. . . . . . . . . . STORIES--Nothing but GREAT STORIES. . . . . .
"Stories I Haven't Told"
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From Barefoot Farm-Girl to CEO in America
Memoirs of a Depression Baby
For Sale Paperback edition: An Autobiography, byDorothy May Mercer$14.45 $12.95 plus S & H
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Please scroll down for the sample first chapter of "Stories I Haven't Told": A small town wedding. Enjoy!
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Publisher: Mercer Publications & Ministries, Inc. 8651 Mohawk Ct. Stanwood, MI 49346
Here is an excerpt from Chapter One:
"Small Town Wedding" March 17, 1951 Michigan, USA It was a beautiful spring day, unseasonably warm for this part of the country, sunny with a high of 70 degrees. My 18 year old bridegroom, Neal Mercer, waited at the altar, flanked by his best man, Harry, and two groomsmen, opposite two of my best friends as bridesmaids and my 11 year old sister, Anna, as maid of honor. Some had suggested she was too young and would serve better as a junior bridesmaid. But, I loved her, wanted her and have never regreted my choice.Bless my mother, she never objected, either. She was married at 18, herself. The only suggestion my parents made was that it might be better to wait a while to get married, perhaps until Neal and I had finished at least one year of college. But, he and I had pledged to wait until marriage to have sexual relations and we were unable to wait any longer.Now, from the perspective of 58 years of marriage, that seems awfully young, but at the time we didn’t think so. Small town tradition called for the groom’s friends to meet after the ceremony and decorate the get-away vehicle. Conversely, the groom took pains to hide it in a secret place so that no monkey business could take place. The groom needed a trusted friend to guard the vehicle and bring it around just in time for the couple to escape on their honeymoon, hoping to lose any pursuers. Woe unto any newly married couple whose hiding place was discovered. Not only would the car be covered with Just Married signs, paper streamers and tin cans to rattle behind, but sometimes “friends” took fiendish delight in soaping the car with suggestive slogans and even rummaging through the bride’s suitcase to tie her underwear in knots, or worse. When the bride and groom took off in their freshly decorated car, gleefull friends would follow, tooting horns, laughing and generally cutting up. Our reception was held in the basement of the Methodist church, directly after the ceremony, therefore the reception was “dry” and relatively short. There was no big dinner as is customary now, just punch, coffee and wedding cakes served by the church ladies. I kept careful track of expenses. Our wedding cost about $250, including my gown, the attendents’ gowns, engraved invitations, photographer, flowers, food and music. Fortunately, Neal had done a good job of hiding the car, so we were spared any vandalism and my trouseau was intact. But, there was no escaping the entourage of friends following us around the small town in a raucous parade.We happened to be riding in my folks’ rusty old 1940 Ford sedan with holes in the floor boards that one could see right through.We left town by a circuitous route, hoping to loose our followers by tearing up and down some of the gravel roads. An especially hilly one was a teenagers’ favorite known as “Monkey-Run” because of the sharp and tight roller coaster hills and deep ruts. It being springtime, the road had turned to mud. As such it was nearly impassable. As we slogged through the mire, we lost most of our followers, but the muddy water came spashing up through the floor boards and nearly ruined my wedding dress. We stopped at my home long enough for me to change into my honeymoon outfit, kiss my parents goodby and change into our own car that we had bought for $50. It was a Chrysler HydroDrive, one of the first automatic transmissions. Neal had found a great motel near Kalamazoo that had a restaurant and an attached and enclosed garage with each of the units.Thus, we could hide the car from view, sparing us any concern about being discovered by any scouting parties bent on interrupting our first night together. We were worried about another tradition of small towns known as a “belling”. This would take place either during the honeymoon or as soon as possible after the couple returned. Friends would get together after dark carrying every known device for making noise, from bells to pots and pans and cross cut saws. They would quietly creep up on the sweetly snoozing honeymoon cottage and begin making a huge clatter, the point being to interrupt the loving turtledoves, if possible. Nothing would do except for the couple to arise from bed and invite everyone in for refreshments.We kept a supply of soft drinks ready, but, when we survived the first three months without any “belling” we relaxed and decided that our friends had moved on to other things.
Did that story bring back any memories for you? You will enjoy many more amusing and interesting stories of life in the 20th Century America in this fascinating and entertaining book. To order your copy of "Stories I Haven't Told" scroll up and click on "Order Stories Here" in the upper left corner of your screen. You will not be billed until you confirm your order. Not ready to buy? Please leave a comment below at no obligation. We would enjoy hearing from you. Thank you for visiting our web site.