Recently we saw the passing of TV star Larry Hagman. Here is a tale complete with fond memories he left us with. Most of the viewing public remembers Larry from being JR on the TV hit Dallas others recall his early years in the TV show I Dream of Jeannie with Barbara Eden. Few know about his one visit to Central Florida where he not only visited but was the groom of a mock wedding of Major Nelson and Jeannie. The following excerpt is from this author’s book.
A mock wedding between Jeannie and Major Nelson was scheduled in Cocoa Beach on November 25th, 1969. This mock wedding was held at the Patrick Air Force Base Officers Club. Many dignitaries were there including the Governor of Florida Claude Kirk, Major General David Jones and astronaut Gene Cernan.
Accompanying Barbara was her real life husband Michael Ansara and other members of the cast including Larry Hagman , Bill Daily, Hayden Rorke, and Sidney Sheldon (creator of the show).
The three day event activities included a visit to the Kennedy Space Center. To get things kicked off right and as authentic as possible Ms Eden and Larry Hagman took out a wedding license at Cocoa Beach City Hall. Among the VIP guests Governor Claude Kirk was the first to arrive with Senator Beth Johnson, who had engineered the event. Over 400 guests were gathered at the wedding ceremony including 35 television writers from around the county.
The bride was lovely, her wedding gown a white satin pant suit with a beaded genie vest, cap, veil and the familiar Jeannie pony tail.
The groom Larry Hagman as Tony Nelson was attired in a navy Nehru suit with embroidered trim, a double strand of beads on his wrist and rose colored glasses – the glasses were for real,
“I can’t see without them,” said Hagman jokingly.
Official ceremonies included cake cutting by Gov. Kirk. He kissed Jeannie and said ,”It is my duty to kiss every bride in the state.”
Jeannie in turn presented Governor Kirk with a 200th anniversary medallion from the State of California.
At the reception Hagman was the center of attention. Known as Mr. Casual in the press he wore a Stetson, with a necklace made of horse teeth and wore Levis and cowboy boots. Playing a flute someone across the pool yelled, “What’s that Larry? ” It is a flute you dummy” retorted Larry. Hagman told reporters how he got his start in acting and movies in Miami, Florida. For some reason he wasn’t always considered credible in his discussions with the press.
Excert from the book “Jeannie Days Remembered” by Ray Osborne http://www.RayOsborne.com