| Wedding Memories - now 50 Years!
July 29, 2010 was our 40th Anniversary.
It was interesting to look at the old photos again and compare people
and places - Then and Now. And enjoy our wedding all over
again. Come along with us on this photo look-back.
This is our story.
This 40 year old story (now 50) began in 1970 when Nordair - the
airline I was assigned to in Montreal - was returning a leased 737
airplane to United Air Lines in San Francisco, and picking up a new
airplane at the Boeing factory. Nordair sold the flights both ways
as revenue trips and set up a California charter to accomplish
this. I went along to look after the airplanes, and Dot, who worked for Nordair, took time off
to keep me company. After a week roaming around California, we
were heading back to San Francisco to take the new airplane home.
During the long drive up California's Central Valley, I got
sleepy at the wheel, and seeing a sign for a California Mission,
got off the highway to walk around and clear my head. We had visited a number
of other Missions - founded 200 years ago by Junipero Serra and
the Spanish Franciscan Padres. There are 21 and all are special places, albeit most are now in urbanized settings. This
Mission is the smallest - and off in the farm fields by itself - tiny and alone in the
shadow of the close-by mountains - all together different. We
were enchanted. Like the old Mission, we were alone - there was no
one around - save the old Chapel, the crumbling adobe walls, the ghosts
from 200 years of history, and the wind.
After a while, we got back on the road, heading North
again. About an hour or more thereafter - somewhere between
Salinas and San Jose, while recalling the special charms of lonely and
well-named Mission Soledad, I offered that if I ever got married - I
would like for it to be in a place like that. Dot said - "Me too."
Hmmmm........ as a wild thought suddenly passed through my head. I asked the (big) question - "Do you want to get married there?" She said "OK!" And so - that's how it happened. Not on my knees, but on the freeway.
I promptly got off the freeway at the next exit and drove
back to Soledad. There was nobody out at the Mission, so we
cruised around the small town until we found the parish church. We
rang the doorbell at the rectory. It was late afternoon. The
priest's housekeeper answered the door and summoned the priest - Father
John McSweeney. A gentle, slim man with an Irish accent. We
told him what we had in mind; I can't remember if he was surprised or
not. But, he eventually figured out we were serious. We
exchanged information and agreed to resume contact when we got back to
After three months of coordinating, we returned to Soledad and tied the knot in the historic old Mission.
Obviously a special occasion. But also, a very special place.
The Rianda Family, local farmers, and members of the
Parish, felt sorry for these strangers from afar, and, having decorated the tiny chapel with flowers, hosted a small
reception in their home.
We visited Norma Rianda in that same house on our 40th.
Father McSweeney arranged for some local young people to be our Witnesses.
Lynn Rianda was our Maid of Honor and Tommy Vaughn was my Best Man.
Sadly, Lynn passed away at a much too early age.
Tommy served in the Coast Guard and then became a local farmer.
Tommy passed away in 2021.
Wedding Day plus 40 years
After the wedding, we returned to our hotel in Carmel, and then honeymooned traveling around California.
Here we are in the same hotel 40 years later - looking over the same balconies!
Two months after our marriage, we did things the 'regular way' and hosted a reception in Montreal for family and friends.
They felt somewhat slighted by our having eloped alone. We have no regrets.
My parents............and all together with Dot's mother
My college chums ... Jim and Fran Hiestand and Judy and Bill Moritz
As Frank Sinatra said in his song - We did it....... 'Our Way.'
July 29, 1995 - our 25th Anniversary
July 29,2015 - our 45th Anniversary
Lunch with Norma Rianda
Golden Anniversary Update
July 29, 2020 - our 50th Anniversary!
Sadly, the Mission is closed and travel very constrained due to the virus pandemic.
So - this year, we celebrated at home. Alone. Sort of like when we got married.
After 51 years of marriage, my Dot passed on August 8, 2021 - for her story click here
The color for 40 is Ruby Red.