Thirty-Five Years of The Glory of Love

by

These Grant Wood-like announcements were given to guests at Bill's and my wedding reception on November 15, 1975. The building in the background is what I remember as the hog house at Gunderland. It is the middle building in "The Farm" (below) watercolor by Mother, painted the same year Bill and I were married. (Click on photo to enlarge.)

Thirty-five years ago today Bill and I were married. November 15, 1975, in Rolfe, Iowa, with — get this — temperatures hovering around 75 degrees. As I’m beginning this post, “The Glory of Love” by the Platters is playing throughout the house. Perfect.

In the spring (anyway, that’s when my memory says it was) of 1975 the Gunderson side of the family was sitting around the living room at Gunderland. The topic of discussion was Iowa State’s upcoming 1975 football schedule, including the Nebraska/ISU game on November 15th. To which Bill and I surprised everyone by saying that was the date we had chosen for our wedding day. Football schedule — out. Wedding planning — in!

There’s only one time in my life I remember my mother telling a fib. It was when, in the spring of 1975, she and I were visiting sister Marti in Boston. We decided to take in bridal gown shopping at Priscilla’s where “the Nixon girls bought their dresses.” Good golly, Miss Molly!!!!! My mother and I were sitting up on something that seemed like a pedestal atop five or six tiered carpeted stairs while different (I think?) women took turns sashaying in to present dresses to us. Mother and I expected that the dresses might cost just a little more than at Lillian’s in Fort Dodge. We just had no idea that wedding dresses could be SO EXPENSIVE. I tried on a few dresses but, between ladies bringing out dresses, Mother and I quickly whispered to each other that we were out of our league.

Having been brought up that it isn’t kosher to even tell a white lie, I was like “You go girl!” when Mother, cool, calm and collected, told the clerk that the reason we weren’t making our minds up that day about a dress was because we just didn’t know if we had seen anything we liked. She continued with saying that if we went back to Iowa and later decided on a dress from Priscilla’s, we’d be back. We walked out of the store knowing we’d never return, but also feeling like the cat that swallowed the canary.

Back to the actual wedding day … the sequence of the day was 1. ceremony 2. church reception 3. dinner at the Legion Hall and 4. barn dance at Gunderland. (Hmmm. None of those buildings — church, Legion Hall, or barn — are standing any longer.)

In preparation for the barn dance, Bill and Daddy nailed sheets of plywood to cover blemishes of the haymow floor so we had a smooth floor to dance on. Two bands played: Ralph Zarnow’s big-band-sound from Des Moines and the rock band named the Country Knights from Palmer. Just now Bill said, “It was a helluva good time!”

"The Farm" by Mother (Marion Gunderson), 1975. The middle building was behind Bill and me when the above photo was taken. Sizes/Pricing: Small ~7.5" H x 10" W, $15. Medium limited edition 10" H x ~13.5" W, $25. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Does anyone know who won? Nebraska? Iowa State?

(Click here to go to Louise Gunderson Shimon’s blog’s home page.)

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4 Responses to “Thirty-Five Years of The Glory of Love”

  1. jerry farlow Says:

    Congratulations; Love your Grant Wood pic

  2. Marti Gunderson Carlson Says:

    Hope you had a wonderful anniversary celebration. And thanks for bringing our “outlaw” into our family.

  3. Clara Hoover Says:

    How nice to celebrate your 35th anniversary by featuring The Farm print and showing how your American Gothic souvenir was set in the same position as Mother showed in her painting.

    My memories of November 15, 1975:

    I rode a bus from Omaha to Storm Lake where Mother met me and we searched for the sheet music of “Bill.” I came early to help with last minute wedding preparations.

    The only time I was a bridesmaid. Thank you for providing me this opportunity. I made the green wool dress with some fitting assistance by a high school home ec teacher friend.

    I remember the Ralph Zarnow band (same band as at Mother and Daddy’s 25th anniversary barn dance) but don’t recall the Country Knights at all.

    Hal and his parents may have stayed for just a part of the barn dance, but his parents drove Hal back to Omaha that night because he had a flight to catch the next day.

    I enjoyed the barn dance. And so did Aunt Ruth. She stayed overnight so she could attend the shower for Gloria the next day. Afterward the shower, I drove Aunt Ruth to her home in Orange City, driving “The Sty” (white/black Camaro), in which a few days earlier a mouse had made its home. I did not tell Aunt Ruth about the mouse.

    Yes, the weather was very mild. And, yes, that was the first of two years (over 36 years) we did not attend the Iowa State/Nebraska football game in Lincoln.

    I loved your story about looking at wedding dresses at Priscilla’s in Boston. I’d heard that you were there, but I did not know the details.

    Great memories.

  4. Margaret McKim Says:

    Congratulation on the 35th anniversary of your wedding! Sounds like a fine time. I can see people dancing – Ralph Zarnow! Haven’t heard that name in a long time.

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