I Do

….if I had thought to hop a bus to New Mexico, would I have done it? When the groom took a walk down the railroad tracks that last evening before he tossed his freedom, was hopping on a freight car a consideration? Isn’t life just full of decisions and choices?

I thought I had to go 500 miles to Cameron, IL to the home church which BTW had been replaced. Dumb move. Dumb. But here we go with the home town bit. I think it’s finally dawned on me after all the years that I had to prove to the classmates that yes, I could land an intelligent good looking man with no serious vision problems. I was 23, one of the last of our class of 40 to marry. Apparently an excellent choice, too.

We made it to Cameron that Friday afternoon. I wrote out the vows in the car. Mom was supposed to do my running around arranging the photographer, setting up the church, finding a florist….who knew the florist would be crazy with graveyard arrangements? It was only Memorial weekend. Duh. The order didn’t include the corsages and boutonnieres, and that nasty frazzled lady was yelling at me. Mom and my sister, armed with twist ties, were robbing bouquets. And the preacher chose this late date to counsel us. Stan’s still laughing.

The whole family came–Jack and Kay, Bob and Carla, Susie and Jeff, all of Don’s family, HD and Edna, and the Swicks. Here are some highlights:

Jaimie Swick, ring bearer, was hit in the face with a softball just before the ceremony. Big, red lip in all the pics. Gary Brock finally outran Kevin Brock and let him know it with a tackle. Margaret Swick, my sister and bridesmaid, was 4 months pg with Robin and was trying unsuccessfully to keep it a secret. Sharon Painter, my sister and bridesmaid, was too tall for her hemline–all my fault. I bought a blue and a pink in Minneapolis and mailed them. (eyes rolling). I told them to fix their hair in an updo with ribbons. (Looked good, Chag.) Marge Simpson comes to mind. The best man threatened to write “help me” on Stan’s shoes and spike the punch. Thunderstorms hit, lights went out twice–soloist and organist kept singing and playing and were still synchronized when the lights came back. Pianist didn’t like that I didn’t want “Oh, Promise Me” so it was an instrumental number. Photographer got caught in the rain and his equipment didn’t work right. (Taking pics before the wedding wasn’t big in 1973). Guests were leaving while we were struggling with picture taking. We had to hide Stan’s white ’69 Impala in Galesburg so the nephews wouldn’t bathe it in shaving cream and Lord knows what else.

When we arrived at our apartment Don and family had scrunched all our furniture into one bedroom.

Does anyone recall the last picture in our wedding album? It’s being included in the first Sunday service in June — wedding vow dedication day or something like that. People who have seen it don’t recognize us right away. Hmmm. Maybe it’s Stan’s sideburns and dark hair.

I feel so sorry for people whose weddings are huge, gorgeous, expensive, and flawless. Nothing to laugh about for decades and still counting. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

2 thoughts on “I Do

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