Tuesday, February 27, 2018

"We" Are Not Usual

It took her several days, but Barbara Birch finally made it to the Museum of Confederate Uniforms, Hats, and Paraphernalia. 'If nothing else, this could possibly be used in the movie', Barbara told her self as she got out of her rental car.

The bell on the door tinkled as she opened it. It was not a large place by any means. The first thing she saw was the life size display telling the story of General Holden James Kirby. She was looking at the photos of the General's excavation when Col Wadsworth approached her.  He was a large man. And the full regalia of his Confederate uniform took her aback.

"Now that was a big day here in Gallagher." He looked at the display. "Took us digging up a backyard and 2 front yards, before we found him."

"I'm sure the homeowners were not thrilled." Barbara said.

"I think everyone was excited and didn't mind except the Eldridges." The Colonel chuckled, "During the historical excavation of their backyard we not only found the General, but unfortunately, in the process, the Sheriff found the Eldridge's  liquor still.."

"They were making moonshine?"

"Yep, in old wooden shed in the backyard." He offered his hand, "I'm Col Wadsworth Washington Walker III, but everyone calls me 'George'."

Barbara shook his hand, "Well, George, nice to meet you. I'm Barbara Birch . . ."

Before she could finish her sentence, he offered, "With the movie production company."

"Yes, that is me. Boy, word travels fast here."

"Doesn't have far to go." They both laughed. 

"Is there something specific you are looking for?"

"No, I just wanted to make sure I didn't miss the museum before I left town."

"Glad to have you. If I can help, just holler."

"Oh, I don't want to hold you up."

"I'm not going anywhere, that I know about."

"I'm sorry. I just assumed with the costume, you had some reenactment today."

"Oh, this isn't a costume. This is the authentic uniform of a Colonel in the Confederate Calvary." He smiled. "I dress this way everyday."

Before she could stop herself, she asked, "Everyday?"

"I take my job and my heritage seriously."

"That's admirable."

"My wife dressed in period attire also. Well, that was until several months ago. She took a job and the clothing was not appropriate."

"I don't think I have met her. Where does she work?"

"At the Gentlemen's Club in town. You've probably seen it if you have walked around town. It is a large Victorian home. It is referred to as the 'Hunnicutt House' as it had been in their family for over 100 years."

"Wow," Barbara was about speechless. But curiosity got the best of her. "Col." She stopped,"George, you don't have an issue with your wife working at the Club?"

"Oh, not at all. Just because I dress in the 19th century, doesn't mean I cannot appreciate women finding their ways in this new world. Winfred is very enthusiastic and nice looking - if I must say. She also has a way with people. They always feel at home around her."

"Wow, that is very supportive of you."

"There is something to be said about a long and healthy marriage."

Barbara just smiled. 'It must be in the water here', she thought to herself. She asked the Col several questions and he spent 5 or 10 minutes showing her around. When she had seen as much as she needed for that day, she thanked him and left the museum.

Dixie was visiting Chateau Belmont firming up the wedding plans. Ms. Harbuck, the events coordinator, was tasked to deal with the Brides and their mothers.  Undoubtedly she was up to the task given old school marm look with her graying hair in a tight bun making her stiff countenance even more severe. Her posture was undeniably perfect. When Dixie approached the great hall of the Chateau, Ms. Harbuck was waiting for her. It was hard to miss her as she stood there in her dark suit, sensible shoes, and holding a clip board.

"Good morning, Mrs. Quinton, welcome to Chateau Belmont." With that Ms. Harbuck offered her hand.

Dixie shook the coordinator's  hand and looked around the grand hallway. "Oh, it's Dixie, Mrs. Quinton was my mother-in-law. I am thrilled to be here."

"Now, it is my understanding that you are the Mother of the Bride."

Dixie beamed in pride, "Oh, I am and I'm so excited.

Ms. Harbuck looked behind Dixie. "Is the bride here?"

"No, she was tied up. Besides," Dixie turned and smiled, "she doesn't need to worry about all the details. I told her I'd plan the wedding."

"And, she's is OK with that?"

"Certainly. Why wouldn't she be." Dixie looked at Ms Harbuck who was making notes on her clipboard. "I have experience and know the proper way things should be handled. Girls these days, well they don't appreciate the finer details."

Ms. Harbuck did not have a good feeling about this. However, her job was to accommodate the customers, not question their motives. She asked, "Dixie, how big will the wedding be?"

"I would think around 500. We are sending out 350 invitations. I would imagine not only will everyone invited want to come, there may be others who just show up."

"Really," Ms. Harbuck said a bit sarcastically, which was lost on Dixie. "I guess we will plan on 500 guests and see where it goes from there." She made more notes.

"You don't have to worry about a cake. Beŕnerd from La Petit Maison de Délice, will be handling that. He is designing it personally, you know. "

Ms. Harbuck didn't know and right now, did not care about Beŕnerd. She continued, "Brides usually enter the hall from here," she pointed to the large heavy wooden doors behind them. "Then the bride and her father will proceed down the aisle, this way." She pointed toward the wall across the huge space. "Usually, the bridal party will stand here." She moved to the wall showing a location underneath colorful stained glass panels.

"Usually?" asked Dixie. "What do the other people do?" 

Ms. Harbuck was a bit confused. "Other people?"

"You know those weddings, well shall we say, of the well to do, the upper crust - those who appreciate doing things the most appropriate way." Dixie paused, "We are not usual."

Dixie continued, "Yes, how did Jennifer Garner set up her service and reception."

The coordinator politely said, "Mam, we do not discuss the details of anyone's wedding. We pride ourselves on complete confidentiality." She paused, then added, "Jennifer Gardner, why would you even ask about her wedding?"

"Oh, I read all about it in People Magazine. I was so impressed, I decided the wedding had to be in the same location."

Surprised, Ms. Harbruck said very seriously, "I hate to disappoint you, but we did not host Jennifer Garner's wedding."

"But you had to, I read about it in People."

"Perhaps you are confusing us with Chateau Bel a la Monte on the Danube in France?"

"No, I'm sure it was Chateau Belmont. My sources are very reliable."

Ms. Harbuck did not have the energy to argue with this Mother of a Bride. After all, she was only trying to save Mrs. Quinton from embarrassing herself.  She had dealt with enough Mothers of the Bride and Brides to think she had seen it all. But maybe not. "This is the way everyone setups the service. There really is no other way."

Dixie accepted her word and moved on. "Now if we wish to place small boxes under each guest's chair containing a chrysalis, is that going to be a problem?"

Not daring to ask, Ms. Harbuck just smiled. "Of course, whatever you want."

Dixie took this as Ms. Harbuck not knowing what a chrysalis is.

They made their way to the large half moon shaped flagstone terrace. "This should be big enough to accommodate your guests for the reception." Ms. Harbuck showed her a large well lit room. "This is our Bride's room. We try to make everything they need is here for them. We have a seamstress on staff to handle those last minute issues. The Chateau also provides a hair stylist and makeup artist, if the Bride or her party needs assistance. If she wishes, we can easily set up a champagne bar in here for the Bride and her party."

As they walked back into the hall, the coordinator pointed to a wooden door across the way. "That is a suite similar to the Bride's room, that will be set-up for the Groom and his party."

"And the Mother of the Bride's suite? Where would that be?"

Taken aback, Ms. Tucker politely said, "Oh, I'm sorry we don't have one of those. After all it is the Bride's day, the idea is to serve her needs and make her experience here as perfect as possible."

Dixie did not pursue this, fine points such as this could be dealt with later. They covered some other details that needed to be handled. As Dixie got ready to leave, Ms. Harbuck asked,"Now when will I get to meet the Bride? You didn't even give me her name."

"Kathleen. And she is marrying Reginald Beauregard Jackson. We call him 'Jeb'. He is from THE Jackson family from Mobile. I'm sure you are familiar with them." Dixie added, "Oh, I doubt you will need Kathleen before the wedding. She is just so busy with her career and all."

"Is there anything else I can help you with?"

Dixie told Ms. Harbuck that would be all for now. The 2 women exchanged parting words and Dixie left to return to Gallagher.

Ms. Harbuck made a note to call the bride. She knew from experience, this did not bode well. And, what the Hell was a 'Mother of the Bride suite'. She shook her head, knowing from experience she was dealing with a 'Motherzila' versus a Bridezila. She shook her head as she turned to return to her office. 'Who cared who THE Jacksons were. And, why did Mrs. Quinton want to put a box with a cocoon under each seat'?

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