Marcy S., age 16, Tennessee


Dear Diary — Nice first thing. I had to rise at the unearthly hour of 7:00 in order to get to my music lesson by 8:30. Had good lesson, considering. Came home and washed and curled my mop of hair. Don’t know whether to have it cut or get a permanent. 

In the afternoon I sat out on the porch and read. We had a nice rain storm but when it stopped I cleaned up and took Barbey for an alley-walk. Then we sat on the top step at Barbey’s request and waved to Rhoda and baby Hugh. 

While Mom and Dad were listening to Kalty before dinner I sat out and read. It was so much fun with a good dinner to look forward to, and then the wedding. While I was washing the dishes it started to rain. Mom and Dad practiced. It made dish-washing more pleasant. Then I dressed and fixed my hair. In the last-minute rush of dressing, George and Harvey came to see if I could play but guessed where I was going at the sight of my locks flying about my face and a comb in my hand — also in my best dress. They expressed regrets and departed. 

About ten till 8:00 we drove to the Presbyterian Church in the pouring rain. Why couldn’t it have been nice tonight? We had to park the car quite far away from the church and got slightly besprinkled in the lengthy run. My horrid umbrella also chose that moment to collapse (practically) and leave it looking a fine sight to carry to a wedding. The bridesmaids were just arriving as we were. The church was almost filled. Dad went up in the chair loft with the other soloist and Mom and I were formally ushered to seats on the left. I was right next to the aisle. 

The altar was beautifully decorated with white and orange flowers interwoven with green leaves and ivy. It was draped to form sort of an arch, like this [here she drew a small diagram]. The pulpit had been removed but right in the middle was the loveliest spray of asparagus (not the edible part but the green, feathery leaf). It drooped gracefully over, high above the heads of the bride and groom. Across the aisle and up a few seats was Carolyn with her little three-year-old boy. (She has a baby boy, too.) He is awfully cute and has the sweetest face. Carolyn wore aqua net with a corsage of pink roses, I think. Mrs. Tindall’s mother and three sisters were there and there were a lot of young married couples. Morton Lane and Lambert Tindall (the son) were ushers. On all the window sills were white candles and “chandelier” candles were near the organ and across the front. 

Before the lights were turned out the guest soloist, a trained tenor (young man) sang “Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life.” I usually enjoy a song more if I don’t look at the singer and I kept to the old “tradition” this time. Once, however, I looked up to behold such a seriously comical expression on the poor man’s face that I had to glance hastily away lest I laugh out loud and disgrace myself. Then the lights were turned off, leaving only the soft gleam of the candles and the sound of rain outside, wafted by a breeze through the windows and gently blowing the bright jets of light. Daddy rose to sing “I Love You Truly.” It was much better than the trained soloist’s renderation and everyone was proud of him, I’m sure. (He wore the white suit.) Then the first man sang “Because” which was somewhat better than the “Mystery,” though I hardly dared to look at him. Quiet reigned after he had sitted himself except for Miss Denton’s playing softly on the organ suitable music. Carolyn’s little boy evidently wearied of sitting and his mother adjourned with him. 

There was a rustling in the vestibule, a sudden hush (I believe the rain even ceased — I don’t remember hearing it), and the organ burst into the wedding march. From the right entrance at the back came Mary Elizabeth Tindall in her bridesmaid’s dress and dainty bouquet, and down the left aisle her brother Lambert. (Just before that Morton and Lambert had spread the white cloth down the aisle for the bride to walk on.) As soon as they had taken their places on the platform Hazel Tindall made her entrance followed by Nancy Stevens and a little pudgy daughter of Catherine’s cousin. They were little flower girls although they were dressed like the bridesmaids. The little girl’s mother had to motion for her to come in and she was so cute. 

When they were all arranged on the platform the organ swelled again and in came (from the back right) the groom and best man, followed by Mr. Jones. At long last the “blushing bride” issued forth from the back entrance on her father’s arm. Her dress, veil, and white flowers were beautiful, not to mention the bride herself. The groom never took his eyes off her and — Diary — I almost cried. It was so touching. Then Mr. Tindall gave his daughter away and the vows were said. You could hardly hear Catherine and the groom sounded nervous. Then the recessional pealed out and down the aisle ran the bride and groom, looking blissfully happy (bridesmaids and best men followed). 

We all waited until the members of the family had been ushered out and then we “common people” made our way to the door. Morton Lane was running back and forth from door to some waiting car with a squealing young lady. Mom and I made a dash for the car in an unsuccessful attempt to keep from getting almost drowned. There we waited in the rain for Pap who had evidently gotten stuck behind the crowd in the doorway. Mom suddenly remembered she had the key so we drove down nearer the church and at last Daddy came. 

I was so afraid we’d be late to the reception but I just had to go home first so we went and in as much haste as possible got to the Tindall’s in plenty of time. Mother and I were met at the open door and invited into the living room where the receiving line formed a half circle. Catherine and Francis Herman Lee were there, laughing and shaking hands. I couldn’t think of any appropriate remark so just beamed. Then we went into an adjoining room and inspected and admired the gifts — we are going to bring them something from Canada. 

In the car Mother and I had been discussing the weather and saying what a shame it was it had to rain tonight of all nights. I unthinkingly remarked that it was “showers of blessing” for Catherine and I never heard the end of it that night. Mom told Mr. and Mrs. Tindall, the groom’s parents and every other person whom we met and talked with for any length of time. Two of Mrs. Tindall’s sisters are old maids and they evidently try to cover up their age with make-up but they do anything but succeed! Looked like painted dolls. Finally we squeezed into the dining room and were generously served with a piece of the bride’s cake and some spice tea. Yum, yum. Most of the young ladies had evening dressed on which added to the festivity. Then we squeezed out again and talked with different people in the “one way passage” hall. There was the darlingest picture of a baby on the hall table. Perhaps it is Carolyn’s second. Presently the bride came in the front door followed by her recently-acquired spouse and Mother immediately and unceremoniously hailed her and plunged me into the depths of embarrassment by repeating my words of comfort. However, she seemed very pleased since she had been feeling badly about the rain, according to her mother. 

Then she ascended the nearby stairs preparatory to throwing her bouquet. The young eligibles assembled themselves in strategic positions and waited excitedly and hopefully. (Mrs. Harvey was among them.) Down came the bouquet and up went many pairs of eager arms. The lucky one was the youngest sister, Hazel. I suppose the Tindalls will be in for another wedding soon. Miss Staples was not among the group (she most likely didn’t know what was going on), otherwise I dare say Hazel wouldn’t have had a chance to catch it. I don’t think I need to explain any further. 

The bride went on upstairs to change into her traveling outfit and we prepared to leave. We got no farther than the front porch, though, for there we learned that she was coming down in a few minutes and was to be showered with rice at her departure. Quite a number of people were on the porch and the rest were lined up in the hall, armed to the teeth and ready to attack at any moment. Mom and I stood with Mrs. Jones while Dad was with the men. One of Mrs. Tindall’s sisters gave me some rice and I slipped some of it into my purse as a souvenir. 

We were just beginning to get discouraged when the groom appeared and down the stairs came the bride, arrayed in the traveling costume. They would have come out the front door and down the steps except that the intensity of the fire made them hesitate and in desperation flee to the dining room, straight past the heartless rice-throwers. In another minute they ran out the side door, across the side porch and down the steep slippery steps. All was laughter and gayety. But Mother had to be practical as usual and called, “Don’t fall, honey.” “Honey” didn’t fall and away the happy couple went to the waiting car below. The “party” then broke up and departed into the rain. We ran to the car. I’m rather glad it did rain — so romantic! 

When we got home I swiped Daddy’s white carnation and put it in an envelope with the rice to bring back happy memories when I’m old and gray. The rain was so nice, though. Home about 10:00. Tomorrow is house-cleaning day. As Mother expressed it, “From the sublime to the ridiculous.” Dear Catherine, I do hope she is happy! They are going to live in Chattanooga.