Posts Tagged ‘American Gothic’

Thirty-Five Years of The Glory of Love

November 16, 2010

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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