Thursday, May 8, 2014

Chapter 15 Venues, Venues, Venues

Here are a few paragraphs from Chapter 15, "Venues, Venues, Venues" of the new book.

Given most brides were trying to find places a year in advance, when my daughter told me she wanted to get married in April - of that year - in the Low Country - on a specific Saturday, I panicked. Of course, she had a particular location. OK, let's be specific. Why not make this a blood sport?

I could not help but think of many of the weddings I had attended over the years. One came to mind that was held at a fairly unique venue. A Yankee from New Jersey came south bought some land and decided it would make a beautiful wedding venue. To enhance its image he built a replica plantation house that could be rented out.

So let me paint you the picture here - we had a Yankee from New Jersey who came and bought land in the deep south, he built a big white house with Corinthian columns and put porticoes around it, called it a plantation, and rented it out to us southerners for exorbitant rates - which some idiots paid. Talk about selling ice to the Eskimos.

And, of course, as always, the Yankee was determined to civilize us "heathens" and bring culture to the backwoods of the rural south. Please define "culture". We were seated in white chairs on a wide expanse of green lawn overlooking the pond (all man-made to fit the antebellum theme) for the nuptials. Throughout the ceremony the preacher had to pause due to the loud revving of engines that could be heard coming from the nearby drag strip (some good 'ol boy flavor the Yankee didn't quite count on.)

As the preacher announced the bride and groom and they started making their way up the aisle, a loud boom went off. Some true Old South flare? A friend sitting nearby nonchalantly said, "Oh, that's Trish."

I looked at her. "What do you mean Trish? Knowing who she was referring to but not having a clue what Trish had to do with the near sonic boom we just heard.

"That was Trish's cannon." I looked at her totally perplexed. "She has three cannons and she likes to shoot them at special occasions, like ball games, and the births of her grandchildren."

"And weddings," I added.

"Especially weddings," our friend said.

The venue may have been owned by a Yankee, but how much more southern can you get than a wedding in the shadow of a white house built for show, interrupted by the Saturday evening noises of the local drag strip and highlighted by the boom of a real cannon. Even an entrepreneuring Yankee couldn't come up with that much color.

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