I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW ~ 1973
During the Christmas break it was hard being away from Sandy. We were together almost everyday since the Planets of the Apes. When he never called me in Ohio I got worried. Yet, at the same time I was glad he didn’t call because my dad would have asked him his intentions. I told my mom I was dating Sandy Storrie from New Mexico.
Many years later Mom told me that back them she thought I was dating a girl named Sandy from Mexico!
When I finally got back to New Orleans, Sandy and I picked up where we left off. I was so happy! One of the things I loved about Sandy was his gift of gab on any topic. He let me talk and he actually listened to me. We were engaged by March of 1973 and the first place we shopped for rings we found exactly what we liked. I was so impressed Sandy had saved enough money to buy our rings. He had snagged a part-time job ministering to deaf adults at the First Baptist Church of New Orleans.
I couldn’t stop looking at my beautiful diamond ring!
My grandmother, Bertha Mae Kilpatrick Wilcox, sent me $50.00 to buy a wedding dress. I found everything I needed at a little fabric shop! My parents sent money for our flowers, a cake, and Sandy’s suit. Every flower shop I called was booked up for June 18th. One man gave me the number of a discount flower shop. The nice Chinese lady assured me she would send over two nice bouquets for my price, yes, yes!
Why did I have a funny feeling about that?
Sandy’s parents, Dr. and Mrs. Bryce Longmuir Storrie, flew into New Orleans from New Mexico the day before the wedding. They made their hotel reservations before they came to the seminary campus. My maid of honor, Carolyn Burton, flew in from Somerset, Kentucky, and she would stay in the girl’s dormitory with me. In the morning Sandy would his parents to the church to let his mom, Tommie, decorate the wedding hall and table. I was a little nervous meeting Sandy’s distinguished parents for the first time, but they were very nice.
I wondered if they thought I was good enough for their son.
When a humongous, Winnebago camper pulled into the parking lot with seven special people I love, I became excited! They were my mom, Marie, my dad, Jim, my brother, Tim, my two sisters, Tammy and Kim Wilcox; also on board were my pastor, Bob Skirvin, and his beautiful wife, Mary! I was so tickled they would come 900 miles to perform our wedding. A few days before they came, they had a ghost wedding shower without me, and we got so many nice gifts from my friends at North Fairfield Baptist Church! We got to hear about all their fun on the long trip down to New Orleans from Hamilton, Ohio.
They still laugh and talk about that trip today!
Mary Skirvin directed our wedding rehearsal that afternoon and she made it so easy with lots of fun and laughter! Almost everybody followed her directions except for a few goofy people like Sandy Storrie. His mom and dad were watching and not claiming him. Later, they treated everybody to a lovely rehearsal dinner at the Ponderosa Steak House (our choice) where I had my first steak!
I kept telling Sandy I was poor!
The next day, on Saturday June 18th, was our wedding day, and I would not see Sandy until I walked down the isle around 2:15 PM! I was so nervous about something going wrong that I couldn’t eat! I was, also, having paranoid thoughts again!
What if Sandy parents hate me and they talk Sandy into leaving me at the altar?
I tried to focus on the sunny day as Tim drove us down town to the church at one o’clock. Tammy and Kim were snickering at my big rollers in my hair. Kim asked me if I was going to walk down the isle with them still in my hair. I told her no because my bridal color was lavender not pink! I also told them if I didn’t keep my hair in the rollers until the last minute, I would look like Phyllis Diller with an Afro!
If it wasn’t for my little sissy, Kim, loaning me her three-inch high, wedge sandals, I may have tripped walking down the isle in my extra long wedding gown! The shoes just fit! Now, with everyone in their places, the song was sung, and now it was time for me to enter! The Wedding March started and I grabbed hold of my dad’s left arm and squeezed so hard he said, “Kathy, just remember, Jesus is right here with you! Take a big breath and don’t be afraid!”
I needed that little reminder!
As Dad and I walked down the isle of the small chapel, cute little David from my Sunday School class, smiled and waved. Mrs. Feux, a dear deaf lady friend, smiled and signed beautiful! My heart melted. We found our spot and waited for Bob to say, who gives this woman to this man? and Dad said in a deep voice, her mother and I do! Dad handed me over to Sandy. Everybody, plus the fly on Bob’s hair, held their breath as we waited for my stout dad to not trip over my long, head veil as he made his way to join my mother.
Thank God, He didn’t trip!
Rev. Bob Skirvin smiled and began speaking calmly about the importance of salvation, the sanctity of marriage, the support of the Trinity, and our great future ahead. It gave me a chance to take a deep breath and relax. As he kept talking I shifted my eyes off him to the flowers on the left behind him. I felt my heart suck the air out of both my lungs! I’ve heard of brides crying at their wedding but I doubt it was because a cheap florist delivered old flowers!
To this day I hate gladiolas!
I forced myself to focus on Bob’s thin lips speaking pleasant words that I should be listening to, but I couldn’t help myself…I had to look to the right! Sure enough, every stalk of the pastel gladiolas was slightly trimmed in permanent brown. I must have gasped because Sandy looked over at me from the corner of his eyes. I nodded one time toward the flowers. Sandy looked back at Bob, first, not wanting to miss the cue to repeat after him. Sandy sneaked a quick look at the bouquet then looked back at Bob.
I made it through the ceremony without messing up my vowels, so I’m pretty sure we got married.
Pastor J.D. Grey’ nice office was the photography room! It had nice furniture and mirrors. We had hired a ministerial student who did photography as a hobby to take our pictures. We got some really nice photos no thanks to Sandy who was distracted and driving me crazy trying to kiss and embarrass me.
By the time we finished the pictures and shook everybody’s hand it was time to leave. We didn’t get to eat any cake nor drink any punch because it was all gone. Sandy told me his Mom saved the top of the four tier cake for us. I thought we would eat it after we got back from our honeymoon, but Sandy said we were supposed to eat it a year later for good luck?
Yuck! Not me!
My wonderful seminary girlfriends, Carolyn, Rachel, Linda, Helen, and Susan helped serve the refreshments and cleaned up! My maid of honor, Carolyn Burton rode with my family in the camper and they dropped her off in Somerset, Kentucky. Sandy’s parents got a taxi back to the airport. We didn’t get to spend much time with my folks, Sandy’s parents, or Carolyn.
Everything went well, but too fast in too little time!
I was feeling so emotional, two things kept me from crying; Sandy’s hand around mine and our secret get-a-way plan! Our friends had threatened to follow us to our honeymoon motel, so earlier Sandy hid his car five blocks away and rode the streetcar back to the church! We laughed as we ran out the church while they bombarded us with rice then I threw my bouquet! With surprise, they watched walk away (for the streetcar). When we started boarding, they knew why they couldn’t find our car to write on the windows, wrap it in toilet paper, and tie empty tin cans on the back bumper!
Ha, ha! Our little secret get-a-way worked!!
We waved through the windows, laughing, and slapping our knees as the streetcar moved on. A minute later we saw two car loads of our people following us, waving and laughing!! When the streetcar stopped for a passenger to get on we exited the rear! Our friends were stuck in traffic up ahead so we ducked behind a truck and dashed down a side street. We thought we saw one of the cars so we hid behind some bushes. Dogs started barking like crazy so we ran across a corner lot and down the street where Sandy thought he parked the car. Nope! We finally found the car! Hurray!
Thirty-five minutes later we were finally out of the down-town traffic and on way to Pascagoula, Mississippi! One more exit would connect us with the main interstate out of New Orleans and we would be home free! Immediately on our right as we were merging into the main interstate we looked over and saw two familiar cars; we heard loud horns with waving hands!
Oh, no! We could not believe our bad luck of running into them!
Sandy sped up to get ahead but it didn’t work. They were already behind us, tailgating. I had never seen Sandy mad before but he was showing signs of mild irritation. That’s when I got tickled and started laughing. He got tickled. They followed us about four or five miles before they turned off at an exit. WHEW!!
I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW!