South Euclid, Ohio.
Well, the wedding is over. Each of us is still all in one piece. During this past hectic week we expected to be laid low today with nervous protraction. The boys (our boys) were ushers last night at our modest home wedding. They and the bride-elect had worked out every detail of the seating arrangement. They certainly took their job seriously; quite a contrast to the planning a week ago, when our three men-folks went into a burlesque of the preliminaries, and planned all kinds of signals -0 whistles, bells and everything - to get the minister, groom, and best man out of the kitchen, which had to serve as an anteroom, and to get the bridesmaid and bride down the stairs at the proper time. Charlie went so far as to suggest a firemen's brass pole, from second floor to living room - to expedite the proceedings. I was horrified at their levity, until I remembered that the brothers of Cleveland's Emily Post behaved in the same manner while rehearsing in their home for a very dignified social event. Well, the young ushers were very weary last night, and begged off from Sunday School this morning. Out of sheer pity I let them sleep on, (that "sleep on" is an English idiom I've picked up) only to find, upon my return from Sunday school that they had had a first-class boxing match in the living room - on our brand new rug, with palms and baskets of flowers serving as the "ring" limits. I'm writing this down now, as a reminder to them when they get to be staid old parents, trying to impress their offspring as to what angels their fathers were when young.
But what of the bride and groom? They are now whizzing along on Route 422, headed for Saltsburg, taking our very special guest, Marjorie Lemon, back home. She was one of our only two out-of-town guests. The other was Tommy's only sister, who came all the way from New Jersey with her two-year-old boy. The wedding ceremony, which the quiet, shy groom confessed he dreaded more than a repetition of the maneuvers in Louisiana, turned out to be one of the loveliest I have ever seen. This pain in my chest right now must be a heart that burst with pride last night. The little tom-boy, incorrigible tease, irrepressible party goer has grown up. She was much more composed and thoughtful than her mother. Needless to say, Virgil and I are very proud of our new soldier-son. The young couple faced the American flag as they took their marriage vows. We all realize the gravity of the situation, for the tragedy of the Reuben James is to us more than an incident of war. I was visiting in Saltsburg, and spent a delightful evening with my old "fanciwork club" the night before Jack Daub went away to Annapolis for the first time. His lovely mother spent the evening sewing labels on his socks.
Life is such a strange mixture of joy and sorrow. The more we love, the more we grieve. Into this past week has been crowded more joy, more tragedy than one could believe; the joyousness of young love and a wedding; the tragedy when war makes a sudden, sickening swoop into our home town; the tragedy when a loved one's husband is desperately ill; when a young man, whose mother we love, is stricken with infantile paralysis, and can move neither leg. One of the minor tragedies of the week was illness yesterday of a special friend, who worked ceaselessly for three days, helping me get ready for this wedding, and then could not witness it. Oh, how we must learn to take the bitter with the sweet! In these two profound emotions of the human soul - joy and sorrow - we come in close touch with the goodness in human nature. We are overwhelmed with the expressions of love and good-will. One of our wedding guests received her invitation only the evening before. Up until Friday morning I had failed to get hold of a cleaning woman. (And was she needed!) At Estelle's insistence I called the employment bureau, and received a large, dusky package, labelled "Beulah." Beulah, when she found she was partly responsible for the success of the wedding, put her whole heart into it. She did a beautiful job, working long and late. When it came time for her to go home, Tommy and I were debating how to arrange the beautiful flag, loaned to us by the friend who suggested its use. Beulah's eyes were getting bigger and bigger, and finally she burst with enthusiasm, "Ah shuah would lik to see dat weddin". With a sudden inspiration (which comes about twice in a lifetime) I replied, "You shall see it. If you can come tomorrow evening, early, I can use you nicely; and you shall see the wedding." So Beulah came, in all her glory. When I asked the boys this morning why she let me down on the kitchen work before the wedding, they said she was too absorbed in all the excitement. She didn't miss a thing. But she helped with the refreshments and washed up the dishes afterward. Which made the evening quite perfect.
Florence B. Taylor.
4501 Lilac Rd.
P.S. - The first "recipe" for enduring wedding happiness came yesterday - Three ingredients; patience, forgiving heart, true love.
Next -11/20/41 - Day at the Courthouse