Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

A Look That Could Banish Shadows

Saying "I do" was the easy part.

There used to be this redwood church, A-frame, about halfway between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz on Highway 17: some rough-hewn pews, but no altar, no icons, just a plain pulpit and, behind it, this huge picture window looking out on the Santa Cruz Mountains.

"That's where I'd love it to be," I told my fiancée, Rebekah. "Just family, close friends, and that evergreen expanse blessing us all."

We were getting married September 9, 1967 -- a fitting end to the Summer of Love, I often shouted to the world. I was 23, Rebekah 19. She seemed to like the idea of a simple, rustic ceremony. Her mother Sherrie, however, had other plans.

Pop quiz: which movie wedding would you prefer: The Deer Hunter's festive sprawl or The Sound of Music's august formality, with Gothic ceiling shots and the bride's train half the length of Europe? If not the redwood chapel, give me the staggering blur. Instead, Rebekah and I ended up doing Julie Andrews and Captain Von Trapp.

What we didn't know at the time -- no one did -- not even her husband: Sherrie had terminal lung cancer. She wanted a big society-page affair -- and only she would know it was her last farewell.

At first I balked. A DeMille epic? NO WAY!

But deeper down, I didn't care. Exchange vows before half of California? Fine. Be glad to. After a long and stumbling search, I'd finally found Her and would put up with whatever.

By the time the Big Day came around, in fact, Becky and I'd been apart for at least a week. I missed her so bad they could've held the damn ceremony in the Roman Coliseum with lions and tigers and Spartacus on steroids, and I'd have fought through them all to be with her again.

I don't remember what people wore. The ushers, in "monkey suits," talked about Carl Yastrzemski's triple-crown season for the Red Sox; bridesmaids (in pink, I think...yellow?) spoke of honeymoons and hope chests.

By then I'd become convinced that weddings aren't for the bride and groom. They're for the parents, guests, and, most of all, the photographer. The whole thing's a photo shoot: cut the cake, give the toast, throw the garter, run the rice gauntlet.

So I resolved to stay in Portrait Mode and do our parents proud and hope to convince doubters that my bride wasn't making the dumbest mistake of her life.

The ceremony took place at the First Unitarian Church, a sleek glassy structure on a Berkeley ridge with a panoramic view of San Francisco Bay. A cast of thousands attended, or so it seemed.

Don't believe me? The reception line was so long they finally had to cut it short because the photographer was getting antsy.

Sherrie beamed like the sun on that clear September afternoon. Looking back — and I'm glad it happened this way — this was her show, except for one moment.

The most radiant sun, that day, came down the aisle on her father's arm. About halfway to the altar, we gave each other a look that could banish shadows. It almost knocked me flat — not out of fear or marital trepidation. Out of relief! It hadn't been a dream after all. Here she comes. It's all true. Ocular proof!

I was so happy I almost forgot my place. I wanted to bolt from the altar, run up the aisle, give her a big, spinning hug, and say, "Isn't this GREAT?"

Come on, an impulse urged, just a quick time-out to let her know, amid all the solemn pageantry and handkerchiefs blooming from purses like spring flowers — amid this whole baroque Wedding Thing — that I loved her.

Couples these days argue about commitment in relationships. You hear them on cell phones haggling minute fluctuations in their emotional stock market, as if they'd much rather keep score about who stands where than co-exist.

Back then, the question never entered my mind. No negative did. And what I felt was neither confidence nor wide-eyed romantic sugar-plum yummy naïveté. It was a pure choice, metaphysical certitude, true love.

And, as it turned out, a love too true to last.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
RED motorized bike — pedal or use engine - $400
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 26, 2020
WANTED: NEW HF HAM RADIO
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
PET SITTING BUSINESS
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
3 BOATS CHEAP
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
WE NEED A CAR, not picky and ugly is OK
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 23, 2020
Ad
Previous article

San Diego County virus frontline workers meet via Zoom

Not handing out masks to those who are afraid
Next Article

All the internet's a stage: the Old Globe goes online

Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Saying "I do" was the easy part.

There used to be this redwood church, A-frame, about halfway between Los Gatos and Santa Cruz on Highway 17: some rough-hewn pews, but no altar, no icons, just a plain pulpit and, behind it, this huge picture window looking out on the Santa Cruz Mountains.

"That's where I'd love it to be," I told my fiancée, Rebekah. "Just family, close friends, and that evergreen expanse blessing us all."

We were getting married September 9, 1967 -- a fitting end to the Summer of Love, I often shouted to the world. I was 23, Rebekah 19. She seemed to like the idea of a simple, rustic ceremony. Her mother Sherrie, however, had other plans.

Pop quiz: which movie wedding would you prefer: The Deer Hunter's festive sprawl or The Sound of Music's august formality, with Gothic ceiling shots and the bride's train half the length of Europe? If not the redwood chapel, give me the staggering blur. Instead, Rebekah and I ended up doing Julie Andrews and Captain Von Trapp.

What we didn't know at the time -- no one did -- not even her husband: Sherrie had terminal lung cancer. She wanted a big society-page affair -- and only she would know it was her last farewell.

At first I balked. A DeMille epic? NO WAY!

But deeper down, I didn't care. Exchange vows before half of California? Fine. Be glad to. After a long and stumbling search, I'd finally found Her and would put up with whatever.

By the time the Big Day came around, in fact, Becky and I'd been apart for at least a week. I missed her so bad they could've held the damn ceremony in the Roman Coliseum with lions and tigers and Spartacus on steroids, and I'd have fought through them all to be with her again.

I don't remember what people wore. The ushers, in "monkey suits," talked about Carl Yastrzemski's triple-crown season for the Red Sox; bridesmaids (in pink, I think...yellow?) spoke of honeymoons and hope chests.

By then I'd become convinced that weddings aren't for the bride and groom. They're for the parents, guests, and, most of all, the photographer. The whole thing's a photo shoot: cut the cake, give the toast, throw the garter, run the rice gauntlet.

So I resolved to stay in Portrait Mode and do our parents proud and hope to convince doubters that my bride wasn't making the dumbest mistake of her life.

The ceremony took place at the First Unitarian Church, a sleek glassy structure on a Berkeley ridge with a panoramic view of San Francisco Bay. A cast of thousands attended, or so it seemed.

Don't believe me? The reception line was so long they finally had to cut it short because the photographer was getting antsy.

Sherrie beamed like the sun on that clear September afternoon. Looking back — and I'm glad it happened this way — this was her show, except for one moment.

The most radiant sun, that day, came down the aisle on her father's arm. About halfway to the altar, we gave each other a look that could banish shadows. It almost knocked me flat — not out of fear or marital trepidation. Out of relief! It hadn't been a dream after all. Here she comes. It's all true. Ocular proof!

I was so happy I almost forgot my place. I wanted to bolt from the altar, run up the aisle, give her a big, spinning hug, and say, "Isn't this GREAT?"

Come on, an impulse urged, just a quick time-out to let her know, amid all the solemn pageantry and handkerchiefs blooming from purses like spring flowers — amid this whole baroque Wedding Thing — that I loved her.

Couples these days argue about commitment in relationships. You hear them on cell phones haggling minute fluctuations in their emotional stock market, as if they'd much rather keep score about who stands where than co-exist.

Back then, the question never entered my mind. No negative did. And what I felt was neither confidence nor wide-eyed romantic sugar-plum yummy naïveté. It was a pure choice, metaphysical certitude, true love.

And, as it turned out, a love too true to last.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
PARALEGAL SERVICES - 50 % off all SERVICES through May 31st
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 29, 2020
80 HOMES MISSION HILLS MULTIPLE GARAGE/YARD SALES
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
FOUR GRAVE SITES
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
HIGH CASH PRICES" FOR GOLD, JEWELRY AND WATCHES
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 23, 2020
MR GUITAR LESSONS
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Previous article

Tijuana tangos with corona

City shut down, sort of
Next Article

Que Huong Vietnamese restaurant serves quail, wild boar, deer, and more

Trying something new while stuck at home
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close