And it was a beautiful fall day—sunshine, blue skies, a nice breeze, comfortable dry air.
The food, of course, was incredibly delicious: Tender, flavorful German pot roast, homemade whole-hog sausage, kraut with beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans, apple sauce. Bread (you want to sop up all the good juices!), and, of course, your choice of dessert.
I always skip the cakes and brownies and go for a slice of fruit pie—whatever looks homemade and seasonal. Today my choice was blackberry/raspberry pie. Dad selected gooseberry pie!
Gosh, darn it, I forgot to take pictures of the food! I keep forgetting to do that at these church suppers. But you know how it is—as soon as you sit down, the platters and bowls of food start circuiting the table, and then your plate is full, and before you know it, you’re all done. Lickin’ your chops!
Today’s supper was special, however! Remember that newlywed couple my dad happened to photograph on October 17, 1964, as they departed through the church gates riding on the back of a manure wagon? And four days after I posted the picture, the couple had been identified: It was Elmer and Rita Bax!
Well, I met them in person today!
It was really fun to connect with them and their family, and yes, they’re all delightful, cordial, wonderful people. And yes, Rita was slicing pies when I met her! And this afternoon, Elmer was the Bingo caller!
They’re a good lookin’ couple, aren’t they!
I even got to meet Rita’s sister and brother-in-law, who are visiting from Albuquerque. This is the sister who had been casually doing Internet searches on “Westphalia, Missouri” when she stumbled upon the photo of Elmer and Rita: “Hey, isn’t that—!?”
And I got to introduce them to my father, who had taken the two photos of them in 1964, when he happened to be in Westphalia with a group of graduate students, touring the historic sites in the town. Naturally, when he saw the wedding couple riding in a manure spreader (of all things), he had to take a picture.
Rita explained that it’s a tradition in Westphalia for newlyweds to think up novel ways to ride away from the church. It’s not so much a “luck” thing as it is simply fun. Lately, she said, hay wagons have been popular. And one couple, for example, rode away on a pontoon!
The Baxes have been married forty-seven years as of tomorrow. To celebrate their anniversary, and to thank them for letting me harass them publicly on the Internet, I gave them a framed version of this photo.
(Gosh, isn’t the Internet a fascinating thing?)