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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 phot was probably taken immediately after the ceremony, while everyone was still on our best behavior! 🌝

Thanks for reading!
Renate


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

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9 comments:

  1. Lol. You were certainly the center of attention in that first photo. Were you saying something besides "cheese". I notice the flower that goes from the shoulder to the hem, did your mother make the dress? Too bad the marriage didn't hold.

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  2. Hey, Kristen. Thanks for commenting. :)

    As far as I know, my mother didn't sew. That dress got a lot of wear, though. I've got pictures in it when it had gotten waaaaay to short! LOL.

    Renate

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    1. Sorry for the misspelling, Kristin! :)

      Renate

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    2. Kristin, I wanted to say this in my first reply to you, but I wasn't 100% sure if my memory was serving me, correctly. Now that I've located and added the Marriage Certificate, though, I know that my memory is correct. I always remembered this as an Easter dress. Now, that I see the wedding was the day before Easter, I understand why! I wore this dress to church, the next day! :)

      Renate

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  3. Renate, you do an amazing job of pulling the reader in! Love the family photos, pictures have a way of telling the story as well.

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    1. Oh, I appreciate the compliments! Thank you so much for reading AND commenting!

      Renate

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  4. I wrote this before I read your article so consider that as you read my comments.

    It's interesting how the (I assume) grandmother is looking at the young girl while the woman in the back has a "different" facial reaction to the same little girl. Not sure if it was how animated the little girl appears to be and the two women reacted to it in vastly different ways. Everybody else is looking at the camera oblivious to the antics of the little girl and I am not touching my boy on the right; him got nothing but attitude.

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    1. Lol... I love your interpretation of the picture, and you are spot on about my mother and my grandmother! Now, as for my brother, Arthur, I hadn't really thought of it as "attitude", but yeah, that might be another way of looking at it. LOL.
      Thanks so much for commenting, Terry!

      Renate

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  5. This is a great story. Sorry your aunt's marriage didn't last. I'm just laughing at you in the first picture. I don't think you were showboating. By the time the picture taking came around, you were probably just tired. Just had a thought of why the ceremony might not have been at the church. Since you mentioned the next day was Easter Sunday, I'm betting the church was all decked out for Easter, Easter programs, etc.

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