Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hey Buddy, Wanna Move Out of the Picture

Thomas Williams and Mary Beth Dolan
August 23, 1975

It just never seemed to get old - even now almost four decades after the fact. Almost without fail, whenever a family group picture was to be taken, someone would bring it up again. It was always funny, and no one had more fun with it than Tom.

The details are a bit fuzzy and may have been embellished a bit over the years (something Tom was pretty good at himself!), but as the story goes: it was our wedding reception in Montello at the Buffalo Lake Lodge. The photographer (his name was Norbert Netz, step-father of good friend, Mark Braun), was taking a number of outdoor family shots. It was time for the Dolan side picture and we were getting it together and almost ready to shoot when it happened. The exact words are long-lost and may have been something different, but it went something like this: "Hey Buddy, wanna step out of the picture." He was referring, of course, to Tom, all gussied up in his white leisure suit. Not sure what Mr. Netz thought, and the situation was quickly remedied, but everyone had a good laugh - not only that day, but many times over.

I couldn't even tell you anymore which picture is the one in question. It has yet to be scanned and right now is packed away in a moving box. The one above was also taken that afternoon, and by that time Tom obviously was recognized as a legitimate member of the family. It is a classic! Tom and Mary were married a couple of months later.

I miss you already, Tom. And when the next family picture gets taken, and how ever many more there may be after that, I'll have a smile, and might even sneak in a "Hey, buddy, wanna step out of the picture."

UPDATE to "Hey Buddy, Wanna Move Out of the Picture

In the comments below I have updated - or should I say - corrected the story. Although Norb, the good old photographer was there taking pictures that day, it was cousin Warren who asked Tom to step out of the picture. I think that makes the story even better! Note well the picture below. Many years later, the unknown Tom at our wedding in 1975 and the innocently unknowing Warren, were captured in this great photo (by me) at Tom's daughter, Erin's wedding. Who knows - maybe they were having a good laugh over that day in Montello way back in '75. A classic moment - I think! 

(Thanks KT for finding the photo!)


  1. Haha... Yeah. Tom never let a good joke die. :-)
    I love his hair and suit in this one.

  2. Tom just told this story at Thanksgiving!

  3. Thank you Uncle John for reminding me and immortalizing that classic story

  4. I stand corrected. My brother and sister have straightened out a big detail. Norbert Ness was the photographer, BUT he was not the one who asked Tom to step out of the picture. It was actually cousin Carol Henrich's husband, Warren Henrich. He didn't know Tom very well either apparently. In fact, most of the relatives had not met Tom yet, I guess. Actually this makes the story even better!

  5. A classic story that I enjoyed hearing Uncle Tom tell many times. And it always got laughs. HE always got laughs-what a gift he had for making others smile and laugh!
    I absolutely love the suit and hair in this picture!

  6. I love the update and especially that picture with Warren.

  7. Yeah im signed in ! Tom is probably retelling the story !

  8. "Hey Warren, remember that time you told me to get out of the picture. What was that all about anyway....You don't even remember, do you?!"

    "Ha,ha, ha, ha. Yeah, I remember, Tom.. I was just messing with you. And by the way, nice big boy suit ... compared to that hippie polyester thing you had on back at John's wedding."

  9. The new picture is a great addition!