Frank Gifford was the one man Mom was allowed to genuinely fawn over in front of Dad. In today's terms, Frank would have been on her "exemptions" list. You know, where you can have a list of "celebrity exemptions" that, if they somehow show up in your life, you are allowed to have a little tete-a-tete with them....no questions asked. (Yes, she IS rolling over right now).
But, seriously, what I remember about Frank Gifford is Mom and Dad's sacred Monday Night Football Night dates. In Delavan, they watched the game in the basement with that (what we thought at the time was so cool) orange shag carpet. (As I look back, I actually believe that carpet was quite hideous.)
These date nights were highlighted by Merkt's cheese, Ritz crackers and, of course, Mateus wine. And, unless someone was bleeding from the head, we were NOT to interrupt.
Mother loved Frank Gifford almost as much as she hated Howard Cosell, which was a problem because Daddy LOVED Howard Cosell. They rarely missed a Monday night in front of the telly.
As a teenager, I paid little attention to these seemingly unimportant moments, which is too bad. I had no idea what an absolutely adorable couple they really were.
Rest in peace, Frank. As your partner in crime, Dandy Don, said many times and our father repeated oh my gawd nauseatingly way way too many times, "Turn out the lights, the party's over."