Sunday, July 15, 2012

Catching Up

DAYS 5: Tuesday, July 10th, we traveled from Wooster, OH to Bartlett, IL. We started the day checking out the campus of the College of Wooster, which is very handsome, as is the town itself. We then drove across Ohio on Route 30 and into Indiana, heading for Huntington, IN and a Roadfood restaurant, Nick's Restaurant. We got there at 2:10pm only to discover that it had closed at 2pm. However, the door was still open, and when the owner learned we had come from Vermont to get a meal there, she invited us to stay and eat. So we did, and had the house specials - pork tenderloin sandwiches and sugar cream pie. From there it was on to Chicago area and we arrived at the Hochbergers at about 7:30pm.
Jerry and Gretchen ("Maggie")  Hochberger

DAY 6: Wednesday, July 11th, I met with the bride and groom, Ryan and Alicia, in the morning and we spent about three hours together going over the wedding ceremony and then going to the First Congregational Church in Elgin to look over the chapel where the wedding was to take place, and work out all the logistics and little details that go into a wedding.  Then I went to see my brother Stewart and we had lunch together. We went to see Stewart's friend Carol who fell and broke both of her ankles and is in a rehab facility. She is plucky, and determined to get back her mobility and independence. Then Stewart, Ellen and I had supper at Paul's Family Restaurant, a popular Elgin eatery.

DAY 7: Thursday, July 12th. For me this was a day to get ready for the wedding - write my homily and print out a final version of the ceremony itself. That took most of the morning and early afternoon. Then in the afternoon, there was a wedding rehearsal. We couldn't hold it at the chapel, because the church wasn't open and they didn't want to have to pay extra rental to have it opened just for that. So we held it at the home of one of Stewart's  children, and simulated the space in the chapel - and that worked fine. Several folks were not able to be at the rehearsal, however. So it was sort of an approximation, but well worth doing anyway because we worked out a lot of wrinkles. There were ten people in the bridal party plus two children (flower girl and ring bearer), so there was some choreography to work out. After the rehearsal, Stewart came over to the Hochbergers and joined us for a nice supper. Everyone wanted to hear about the rehearsal. The run-up to this wedding has provided much dinner-table conversation.

The McQuens - Ryan & Alicia; Dennis and Suzanne

DAY 8: Friday, July 13th. The big day. The wedding wasn't until 1:00p.m. so I had the morning to put the finishing touches on everything. Then I left early for the church and helped with final preparations there, giving instructions to people who missed the rehearsal,  Everybody was on time, the wedding started on time, everything went smoothly, it was lovely.The bride wept copiously, but her Maid of Honor had brought a good supply of tissues. Nobody fainted. Nobody dropped a ring. There was a small glitch with the "Unity Sand Ceremony" - Ryan and Alicia each had a bottle of sand - different colors - and they poured them into a common container to symbolize the blending of their lives. Well, the sand just didn't want to come out of Ryan's bottle. I think the humidity had affected it. But it finally worked. Their lives will be blended.

Rev. Crockett and Ryan McQuen

 The reception started at 6:00pm at the Four Rivers Environmental Center near Joliet, IL - a 1 1/2 -2 hour drive (or more depending on traffic). The entire bridal party went in a limousine; the rest of us were on our own. My daughter Betsey, and granddaughter Katie drove up from Columbia, MO for the wedding and arrived just before the ceremony. So we went down to the reception in their car, after going back to Bartlett to get a snack. They were going to stay at Maggie and Jerry's house too. We encountered heavy traffic and heavy rain on our way to Joliet. But the site of the reception was lovely, and decorated beautifully.

Reception Hall
Ellen, Katie and Betsey at the Chapel

DAY 9: July 14th. This was a take-it-easy day after the wedding. Betsey and Katie hung around till late morning and we had a good visit. I went to see Stewart  and we ended up taking him and niece Becky to dinner at Bahama Breeze.  Noisy ambiance but good food!

Stewart and Becky
DAY 10: We took Maggie and Jerry to breakfast at Richard Walker pancake house (the famous Dutch Baby!), and then took off for Iowa. We stopped to see Betty Remley in Anamosa, IA  on the way. What a woman! She's in her nineties, as sharp as a tack and with recent hip surgery she's spryer than ever. She led the choir when I was in high school in the 1940's!!! Tonight we are in Indianola, IA. I'm doing some research in the Simpson College Library tomorrow.

DAY 11: I went to the Library, but the curator of the Craven papers was on vacation. I got her email address and I hope to set something up for the return trip. The Dunn Library at Simpson is very attractive and the Craven Room is is especially so. We'll be heading to Nebraska today.

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