Wednesday, October 29, 2014
My wedding officiant
When I was planning to marry my husband in 1976, back in the day, 38 years ago, I pondered who should marry us. Religious affiliation tensions flowed in from both sides. Not serious, not dealbreakers but still there. My parents, wanted a rabbi and that was fine with Dennis, and me, but a lot of rabbis won't marry when one is not a Jew plus there was nobody in Sacramento that came to mind. We did do a blessing thing at the Friday night service. Dennis' parents, though not churchgoeers, started making Christian noises.
The whole wedding-industrial complex did not exist at that time. Thank goodness. You could not go onto the internet, like Ilana did, to find a compatible wedding officiant.
I pondered and thought, what to do, himmm. The, one day at the work, it came to me in a flash. Grandfather Beittel! Yes! That was it! He was an eminent minister, Congregational or something. The families were so close; I continue to be close to that whole family. He was like a member of the family. My parents wouldn't object; Dennis' parents would think it was ok. I really liked him. Perfect! I vaguely knew that he had been the president of some small colleges. In the south or something. That was about it.
I asked him and he did agree to marry us. Now I find out that he was very involved with the civil rights movement and spoke out freely. Which sometimes caused him to lose his job.
I happened upon a PhD dissertation "A Beacon of Light:Tougaloo during the Presidency of Adam Daniel Beittel (1960-1964). I admit I have not read it all yet. But I sent it out to members of the Beittel family who sent some interesting feedback. I contact the author and passed on their comments.
We were married in Dennis parents' living room and then had a larger reception. Though we had most all of the trappings, nothing like what's generally done now. And I know as two of my children have had conventional weddings in the last year or so.