Some Fine Young People got married, a while back, in a certain old Church, at the end of a certain old Street, not too many stone’s throws from the old TomPound. Us Old Farts and Local Characters like to see this Sort of Thing happen, for it increases the odds that there will be replacements coming along. Here on Martha’s Vineyard, a place chock full of characters, both in the past and in the present, we cherish the thought of more Characters coming along, to populate the future. These replacements will maintain our cherished reputation as a Den of Uniquity.
In the interest of History, I brought my camera, to take the usual wedding photos, of course, but also to take photos of some of the details that we sometimes forget. Details carry a lot of freight, for such small things.
Details. Details everywhere you look and think. By example, consider the cross pictured above. Years ago a former minister of the church carved and gilded this cross. That minister was a good friend of my grandmother. That minister’s daughter’s children grew up with my children. I remember those little ones as infants and toddlers, in the yard, and in the bathtub, at the TomPound. They’re grownups now, and these children are among the “Fine Young People” of today. Some of them are already full-fledged characters. I mean, Characters. May they have good lives.
I always look up at the ceiling within minutes of sitting down in church. Maybe you do too. The first thing I usually remember when I look up in this church is the pressed tin ceiling that used to be there, which was removed when the church was remodeled, in an effort to bring it back to how it might have looked before the Victorian Era remodeling of the previous era’s plain plaster ceiling. Now the ceiling is plain plaster again, with plain chandeliers. Sometimes I miss the details of that tin ceiling.
The Minister’s vestments echo the glory of the sunrise over our green and fertile island. At the time this photo was taken, the minister has cancer, but doesn’t know it yet. I have cancer too, and don’t know it yet either. Funny, how life hides things, or maybe it’s that we just don’t notice. Noticing is a funny thing.
Bring your attention back from the pulpit, and you start to see more color. People love to dress up for weddings. Three pews in front of us, to the left, with light from the south windows raking across her back, is a woman who likes to use color.
A camera can be like a periscope or an endoscope, allowing ones eyes to extend themselves, to view the world from another angle. Look below. Here’s what the camera sees, under the pews. There are a lot of things these feet can tell us, but they were unseen by anyone. But the camera saw. Now, you too, see.
The service is over, and the feet take their people out, through the reception line, and into the churchyard.
The young men of the wedding party have bought beautiful bow ties. Notice the classic wool vest worn beneath. It’s the sort of wool vest than might have been worn by their ancestors of four, six,or even eight generations past.
Below, the brides hand clasps her gown, keeping it above the ground, because there is grass underfoot, grass that could stain her dress. She has a strong wrist, bound in a delicate wristlet. Her ring shines.
The youngest of the guests are still innocents, but they know what they like, and they like color.
Later, we move along to the reception, meal, and party. The wooden floor in the picture below is your clue that this part of the wedding was held at another location
Two classics: a Motown 45 record and a Shure 58 microphone.
Shown below is the saxophonist’s microphone stand.
I asked, why the addition of the 45 at the base of the 58?
He replied that it reflected crowd noise from the front and focused his sax’s sound from the back, and thus helped the color of his instrument in the sound system.
Gladys and her Pip Friends would approve of this unorthodox use of their record.
We finish with a final swirl of color, relishing the mingled minutiae.
The details mingle.
A good time was had by all.