When Jim asked me to marry him, I was a freshman at Rhode Island School of Design. We drove to Cape Cod for our first romantic weekend alone together. And on a windy winter’s night Jim played a melody he had written for me called, “Ingrid”, a forerunner to Time in a Bottle. He placed a diamond engagement ring on my finger, one he had saved for with great pride.
Then in 1966 Jim Croce and I were married at our family’s home. We exchanged our vows under a huppa, a traditional Jewish wedding canopy, in what was once Dick Clark’s back yard. While I was away at college, Jim had studied with Rabbi Kaplan, and on his own decided to convert to Judaism. During Jim’s personal “excommunication”, my dad and Jim spent many long hours discussing psychology, philosophy and religion and were becoming father and son.
At the same time Jim was becoming a Jew, I was away at the Rhode Island School of Design investigating Italian cooking and Christianity. In many ways we were trading places. I was intrigued by the mystery of pizza and the Catholic church and Jim was drawn to the freedom and education of my heritage.