Monday, February 5, 2018

Memory Monday - My Aunt Sue's Wedding

This photo stirs up memories of one of only a few family weddings I've ever attended; and I'm pretty sure this was the first. There I am, front and center, the "star" of the photo, if you ask me (lol), although not necessarily for all the right reasons.
My guess is that this photo was taken at the end of a long day, after the other guests had gone.

The occasion was the wedding of my aunt, Susie Beatrice Yarborough, of Louisburg, NC to Mr. Bennett Hawkins, of Littleton, NC. The wedding took place in April, 1968, in my grandmother's home. I was the flower girl, and my brother, Arthur, the ring bearer. I'm not sure why the service didn't take place in the church (St. Paul's Presbyterian), which is directly across the street from the house, because my aunt was a faithful and committed member.

I remember this day pretty well, but what I don't remember is being the showboating brat that I appear to be in most of the pictures. Here, it seems that many eyes are on me, and that the bride looks like this is not a happy moment. I can just hear her saying, "Just take the picture", while mentally preparing to discipline me, once it was all said and done. My mother, in the green dress, is giving me a "look", which I'm sure she was willing me to feel coming through the back of my head. My grandmother (who loved me more than just about anything or anyone else in the world) is trying to smile - all the while thinking about how she'll be getting my Uncle Calvin (standing behind her) to accompany me out front to get a switch from the tree, when this is all over. My brother, Arthur, just 15 months older than I, is rolling his eyes (as though he's sick of my antics),stretching tall, and pretending to be the "perfect child". (He had a little Eddie Haskell in him. Umm-hmmm). Somebody probably promised him that if he was good, he could go into my grandma's candy cabinet, so he's just yet holding on. (They probably promised me the same, but I've never been one to go for a bribe, and plus, I'd have known that either my dad or my grandma would have let me sneak in there, anyway.) My dad, standing in the back, smiling, just seems "tickled" by the whole thing (or perhaps he saying a prayer?); and my oldest brother (on the left), Edgar, seems to be exchanging a knowing glance with the photographer - most likely my second oldest brother, Henry, who'd been posed in another photo when Ed (presumably) handled the camera. My new Uncle Bennett is just standing there flashing that cool, handsome smile of his. Seriously, I remember him as one of the most debonaire men I've ever met.) I'm sure he was thinking, "What have I gotten myself into?" After all, at the time of this wedding, he was 61 years old, and my aunt was 48. There would be no children.
Marriage License and Certificate for Susie Yarborough and Bennett Hawkins
The two Witnesses are my father, Arthur, and his brother, Calvin. 
I will always wonder why this wedding didn't take place at the church, but there probably aren't many people still here who could answer that. After the nuptials, my aunt took off for NYC with her new husband, and lived there with him, on 145th Street, for the few years the marriage lasted. I remember visiting them, at least once, and (unfortunately) getting in trouble for having a really bad attitude about something I didn't get my way about on that visit. At that time, I was 12 years old, but not too long after that, my aunt was back in Louisburg, taking care of my ailing grandmother, and soon to be divorced from the only man she ever married.

Based on the fact that there are still guests present, and that we are all smiling, happy, and apparently unstressed, I'd say this photo was probably taken immediately after the ceremony, while everyone was still on our best behavior! 🌝

Thanks for reading!

Photos in this post are the property of Renate Yarborough Sanders, and should not be duplicated without the express permission of the author.

Register of Deeds Office, Franklin County, NC. Franklin County Marriages, Book 1968, p. 1377, License no. 118620,

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