(C) 2015 by Metta Anderson – All Rights Reserved
This is not how I wanted this quick post to look but the cursor gets stuck at the end of the label so I have to start here. The rose will end up at the bottom. Sorry!
The roses seemed appropiate. On 9 May 1953, my mother Elizabeth Faye Powers (Anderson, divorced from) married Allen E. Conrad in a beautiful Episcopal ceremony at the Chapel of the Incarnation of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, on Ottawa Street, in Lansing, Michigan. The bride wore a ballerina length pink tulle and satin dress with a matching pillbox hat, pearls and gloves and shoes. The groom wore a dark suit. Their families were present and absolutely everyone smiled with love, happiness and best wishes.
My brother wore a dark suit with short pants (he was 6) and lucked out, along with future film director and producer John(ny) Hughes. (Yes, the same “Pretty in Pink” guy. No, the title does not refer to my mother that day.) It was sweltering, almost 90 degrees and, being Michigan, humid.
I had a pale blue organdy dress with white embroidery and a smocked bodice, custom made for me. I wore some artificial flowers in my hair, white anklet socks and white shoes. Guess what? I looked oh-so-adorable and felt oh-so-miserable! Organdy does not exactly breathe and someone forgot to line the dress, so the gathers inside scratched my all day long. In the pictures taken that day, I look like I want to burst into tears, and I probably did, but it was because of the heat, humidity and the dress. Otherwise, I was really happy because–FINALLY!!!–I would have what everyone else in my neighborhood had–a father! (My actual father, Mr. Anderson, was quite alive, and married by then to someone else.) Worse, we were living at the time in a really nice (pretty, well-kept-up) CATHOLIC neighborhood. Everyone else had fathers. My brother and I did not, and in 1953, that just was not cool.
The wonderful reception afterward was at the Lansing Country Club and I won’t get into the details about it here. It was fun, though. My brother REO, me, Crickie (Christine) Hughes, her brother Johnny, their father (great guy!) and their mother (my mother’s matron of honor), plus many Anderson cousins (their parents were friends of my mother’s, regardless of the divorce) and meeting new Conrad cousins running loose in the well-manicured grounds of the club, plus food and I think we (as children) had ice cream. We had to have something–the heat was toasting us. Grown-ups had champagne. There was a buffet and then the wedding ccake was cut and served. There was dancing. Photos were taken.
Eventually, the newlyweds disappeared into someplace inside the club (don’t ask me where) and changed clothes. Then the entire wedding party with reception piled into those lovely huge 1950s cars (mostly Oldsmobiles, as Lansing was the number one “factory outlet”) and went off to Lansing’s Capital City Airport. The newlyweds were going to San Francisco for their honeymoon, flying from Lansing to Chicago on Capitol Airlines (“the Blue Goose”) to catch the flight west. I do remember Mom wearing an orchid corsage on her suit’s jacket. We all threw rice at the couple (and anyone who happened to be in range) as they left the terminal and walked to the DC-3 about 20 feet from the terminal. They waved from the door and the wedding photographer got that shot, too. (It’s in the album.)
No, REO and I were not abandoned in our new house in East Lansing. Mom’s mother and sister were with us, although my aunt had to return to her job in Houston after a few days. Nana stayed until Mom and our new Dad got back from San Francisco, bringing some interesting souvenirs.
By the time of my 8th birthday, 5 June, we had settled into life at 621 Rosewood. It was summer and we were a family. That was very cool.
(C) 2015 by Metta Anderson. All rights reserved.