My Story about Viv and Mack's Wedding including my cousin
Brenda Douglas

Vivien and Mack were married July 4, 1964; 55 years ago tomorrow. They left this life due to a car
accident October 14, 1967, along with their unborn child. I will attempt to remember some important
events on their wedding day.
       In 1964 I was single and living the St. Patrick Apartments in Houston, Texas just off the Gulf
Freeway, near Broadway. I began my teaching at Hartman Jr. High in 1962 and during the summer of ’
64 I was teaching summer school at San Jacinto High School where we registered 3000 + for summer
school. One of those registered was my cousin, Sam Farrell, who needed to gain some credits in
Sophomore English. His Mother and my Aunt Martha Farrell had agreed to let him stay with me and
attend summer school class. It was a big responsibility for this single guy and I took the responsibility
with all seriousness. Sam was 15 years old and at tough age for all teenagers. Sam had always
seemed more like a brother than a cousin, so I became the Big Brother for the summer. It was agreed
that Aunt Martha would help with my rent because I had lost my roommate due to his job transfer and
in addition, after Sam passed his course, we would go on a trip to visit kin folks in Tennessee and
Mississippi. Each day Sam road with me to San Jacinto and we both had homework when we returned
to our apartment. We had no major incidents other than, Sam had problems with English and because
the English teacher was a friend of mine, she cut him some slack. During this time period, July 4th,
1964, the date of Vivien and Mack’s wedding, was approaching. It was my duty to see that Brenda,
Aunt Fay’s youngest, was to be picked up so she could be one of the flower girls in the wedding.
Brenda was about 3, maybe 4 or 5, I cannot remember for sure. Apparently Uncle Bob and Aunt Fay,
could not take her. That is part of the story I do not remember. July 4th of course was a holiday and
Sam and I picked up Brenda on the 3rd of July at the Douglas residence near C. E. King PKG. Here I
was a 25 year old single guy, with the responsibility of a toddler and a teenager. I don’t remember
worrying about it, but do remember that I wanted everything to be right. We were to go to the Power’s
home in Pt. Neches and that is where Sam, Brenda and several others were to spend the night prior to
the next day wedding. My memory of what happened the night before the wedding has faded. These
are a few of the things I do remember. One of Mother’s good friends, Mrs. Menyard, was where some
of us were to spend the night because Mother had a full house. Part of the wedding party, which
included Mack, his best man, Al, and some of the bride maids decided they wanted to go to The Big
Oaks which was a club across the state line in Louisiana. I opted not to go, mainly due to the fact that
one of Vivien’s rainbow sisters (and bride maids) was too insistent that I go, so I thought it in my best
interest, not to go. The next memory I have is when the party returned from the Big Oaks in
celebratory mood. I am not sure how they found the Menyard’s home, but somehow they did. It
apparently was decided the boys would be at the Menyard’s and the girls at Mother’s There were not
beds for everyone, so pallets were the next best thing. However; Al, chose another place to rest his
head. I observed him sleeping in the bathtub. I don’t remember Al’s last name, but I know he was Mack’
s best man. I think Gerald McClain was also there. Well, after all it has been….55 years ago tomorrow.
       I think this happened the morning of the 4th, prior to the wedding. Those of you who know
anything about the Golden Triangle (Beaumont, Pt. Arthur, Pr. Neches) know that there are different
factories emitting various odors. As Bubba (Paul Jr. Powers) was driving around that morning with the
twins, Jan and Jill, me and Paul Sr. all of a sudden, Jill began crying. “What’s wrong, Jill?” Bubba
asked. “I smell something!!” and she did!! We got a good laugh out of that. Bubba, Rusty and the
twins were living in New Orleans at the time I think. Not sure where Johnny Kent was living at the time,
but I think he also came to the wedding. Earlier in the week a Melvin Powers was wanted in connection
with a crime. Bubba and family were staying in a Pr. Arthur motel and the local authorities and perhaps
the FBI came to investigate Bubba with the Powers name. Of course it soon was proven to be no
       The actual wedding, I remember very little, other than it was a beautiful ceremony and Mother, as
she did at all weddings, cried with happiness. I suppose I took Brenda home or Uncle Bob and Aunt
Fay picked her up, I cannot remember. Sam and I returned to Houston and we both completed
summer school. Aunt Martha, true to her word, took me, Sam, Trina Mommie and Granddaddy on a
trip to Mississippi and Tennessee where we visited with Henderson and Roberts’ kin. We traveled in
the Farrell’s new ’64 Ford Galaxy and had a great trip.