the happy couple’s table to congratulate them on such a memorable achievement; a very special “moment in time” to remember.
After the well-wishers played tribute to Fran and Holman, the band resumed; playing numbers that brought parasols front and center. The audience went mad!! So many wanted to take part in the parasol parade, we ran out of parasols and space. Even Freddy joined us.
Freddy chose some great songs for the second set. Cynthia belted out You Gotta See Mama Every Night, Walkin’ After Midnight, Is You Is or Is You Ain’t and, several others; ending with Zippity Do Da just for Fran and Holman. And, of course, the standard closing number When the Saints Go Marching In….which brought out the parasol parade once again. The fans went wild and didn’t want the evening to end. What a wonderful evening….thank you band, Aunt Chilada’s, wait-staff and friends. It would not have been possible without you.
Remember, it is not how long we live but how well we live our lives. Fran and Holman are certainly a wonderful example of this.