December 13, 1969
After my second day back at school, Nate and I had something special to write on our wall calendar – our first social engagement as husband and wife.
Mr. Scarce, our McKinley School principal, had come to my classroom asking if the two of us would come to his home the following weekend for a multi-purpose party: to celebrate our wedding and also the Christmas season. All 7 teachers would be invited, and he hinted there might be a “roast.” It was easy to guess who. (Right: Principal Scarce and me)
More than happy to keep the wedding celebration going, Nate and I accepted. When party day arrived, it was extra special because my carpool buddies Judy and Linda were there, too, along with their husbands. All of us were newlyweds enjoying our first year of marriage.
It seemed odd to be driving the 40 miles to Danville on a Saturday evening, but we were proud to have our men along and eager to introduce them to our work cronies.
As soon as we arrived, Mr. Scarce pinned a gauzy curtain to my hair. He had a little trouble, since I was wearing a wig. (Nate and I had decided to grow our hair for a while – he a mustache and me a longer ‘do. His ‘stache was coming along nicely, but every day was a bad-hair day for me.)
“After we eat,” Mr. Scarce said, “we’re going to have a mock wedding.” (Above, Linda and Ron behind us.)
Although the roasting part of the ceremony was a bit racy, I reminded myself we weren’t in church. Part of it was a summary of the bride’s qualifications for marriage, including her ability to ditch teacher training days (…apparently forgiven but not forgotten).
At the end of it, Mr. Scarce presented us with a fake marriage license, pretending to be shocked as he announced we weren’t really married after all, because of an error on the license. We played along, always mindful that our host was also my boss.
The evening was a success, and I was grateful to be back in the good graces of our principal… sort of. I knew I was going to search for a new school the following year where I might be able to teach kindergarten again, and no doubt he wouldn’t like that. But a good recommendation would be critical.
Although Danville hadn’t required me to attend adult education classes in order to continue teaching, I still wasn’t officially certified. If the need for “provisional” teachers disappeared, I’d be out the door — which would mean financial ruin for Nate and I. As he attended law school, my small paycheck was our sole support. With loving families behind us, we knew we’d never starve, but we wanted very much to do life on our own.
“The Lord is your keeper… He will keep your life. The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in.” (Psalm 121:5,7,8)