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by Abigail Van Buren

Couple's 44 Years of Bliss Begin in Ladies' Lounge

DEAR ABBY: Can you stand one more letter about crazy wedding nights? My mother and dad have repeated this story often. Dad had relied on close friends to reserve the bridal suite in the Mallory -- a lovely old residential hotel in Portland, Ore. As it turned out, the friends didn't think it was necessary to make reservations, so they didn't bother. Well, as luck would have it, there was a plumbers' convention in town that week and, needless to say, every hotel was filled to capacity.

The manager of the Mallory was gracious enough to find them a place to sleep for the night. The first "room" they were offered was a closet under the stairs with no ventilation. The second option was the Women's Lounge located on the main floor of the hotel right off the lobby. They chose the lounge.

The management brought in two roll-away beds and hung a "CLOSED" sign on the door. Dad said he unscrewed hundreds of light bulbs from around the vanity mirrors because he couldn't find the light switch to turn them off.

My folks said there were about eight toilets in the room, and they never used the same one twice.

All night long women were knocking on their door -- trying to get in to use the restroom. They didn't get much sleep, but they had a lot of laughs and made the best of the situation.

Their union produced five children, and lasted until mother's death six months ago -- one month short of their 44th anniversary.

Dad's name is Leo Kacena. Mother's name was June. I'm their daughter. -- JOY SPRINGER, BELLFLOWER, CALIF.

DEAR ABBY: I read with sorrow your reply to "Forever a Baby" who couldn't understand why parents worry so much. You said, "It's every parent's nightmare that their child will be badly hurt or killed in an automobile accident." How true.

We worried about our two sons. One was fairly cautious -- the other was a speeder. We got them through high school and thought we were home free.

On April 8, our youngest son decided to ride to town with a friend who had been drinking. The friend drove too fast, and both were killed in a one-car accident.

To "Baby" I say, "Be glad you have parents who worry about you and have rules."

We will never be the same. -- HEARTBROKEN IN TEXAS

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: Please accept my condolences on the tragic loss of your beloved son. Perhaps your letter will serve as a reminder to others to be cautious about those with whom they choose to ride.

I recall an impressive ad promoted by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers: "Good friends don't let friends drive drunk!"

Hot off the press -- Abby's new booklet, "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

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