Tuesday, April 17, 2018

You Can Discuss That Later

Just then Bunny saw her mother step forward. Anna Belle was up dressed in a nice but conservative gown. "Sweat heart, welcome to your wedding." She gave Bunny a warm hug, one that was authentic. "But you don't have time to visit now, you need to go with Ms. Harbuck."

"Why . . .?" Bunny stuttered. "I thought it was the chairman's grandson's wedding." Anna Belle looked at Mike and they both laughed

Mike came up behind her. "It is. Walter Pace is my grandfather."

"But . . ." Bunny was totally addled.

Mike assured her it was all taken care of. "So, just enjoy this. Don't worry. "Mike kissed her lightly.

They heard a gentleman's voice behind them. "Mike was right, you are a beautiful bride."

Bunny turned to see a distinguished older man standing there. He offered his hand to Mike, who shook it. Mike turned to Bunny, "Bunny, this is Walter Pace, my grandfather." Bunny smiled. Mike continued,"Granddaddy basically raised me after my parents died."

"In Gallagher?"

Before Mike could answer, 'Miss' Ella and Rayanne walked up to congratulate the couple. Mike introduced them to his grandfather. Ella offered her hand, "Walter, it is so good to see you."

Now Bunny was even more baffled. Before she could ask, 'Miss' Ella turned to her. "Mike's family is from Mobile. His mother was a Loeffler."

Rayanne interjected, "She grew up on Government Street."

This was all lost on Bunny. She knew nothing about the names and streets in Mobile. But, since 'Miss' Ella said it, she knew it was true. Mike's mother must have been someone fancy. They were interrupted by more friends who wanted to congratulate them. It seemed to Bunny, everyone she knew was there.  Aunt Cordelia, Clark Butler and his wife, Mercer Magill and Iris, and Hollis and Colleen, among many. Even Ike was there, dressed in  nice conservative grey suit with a baby blue tie.

 "Mike, how did you do this? I'm still in shock."

"Well Pops insisted we have the wedding here. That eliminated a lot of issues on my end. I had no idea whether to have roses or daisies, hamburgers or steam ship round. That was where Ms. Harbuck was indispensable." He smiled, "Of course your total preoccupation with Kathleen and Jeb's reception helped - a lot."

Bunny gave him a quick kiss, "I'm so lucky to have you."

"You can discuss that later," Ms Harbuck said as she looked at Bunny's attire. "Certainly you don't want to get married in",  she caught herself. "What I am trying to say is that all brides should wear an appropriate gown. Follow me." Bunny and her mother followed Ms. Harbuck back into the grand hall and up the large stairway.  Ms. Harbuck opened a door and motioned for Bunny to enter. "This is our Bride's room."

The room was, what looked like a large bedroom, furnished with plush sofas and comfortable chairs. The back wall was mainly windows. The light from the morning sun lit up the room. Hanging on a large amour was a beautiful wedding gown. On the floor were a pair of silk covered heels. Bunny was still in shock. She looked at Anna Belle, "For me?" Bunny looked  back at the dress then asked, "Are you sure it will fit?"

"It should, it's your size." Anna Belle said as she stepped forward, "I hope you like it. I had some help choosing it."


"No, we helped your mother." Bunny recognized the voice. She turned to see Della and Vivian as they walked into the room.

"And, these, my dear, are your bridesmaids," Anna Belle said looking at Della and Vivian. Bunny saw that her best friends were wearing matching purple dresses.

"My favorite color," Bunny said almost squealing.

"Oh, girls, we can talk later. Let's get this bride ready." With that all the ladies started buzzing around. The Chateau's hair dresser came in to fix Bunny's hair and her makeup. The dress was a perfect fit.

Meanwhile outside on the patio, Dixie was having a fit. "Kathleen, I cannot believe you are here. And, dressed in that hideous purple dress."

"Why, Mama, doesn't this fit into your wedding 'palette'?" Kathleen said sarcastically. 

"This is your day. Why are you not home getting prepared for your wedding?" She shook her head in disgust. "Honestly, the idea that Bunny would plan her wedding on your day."

"Mama, just stop it. I'm fine and you will be also. Remember Bunny did not even know about her wedding until 10 minutes or so ago. I think Mike did an incredible job planning the wedding."

Harrell handed Dixie a glass of champagne - her third since they arrived. "Dear, you know even though Kathleen is my princess and her wedding day should be one of the best days of her life, I think she can share in someone elses happiness. I don't recall a voice coming from the heavens declaring, 'No other shall get married on Kathleen's day.'"

Kathleen gave her father a quick kiss, "I know Daddy, and I am so happy for Mike and Bunny." She took a sip of her champagne. "Mama, I must admit this is a beautiful venue. I can understand why you thought it would be great for my reception."

Dixie stopped drinking. "I know, it is beautiful. It just wasn't to be. "In fact", she smirked, "I'm surprised they were able to have their wedding here. The big wedding must be this afternoon."

Jeb looked at Dixie, "What 'big' wedding?"

"I told you, the only reason Kathleen could not have her wedding here was because the Chairman of the Board had reserved it for his granddaughter."

Kathleen looked at her mama,"I think you mean 'Grandson'. You realize who Mr. Pace's grandson is?"

Dixie ignored her daughter, as if she didn't hear what she was saying.

"Mike is Mr. Pace's grandson."

"Whatever," Dixie dismissed the comment. Suddenly, she looked shocked, then mad. "Wait, you are saying Mike is Mr. Pace's grandson?"

"The same."

"But, that cannot be. His only son married a Loeffler, one of Mobile's most prominent family."

"Yes, Mama. Mike's mother was a Loeffler."

Harrell could not resist adding, "Therefore, Mike's grandfather is Walter Pace."

Dixie was incensed. "And, his grandson is only a deputy sheriff?"

"Yes, a happy deputy sheriff,"Jeb laughed.

"Who would want to be a deputy sheriff?"

"Dixie, if you would get your nose out of the clouds, you would understand that some people are happy with their occupation - no matter what it is. Happiness is worth a lot."

"I guess so, if that is all you are capable of." Dixie took another sip of her champagne. "No wonder he is so happy with Bunny."

"You know," said Harrell, very irritated with his wife, "I think Bunny did fairly well. If Mike ever decides to give up his job, he has other things to fall on."

"Sure, his family's money or, better yet, his bride's money. The money she only has because a lonely man needed company then she lucked up when he died before he came to his senses."

"Seriously?" Kathleen looked at Jeb, "Sweetheart, there are some other people I would rather to visit with. Let's go find them."

With that, Kathleen turned on her heels and walked away. Before he followed, Jeb added, "If Mike were unhappy he could take advantage of his law degree or his PhD in history."  Jeb, then, turned and left to find Kathleen.

Before Dixie could say anything else, Harrell looked at her. "Don't say another word. I would like to know who died and made you a Vanderbilt." He, too, turned and walked away.

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