The reception, a
buffet and dance, took place at the Kursaal, a large entertainment and
recreation center, and when the newlyweds entered, the brass band struck up The
Stars and Stripes Forever. There were about 300 guests, including Lord Killanin
and other aristocrats and dignitaries. But many members of the IOC staff,
including Berlioux, who thought "the whole thing was a farce," were
more notable by their absence. After the wedding the couple honeymooned to the
Land of the Midnight Sun. "Mariann and I shall know how to keep warm,"
Brundage said during a stop in Tromso, Norway. "After all, we are not
newlyweds for nothing."
The marriage was
apparently idyllic at first. Avery called Mariann Funny Face or Monkey Face.
They moved into a luxurious, $200,000 five-room apartment in
Garmisch-Partenkirchen with a marvelous view of the Bavarian Alps. They
traveled a good deal, most often to Chicago or California. But the travels
ended for a while, in January 1974, when he underwent an operation for
Ruegsegger's description, the life of the new Mr. and Mrs. Brundage was hardly
what it seemed. Ruegsegger testified against the Princess during the suit
involving the money she and Pate had spent when they were living together after
Brundage's death. Princess Reuss won despite Ruegsegger's attempt to
characterize her as a foul-mouthed, heavy-drinking spendthrift. For example,
Ruegsegger said that when he visited Brundage at the Munich clinic where he had
undergone the cataract operation, her vodka bottles littered the floor of the
room and that Brundage was in a "terrible mental state." Ruegsegger
said that Berlioux was also present when the old man, his eyes still bandaged,
pleaded that as soon as he could see, Ruegsegger should "come to Germany
and pick him up because he was scared to travel alone with his poor
Brundage's monthly expenditures before and after his marriage to the Princess,
Ruegsegger told the court, "When it was an Olympic year, it was more, but
generally speaking it was $7,500 a month maximum." After the wedding, he
said, monthly expenditures were so high that "the ship was sinking
described the marriage as "a disaster zone" and said that Brundage's
financial affairs "matched" the same state. He claimed that an average
of more than $85,000 a month had been spent in one 15-month period, including
$300,000 paid for jewelry that was later appraised at half that amount. "I
informed him in March  that he was bankrupt or near bankrupt," said
Ruegsegger. However, Ruegsegger did admit that this situation—a cash-flow
problem, really—was as much the result of economic conditions in the U.S. as of
testimony was quite different. For one thing, she didn't recall any vodka
bottles on the floor of Brundage's room. But she did concede that her alcoholic
intake then could be quite prodigious. She acknowledged that she kept vodka in
the freezer so that it could be poured "syrup-like" into the glass. She
admitted that at one time it was her routine to have a drink before lunch, then
sherry or wine at lunch, afternoon cocktails and finally wine with dinner,
followed by a postprandial brandy. As for Ruegsegger's description of their
lifestyle, she disagreed with his estimate of the Brundages' monthly expenses,
adding, "It wasn't my money. If he spent that money, I don't know."
In fact, there is
little doubt that the money was spent and that the Brundages lived very well.
But Ruegsegger's figures are misleading because he averaged not only the
one-time cost of the wedding, but also the price of the apartment and the
jewelry into the monthly expenses. Regarding these "tangible assets,"
Judge Patrick McMahon of the Santa Barbara County Superior Court said, "I
disregarded that large figure just for that reason." Princess Reuss'
attorney suggested that a more accurate figure was in the "mid-to-low
had recovered from his eye operation, he and the Princess began traveling
again, this time to Malaysia and Japan. Looking back on her marriage, Princess
Reuss said recently, "It's like someone had come to open the world to me.
He wanted to show me all the beautiful things in life. He introduced me to
Oriental art and the theater in London and, of course, there were all the
trips. He was a man who knew what he wanted, and one you very rarely find in
life. We complemented one another. Age was absolutely no problem."
In late April
1975, Brundage entered a Garmisch hospital for treatment of a heavy cough and
the flu, and while in the hospital, his heart failed. On May 8, 1975 he died.
He was 87 years old.
The Princess flew
back to Chicago with his coffin, and at the funeral she wept. Ruegsegger had
not seen his old friend for two months before he died, and he was sad about it.
"He must have been so pitiful at the end," Ruegsegger says. "He
said he was going to die and he wanted to thank me and say goodby. He asked for
me, but I never got the message. After he died, people asked, 'Why didn't you
come? He wanted you.' I hadn't known."