24 December 2010

a christmas eve wedding

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I wonder if my GranMa's early girlhood dreams included a young man from Virginia? Maybe.
He came to her hometown with the Norfolk & Western-and whether she initially had eyes for him-He did for her. The story goes that one day Bessie was walking along uptown and George-upon seeing her-pronounced to his friend- "See that girl in the red coat? I am going to marry her."

It was love at first sight for him & I am sure when Bess was properly introduced to George Joseph-she was impressed with this handsome, quick witted, intelligent man. From a fine Maryland family and though last in line for its wealth, she had to think he would make good-as they say- and he would. 
A courtship, with bouquets & the passing of letters ensued. Some of the letters have been kept and they show a darling and clever George at his witty best.


A proposal was made.
Accepted.
The pair was married in her small family home with pine boughs and candles & a neat fire in the hearth.
The bride wore a simple blue suit-no doubt made by her mother's skillful hand and held a bouquet of parma violets the color of her eyes.

Bessie & George were married December 24,1916.




 photographs from their Virginia honeymoon


The two had five children-four girls and one son. My mother- the youngest-was born in 1930. George died when my mother was 13. A young man. My GranMa would live to be 107. She never considered a second marriage and her GJ provided for her until the day she breathed her last and closed her truly violet eyes. She saw much with those eyes-always seeing him- and I hope at last- after sixty years of missing him- saw him that day.

Last weekend, I laid a double wreath of magnolia at their grave. The wreaths were linked together as George and Bess were December 24 1916, ninety four years ago today.


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20 comments:

  1. A wonderful story and a beautiful sentiment.

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  2. A very sweet tribute. Happy Christmas.

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  3. What a moving story.Always love your posts.Have a wonderful Christmas, little Augury.

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  4. A lovely & sensitive tribute from a lovely & sensitive woman.

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  5. ......may love, joy, peace and goodwill be your gift at Christmas.....may the Wonder of Christmas be with you forever....... and may God shower you with blessings all the New Year through........ xx Gypsy Purple

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  6. What a wonderful Story. I guess one of the secrets of longevity is Love.(and I bet, great genes) 107? Wow! Very nice post a very sweet story. Loved reading it and the photos are priceless. You are so lucky to have them (along with the genes). Merci for the great Xmas present.
    Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee!

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  7. All Granddaughters should be like you.

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  8. Achingly beautiful. You have brought me to tears this Christmas Eve morn.

    merry christmas...

    joan

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  9. Dear Gaye, what a beautiful story! I think a Christmas wedding would be wonderful. How lovely that Bess lived until she was 107! What an amazing life.

    Have a fabulous Christmas, love Christina xx

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  10. A wonderful Christmas story! Merry Christmas and thankyou for all your support of Savoir Faire!
    David

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  11. Merry Christmas Gaye,

    What a warm story and a wonderful way to start Chritmas Eve.

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  12. What a lovely story. I'm going to pass it on to my friend Toni, whose son is getting married tonight (Christmas Eve) in a small ceremony in their home in front of the hearth. ...gives me chills!
    Merry Christmas...and have a Happy, Healthy New Year...K

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  13. Lovely story. One of my main reasons for beginning a blog was to have a place to remember my deceased family members. It's very satisfying to be able to tell others what interesting people they were. (I tag those posts 'Remembering'). I'm gradually working my way through all your posts and thoroughly enjoying myself. Happy Christmas to you!

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  14. Oh, what a beautiful story and a wonderful tribute. The images made it that much more powerful.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family P.G.T.!

    H.H.

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  15. Being married right in the middle of the War To End All Wars must have been terrifying for your grandma. To marry the love of your life and then seeing him conscripted and dragged off would have been a young bride's nightmare.

    Clearly he survived well :) and went on to have lots of babies :) Happy holidays!

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  16. Lovely romantic story of love. I keep saying that's quite a gene pool you got going there. Since you're going to live to be over 100, I'd say be sure to pace yourself!

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  17. I enjoy such reminiscences of small weddings. Lovely! I am reminded of my Aunt Joyce's early summer wedding almost 60 years ago. It was held in a simple farmhouse, with my mother, then 12, playing the wedding march on the organ, and the house filled with peonies from the garden. These simple weddings had such modest charm and dignity, something lacking in many wedding extravaganzas of today. No Bridzillas in those days!

    I enjoy your posts and look forward to more. Merry Christmas.

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  18. Unforgettable. Haunting, in the most elusively perfect way.

    What shimmering Christmas gifts you (and they) have given us, here.

    Perhaps love is best when it never stops teaching us how to do so.

    Thank you for this, Gaye.

    Happy Christmas.

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  19. This is extraordinarily interesting and moving. Curtis

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