Easter Sunday, St. Francis Xavier
My grandfather’s funeral took place on a cold January day in 1972. But it wasn’t so cold as to require a coat, and that secretly delighted me, despite the sadness of the occasion. I was twenty-one and had come back from college for the day to my small, upstate New York hometown. Since I didn’t own anything black I was wearing a suit I’d borrowed from a school friend: a black, Carnaby Street number so highly styled it could have been a costume for a Beatles movie-a long, Edwardian jacket with pinched waist, stand-up collar, and flared cuffs, plus bell-bottom pants, worn with a white turtleneck. I didn’t want a coat to cover up all this drama, and sure enough, when I walked down the aisle of the hundred-year-old, white clapboard church of my childhood, St. Mary’s and St. Andrew’s, I could tell that people were noticing.