For the second time this summer, Sherryl attended a very special family celebration. Our Auntie Pattie and Uncle Roland celebrated on September 8 their 50th wedding anniversary; the party today was hosted by our cousins Dyana and Marie. About a hundred people, including some members of the original wedding party, gathered to congratulate our aunt and uncle. With music queued, their names were announced as they entered the social hall and Mendelssohn's Wedding March trilled bringing to the eyes of all sentimental tears of joy.
A scrumptious buffet and a heartfelt toast served as perfectly timed bookends to a poignant slide show that took us all down memory lane. Tissues emerged in the hands of many when the very first slide was displayed: a photo of our tuxedo-clad grandfather proudly helping his bride-to-be daughter, dressed in a beautiful white wedding dress and veil, don the traditional wedding garter. Nostalgic photos of a wedding day, circa 1957, began the journey. Our parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles looked so very young. Snapshots of milestones in the lives of children and grandchildren reflected a longevity that few married couples are lucky enough to enjoy. Fifty years. Just amazing. Thank you, Rich, for such a beautiful compilation! (For a list of some other events that took place in 1957, just click here.)
Following the slide show, Auntie Pattie and Uncle Roland, who have always been able to "cut a rug" (you should see these two jitterbug!), danced to one of their favorite songs, "Sweet Caroline" by Neil Diamond. Ceremonious cutting of a three-tiered cake was followed by stunning granddaughters Cristina and Nicole handing out to all two party favors. One of those mementos was a very pretty handcrafted seed packet made with much love by Sherryl. RaRa's creative juices and productivity have been in high gear this past week!
After most party-goers had left, that favorite Neil Diamond song was next in line on our Uncle Ross's karaoke machine. So, with our children and grandchildren watching us the same way we had watched our moms, Anna Mae, Maureen Theresa, and Patricia Frances Savage, do on numerous occasions, several of us cousins giddily gathered and sang at the top of our lungs, on key, into a microphone held by Laureen. A dozen favorite tunes followed eliciting great harmony from Lisa, a solo from Uncle Ross, and snappy choreography from Lynn and Jeanette. By the time we had finished singing, our cousin Ron had grabbed a few basketballs and began to shoot hoops. Soon males of all ages had joined him.
Our cousin Ross, who made a very memorable surprise visit to Sherryl when she was hospitalized last June, is charmingly energetic, full of love, and a very talented photographer of people you'll recognize if you check out Ross's website. Hundreds of photographs were snapped today by our sweet younger cousin, and we're very much looking forward to seeing what magic emerges from behind his camera's shutter. So many more precious memories were made today.
And now, here is how "Sweet Caroline" should really sound when sung live at a big party. Happy 50th Anniversary Auntie Pattie and Uncle Roland!