GLOUCESTER CITY NJ: In the 50's and 60's it was common practice for many teenagers and young adults (both sexes) in South Jersey and Philly to "crash" a wedding reception on Saturday night. It was the thing to do. It didn't matter whether or not you knew the wedding couple. Some of us were as young as 16 when we started our career as a professional "wedding crasher".
You got dressed up in your best suit and tie, girls would wear a nice dress and heels. We would all meet at the pool room on Burlington Street, or one of the local bars in town, and then head out to the event as a group. Once you got inside you would mingle in with the crowd, act like you knew everyone. If someone ask you who you were, you would say, "I am a cousin of the bride or groom."
The professional crashers, (guys or girls who had at least one year of experience) would show up at the reception with a white envelope containing a card (nothing inside it) addressed to the "Happy Couple". Jack "The Rat" Hargraves went as far as wrapping up an empty box in wedding paper with a ribbon and bow. The "Pro" would also get in line to dance with the bride. In those days local fire halls were a favorite spot for newly weds to hold their receptions. Sometime in the summer, after the reception ended, some of us would head to the Camden County Park swimming pool, King Street and the Delaware River (located were Proprietor's Park is today) jump the fence and go swimming buck naked. Others would go to Dick Lees Night Club, on Route 130 in Brooklawn, or the Harvard House in Westville to see Billy Harner and his band (the human percolator) or the Crown Point to dance to the music provided by The Temptations.
Pictured above at a Saturday night wedding reception (taken sometime around 1965 or 1967) are : from left, George Cleary, (look close you can just see him) Ed Simila, Lou Grello, Bob Seufert and John Azzari, all from Gloucester City. The young ladies are unknown. And I don't know who got married that day. The guys were about 21 to 23-years- old at the time.
submitted by an Old -Time- Gloucester Guy
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