Five inches of rain on our wedding day!

Let My Laughter Resound!


Have you ever had one of those days when everything seemed to go wrong? On the day of my wedding (August 12, 1966), it seemed that things went ‘haywire’! My ‘best man’ from Illinois arrived very late the night before we were to be married, in the middle of a heavy Nebraska rain.

My to-be-wife, Venita White, was expecting an August sun for the day of her wedding, but, instead, she got up on the morning of August 12th to an angry grey sky that dumped out so much rain that several of the country roads were washed out, making it impossible for many of the guests to attend the ceremony that evening. The rain continued all day on August 12th and throughout the night, and, of course, during the time of the wedding.

My wife’s aunt and uncle from Denver, who had planned to fly by small aircraft to Northern Nebraska, had to cancel their trip because of the storm. Lightning flashed and thunder clapped all day, a tree close to Venita’s folks’ house was struck by lightning, my relatives from Colorado, who verily made it to Nebraska a day before the worst part of the storm, thought they had come to the ‘end of the world’. Venita’s dad ran over Venita’s young nieces’ dog with his pickup an hour before the start of the wedding, my teenage nephew from Colorado almost made several persons late to the wedding because of the length of time he took to take his shower in the only bathroom in the country home.

At the wedding ceremony, one of my young (teenage) nieces who was a candle lighter, just as she was preparing to walk down the church aisle of that little country church, caught her veil on fire because of the hair spray she had used to keep her hair in place.

After the wedding ceremony was over, my older sister who was to cut the wedding cake, panicked at the last minute because she felt she lacked the proper skills to properly cut the beautifully decorated wedding cake. Therefore, she turned over the job of cutting the cake to my beloved cousin who (as a mechanic) had been assigned (of all things!) to make and to decorate cakes in the Navy!

My cousin, George, came (providentially) to the rescue for my sister, and he cut the cake! After the wedding reception was over, I and my new bride dashed out the church door in the midst of a downpour of rain and we started my old Ford Falcon car, only to hear what sounded like a bomb going off! A startling, loud noise! My heroic cousin (cake cutter) – to have a little ‘fun’ – had placed a huge firecracker in the engine of the car!

After I regained my composure (in the presence of my new bride), I finally got started on the country road, with our destination, a small town (O’Neill) about 30 miles from the little country church where the wedding ceremony was held. More than once, I thought my old Ford Falcon was going to end up in a ditch. The country roads were almost unsurpassable. Of course, at this time, there were no paved roads, only dirt and sand roads. When there were ‘gully washers’ in that part of the country, it was not too uncommon for the country roads to be washed out.

Well, I breathed a sigh of relief when Venita and I finally reached the town of O’Neill, but my ‘sigh of relief’ turned to a ‘groan of despair’ when I went to the hotel office where I had made a reservation, only to find out that the hotel was closed for the night! We had arrived there too late! I thought hotels were open twenty-four hours a day! I had made a reservation, only to find out that the hotel was closed for the night! No place to stay on our first night as husband and wife! (Fortunately, I found another near-by hotel which was still open in that small town).

By this time, I was exhausted, and I began to wonder what else could go ‘wrong’. Amidst all the mishaps and blunders and uncontrollable circumstances, I was most happy because I could declare that God had led me to the ‘right’ lady, to be my lifetime companion! And the happiness of that wedding night has been confirmed during the last 47 years of my life! (At the time of this writing)

I have often told my wife that God gave me the ‘very best woman’ when He gave me the ‘wife of my dreams’. No marriage is perfect, but I know that, in spite of the obvious human flaws in our lives, God gave me the ‘choicest lady’ possible – for me!

As previously noted, there are two kinds of ‘laughter’ – explicit (obvious) laughter, and implicit (hidden) laughter. Because there were multiple ‘flaws’ before and during the wedding ceremony, I am sure that no one, at that particular time, was laughing.

In fact, my bride-to-be was shedding some tears, while the rain was pounding the country fields on August 12th Venita’s dad (a man of faith and optimism) tried to comfort and console his daughter, but, being a practical-minded man, he commented regarding the five inches of rain: “It is a million dollar rain, and the rain is so wonderful for the land!”

When I consider the number and the combination of ‘odd’ (strange) events that happened during that historic day, I have to chuckle to myself, and I have to even ‘laugh’. There were several ‘levels of laughter’ – comic happenings – that, now, long after the wedding, are delightful to think about.

My normally diplomatic mother-in-law was so frustrated with the mishaps of the day (including the uncontrollable rain storm) that, as she was coming up the stairs of the little church, to enter the sanctuary for the ceremony, she was heard to say, “l feel like running to the hills!” Not humorous then, but this is another layer in the many layers of humor that made my wedding very unique!

In retrospect, as I think of my wedding event, it is quite easy (now) to identify many rather humorous (laughable) events and happenings. Most things that happened, nearly a half century ago, (August 12, 1966) had some unexpected elements, even humorous and laughable elements, in them. But the all-important ingredient in that marriage event was definitely not “laughable’!

The most serious commitment of my life was the taking of my marriage vows – vows which resulted in my living with my lifetime companion – living with a most precious and loving and lovable lady! I could not have married a more loyal and loving and creative and hard-working woman! “When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule for everything she says. There are many fine women in the world, but you are the best of them all!” (Proverbs 31:26, 29 Living Bible)

“Biblical Foundation For The Sanctity Of Human Life!”

Table of contents: Let my laughter resound!


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