26 March 2012


Our wedding, with its surrounding circumstances, was moderately chaotic and fraught with heightened emotion - as weddings are wont to be.

We had little money, and would be paying for it ourselves.  My own instinct - showing that my personality hasn't changed in this respect - was for a tiny wedding.  Just get married, and what was all this fuss about!!  Susan was very patient with me (another thing that has not changed) and said that she didn't want to cut everyone out.  We compromised and had, I suppose, something like 80-90 guests.

Susan's mother came over for the wedding - did any of my family?  I blush (not terribly strongly) to say that I don't know.  This puts the fact that I did not think that my parents had attended my and Edna's wedding (which I maintained until Susan showed me photographs of that wedding with my parents in the photographs) into an interesting light.  The charitable explanation would be that I am suffering from Alzheimer's; the likelier one is that I pay little attention to things around me that don't seem important to me.

Our wedding was to be at International Baptist Church, where we were members.  Susan wanted it to be at 8 o'clock in the morning, with the only reception to be a morning tea in the church hall afterwards.  Starting time of many things in Hawai'i is often early - lectures and many work times start at 7:30AM, and early weddings are quite usual.  The time was attractive, and gave the rest of the day for us - and avoided having to provide a meal - or liquor (it is likely, also, at this time, that I had tentatively decided - being influenced by a common Baptist opinion - that alcohol was, if not always immoral, nevertheless never a good thing).

Don Topping - who would have been my thesis adviser if I had ever got 'round to writing it - exclaimed, when I told him the time, "Eight o'clock in the morning??!!  I won't bother going to bed the night before!"  It is, nonetheless, a fact that, much as I am what is often called a "morning person," our motivation was to save money.  Other things we did to save money were:
  • A friend in the church - I have forgotten his name; Paul something, I think - ran a flower shop.  He provided the flowers and all the decorations at cost.  Paul was one of the top florists in Honolulu and did decorations for the governor's events.  The results, Susan tells me, were beautiful.
  • Rings - another friend in the church - whose name - sigh! - I have forgotten - had a jewellery store.  Susan had a ring from her great-aunt that had a diamond in it.  Our jeweller friend sold us rings and set the diamond, again, at cost.
  • Susan's friend Lee Polish-last-name (well, at least I remembered her first name!) was an accomplished amateur photographer.  You may infer what she did :-)  She gave us the negatives (which, I suppose, Susan still has around somewhere).
  • Dinner for the wedding party - we had a close friend from the encounter group days, Vicky Clarke.  Vicky had been quite hurt when we left the encounter group, as betraying a friendship.  She was, I think, a fairly unbelieving Episcopalian.  Through us she became evangelical (Baptist?), ended up working for Campus Crusade for Christ, I think.  Her mother, who had a huge house (probably late 19th or early 20th century) up in Nu'uanu Valley, was hostess for the whole party (about 25 people, I think).
  • Susan's mother made the cake - the cakes, actually!  She stayed in Susan's house at 2971 Koali Road, and baked.  The cakes were mango cakes - think, not of ripe mangos, but of carrot cake, with grate green mangos providing the 'carrot.'
  • The dress - Susan's rich Chinese friend at the bank had had her wedding dress made by Priscilla of Boston (who made Jacqui Kennedy's dress) turned out to be the same dress size as Susan!
And so forth.  Kathy Golden (now Kathy Ehrmann), whom I have mentioned, was Susan's Maid of Honour (if that is the right term - I must get Susan to edit this before publishing it :-); Bob Feldhan was my Best Man.  Pastor Jim Cook married us.

Well, but those chaotic moments?

Sue's mother was quite upset in a number of ways.  Sue's father had not come.  He had deliberately not come.  He and Sue's mother were, by then, either divorced, or on the way to a divorce.  I am absolutely certain that his not coming was not intended as a gesture of hostility against Susan's mother, but as an act of delicacy.  Nevertheless, that was, surely, upsetting.

And, I have no doubt, Sue's mother was not terribly taken with me, and nor do I blame her.  I had, I think, improved somewhat from the coarse and thoughtless person who had been Edna's bridegroom.  Nevertheless, I was bossy, pushy, and loud.

For whatever reason, Sue's mother, who had rushed into the church hall after the ceremony to finish decorating the cake, was near to being unable to bring herself to face people at all.

That crisis was dealt with, and the morning tea was, in fact, lovely.  Many of my close University friends were there, and Susan's friends from both her jobs, and our mutual Campus Crusade friends as well.  Our car was, of course, tin-canned as we drove away - and went to Mrs Clarke's house.

Where, again, there were difficulties.  Again, Sue's mother was upset and did not want to face people.  Before posting this I will see if Sue has anything to add (she didn't!).

We had only a long week-end for our honeymoon - went off to a motel in Laie, where I promptly managed to get violently ill from food-poisoning - and returned to live together in Koali Road - Sue's housemate Cary Street had moved out.  I went back to my studies.  I was definitely going to finish my PhD in linguistics.  But, having done that, it was my intention to go to Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland, Oregon (I had written away for their calendar) and become a Baptist minister.

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