Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Thursday, December 20, 2012

What I Remember about 20 December 1969

Our wedding day.  Forty-three years ago today ...

  • It was cold.  Icy in Akron, Ohio.  My grandmother Osborn fell on the ice the day before, broke her arm, kept the news from us as best she could.  She didn't want anything to detract from "our day."
  • My uncle, Dr. Ronald E. Osborn, delivered the remarks on the occasion.  In his talk he quoted from Mark Twain--from a work I didn't even know existed at the time, "Extract from Adam's Diary."  Standing at the grave of Eve, Adam says, "Wheresoever she was, THERE was Eden."
  • We were married in Concordia Lutheran in Akron.  Later, I learned that Joyce's ancestors, stonemasons, had helped erect the building.
  • The service was very traditional.  No hippies with maracas, no vows taken from The Prophet.
  • My uncle Ronald's daughter, Virgina, his only child, had been killed just two years earlier in an automobile accident.  A stellar student, she was on her way during spring break from Stephens College to stay with friends.  On a Missouri highway, a man in another car had a heart attack.  His car drifted into the path of my cousin's.  She was the only fatality.  Several others survived.  Our wedding was horribly difficult for my uncle, for my aunt Naomi.
  • My ushers included my two brothers, Dick and Dave, and college friends Bill Smith, Don Bartlett, Claude Steele.
  • I wept throughout the service.
  • So did my brothers.  (We share a Weepy gene.)
  • I barely knew Joyce's bridesmaids (who were nothing like the ones in the recent eponymous film).  They were friends from high school and college.  They eyed me warily ...
  • I barely knew Joyce.  We had met just five months earlier.  (A story for another day.)
  • Joyce's friends and family weren't all that sure about me.  I don't blame them.  I'm not too sure about me, either.
  • We had the reception at the gatehouse at Stan Hywet.  Because my grandmother didn't drink,  Joyce and I didn't either.  Our champagne was fizzy grape juice.
  • A couple of Aurora families were there.  Dr. Fred Bissell went around the room and collected cash for us, affixing bills to a little Christmas tree.  It came in handy on our otherwise ill-financed honeymoon trip to New Orleans.
  • Joyce spoke on the phone with Paul Steurer, her cousin, who was in med school at OSU and taking exams.  He was like her brother.  But he couldn't make the wedding.
  • We fed each other cake.  Laughing.
  • Oh, here's something I just remembered that makes me blush: I had seen an episode of My Three Sons about one of the sons getting married (was it Tim Considine?  I think so!).  In that episode, he thanks his dad, as they wait to enter the ceremony, for making him worthy of his bride.  I liked that.  I said it, word for word, to my own father as we waited to enter.  He gave me an odd look ... had he seen the episode, too?
  • Joyce is a wonderful dancer; I am not.  Picture our dance together ...  Now delete that picture.
  • I had hidden our car--a 1969 VW Fastback--so that my waggish friends would not decorate it.  And they didn't.
  • At some point we departed for our first stop, the Holiday Inn North in Columbus, Ohio, about 100 mi away.  Not smart on a winter's eve.  But we made it safely.  Rice fell from my clothing inside the motel room.
  • And so commenced a most wonderful forty-three years ...