Modern Day Brady Bunch
15 year reunion unites two families.
Upon first glance, this blended Marblehead family conjures up images of a popular, albeit much less campy version, of a sitcom from the early 1970’s. Apart from names and lyrics, the melody is the same:
Here’s the story,
of a woman named Kathy,
Raising three babies under five
She packed the car one Friday
Determined that yes, she would survive
Here’s the story, of a man named Ted,
Who was busy with three girls of his own,
They were living west of Boston
When that Friday he decided-- not to be alone.
That Friday, both Kathy Sidford and William Truscott decided to go, (independently of one another), to their college reunion.
It was a Friday in May of 1998 when Kathy O’Connor Sidford and William Truscott both decided--rather spontaneously--to return to their alma mater in Middlebury, Vermont, to attend their the 15- year Middlebury College Reunion.
Less than ten months before, Sidford found herself in the midst of a divorce—a single mother of three, raising a boy, 5, and two daughters-- 3, and 10 months-old. Sidford made her decision, and was determined to attend her reunion at the school where she had met her soon to be ex-husband.
“I packed up all three kids, brought my sister Mary for emotional support, and drove four hours to Middlebury, Vermont,” Sidford recalls. “I wanted to prove to myself that my time at Middlebury was so much more than my ex-husband.”
It had been a long week for recently divorced William Truscott. He was on the road five days a week, sharing custody of his three young daughters, 9, 6 and 4. He found himself at Logan Airport late one Friday afternoon, wrestling with the following decision: drive four hours to attend his 15th Reunion at Middlebury, or fly home to New York City and skip it. A few short hours later, Truscott was headed north.
The first evening was an informal barbeque for arriving alumni and families. Sidford tended to her young children and did her best to connect with a few close friends and new acquaintances.
“I recognized Ted as soon as he arrived. He is quite tall, handsome and had shed some pounds since college. He had a navy blazer--a uniform for him I learned later—and was a tad overdressed for a cookout in Vermont,” Sidford noted.
Sidford remembers well how Truscott walked with confidence, and jumped right into family gatherings a few table away with ease. Sidford also noticed that he appeared to be alone.
Despite the excitement, the event was bitter- sweet for Sidford. The school environment and surrounding families served as a constant reminder of where Sidford had met the father of her children and what she had now lost.
“This is where my ex-husband and I had begun our lives together and now I was alone trying to soldier on. All around me I saw happy families, and I was struggling to keep a happy face on for my kids. They were too young to feel the same loss I was feeling,” she said.
While in a group discussion, when the inevitable subject of divorce came up and eyes turned to Sidford, Truscott discreetly took the spotlight off her, and turned it on himself, sharing his own experience—a welcomed deterrent, Sidford recalled.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” he offered. “I am divorced too, so I know how difficult it is.”
Saturday’s dinner shone a brighter light on the growing intrigue each showed for the other. Truscott waited for Sidford to arrive, and made sure she was seated at his table. Sidford was enamored with Truscott’s attention to children earlier that day, hers included. The setting allowed for intimate conversation, and Truscott confessed to having been interested in Sidford fifteen years earlier during their senior year.
“Apparently Ted was told I was practically married to a guy from the class of 1982. I was so flattered! Divorce is very tough on self-esteem, so to know that someone found me attractive then, or now, sure did give me a boost.”
The pair shared a short dance together before Sidford said good night. But when she went to check on her children, gentle persuasion from her sister was all she needed to rejoin the group. Sidford and Truscott were reunited at the next location. They danced to Frank Sinatra. And they danced some more.
In less than one week, Sidford and Truscott had scheduled a date see each other the following Friday night.
“Somewhere over the Midwest, Ted was calling me from the plane phone—remember those? Right then and there, I started falling in love with this guy,” Sidford said.
Ted Truscott and Kathy Sidford were married five months later by Betty Brown at Abbott Hall in Marblehead on October 20, 1998.
The rest of their song goes something like this:
Till one day when the lady met this fellow
And they knew it was much more than a hunch,
That this group would somehow form a family.
That's the way they all became the Truscott Bunch.
The Truscott/Sidford Bunch