Today, July 31st, is the date my parents married way back in 1948. And I always think about them on this day.
I heard the story many times. They met in college and married when my dad graduated (he was a year behind Mom because of WWII and she taught school for a year while he finished up) Dad was from East Hampton but Mom was from Buffalo, so they were to be married in the big Baptist Church there where my grandmother was the organist. At this moment I am wracking my brain trying to remember the name of the church - I knew it for so many years and suddenly can't seem to come up with it. It no longer exists, but should be part of the story! Perhaps by the end of the blog it will come to me.
Anyway, my father's family made the long trek upstate, which is 1948 was not an easy one. My uncles and aunt were in the wedding, along with some of my parents' friends from college. I've seen the photos and it looked to be a lovely wedding party. The one thing that they talked about more than any other though was the heat. Apparently despite the fact that the wedding took place at 7:00 in the evening, it was brutally hot and humid, in the days long before air conditioned churches. Mom told me once that at one point the minister pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and handed it to my father because he was sweating so badly. Imagine being in a white dinner jacket with cummerbund and bow tie in that heat! Apparently they were also worried about people passing out.
Photos in the wedding album show the reception in the church hall and the happy couple leaving in their traveling clothes amid a shower of rice, her in her dark suit and huge white orchid corsage and him in his blue double-breasted number, both of them looking handsome and full of the hope and expectations of their age and the event. They had a simple honeymoon in a cabin someplace in upstate.
I remember the story and I replay it in my mind every year in honor of my parents and the optimism and love they shared at that moment, on that day, so many years ago. Life hits us all pretty hard with reality soon enough, but that was a magic day for them and so for me its a wonderful memory, even though I wasn't there.
Oh, and yes, it was the Prospect Avenue Baptist Church. If I ever get to Buffalo again I'm going to search it out and see what's there now. Because its really where my story, such as it is, began.