There are certain events, personal and public, remembered forever. We can recall them immediately and, no matter how young or old we were at the time, the events become imprinted permanently on our brain. For better or worse they shaped who we are today.
One of those events was the assassination of President Kennedy. I bet there are few Americans, old enough to understand what was happening at the time, who do not know exactly where they were and what they were doing when they found out Kennedy had been shot.
Then there are the inconsequential events we recall. One event epitomized the outrageous culture of the 1960s. You may have actually witnessed the event on TV, read about it, heard about it, talked about it, and viewed pictures of this major media event in the newspapers and magazines.
On December 17, 1969, between 20 and 50 million Americans (the number depending on which account you read) witnessed the marriage of Tiny Tim and Miss Vicki on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Thousands of tulips were imported from Holland for the occasion. Tiny Tim met his future bride at Wanamaker’s Department Store where Vicki patiently waited in line for Tiny’s autograph. Tiny Tim, born Herbert Khaury in New York City in 1932, became famous for his very high voice, his ukulele, and his recording of the song, “Tiptoe Through the Tulips”.
I honestly cannot remember if I watched the event live on TV. I was probably at college, getting ready for winter break, and may have sat in front of a small black-and-white TV in the dorm watching the nuptials. I can see the couple, sitting on Carson’s couch, and standing together. Whether I saw it live or later, I do not know. But I was aware of the momentous happening when it occurred.
At the time of their marriage Tiny Tim was 37 years old. Miss Vicki was just 17 years of age. Most of us have no idea what happened to the blissful couple after that very public ceremony. The marriage of Tiny Tim to Miss Vicki, aka Victoria Mae Budinger, lasted eight years. They had one daughter named Tulip.
Tiny Tim married again in 1984, to Miss Jan. Although the couple was legally married for ten years, they apparently never lived together.
Tiny Tim married a third and final time in 1995 to Miss Sue. They were married just 14 months before he died of a heart attack at the age of 64 in 1996.
Here is the interview with the newly married couple on The Tonight Show, immediately following the ceremony.
And on a totally different subject -