Saturday, August 17, 2013
Countdown to the 45th: 1968
The year that we got married, 1968, was a time of upheaval. Martin Luther King was assassinated in April, followed by Bobby Kennedy in June. There was rioting in major cities, including Chicago during the Democratic National Convention.
We actually returned to Naperville, Illinois after our honeymoon and watched the rioting on television from our first apartment. We knew people who were demonstrating and even one or two national guardsmen who were "on the other side." It was a turbulent time, but we were college students and in love and wanting to be together very much.
I worked at the Howard Johnson's restaurant on the west side of Oshkosh during the summer of 1967. Ed went fishing with my Dad toward the end of the summer when he came to visit.
Fishing? Those two never fished, but that's how the story goes. Supposedly he asked "for my hand in marriage" while they were out fishing. What a story! Anyway, there was a ring and an official engagement and the rest is history.
The dinner dance photo is from the spring of 1967 at the Pick Congress Hotel in downtown Chicago. I'm wearing one of my high school prom dresses, made by me. One of the girls on my dorm floor, April Dunn, did my hair for the occasion. We look pretty spiffed up for the dance!
This is my favorite wedding photo, a portrait taken by Michael Conte at his studio in Ripon, Wisconsin several days before we were married. I worked as assistant waterfront director at Camp Lucerne in Neshkoro, Wisconsin that summer and had a deep tan, especially on my nose. Mr. Conte worked wonders with theatrical makeup (Max Factor Pan Stick, great stuff for theater productions) to shade my face.
Notice that both mothers are wearing white gloves in this photo. Ed was 21 and I was 20. Maybe the look on our parents' faces is the sheer terror of having your oldest (Ed's parents) and second oldest (my parents) get married. None of that was communicated to us and we would not have listened had it been communicated. We were together and that's all that mattered.
Wanda Hayes Eichler