1. Archive

The bride wore white and held an umbrella in her hand

Published Oct. 12, 2005

A short news item caught my eye the other daywhile I was reading the paper. A couple was married while riding a giant roller-coaster called the Great American Scream Machine.

They said marriage is somewhat of a scream and has its ups and downs, so why not get married on a roller-coaster bearing that name.

Americans seem to have a strange fascination with being married in unusual places. Couples have been married while on the wings of airplanes. They have been married in scuba gear. I believe I recall a couple being married at the circus while they were shot out of a cannon.

I cannot compete with marriages performed in such unusual places. Lisl and I were married 43 years ago, very conservatively, in a rabbi's studio in New York City. Ours was a very small wedding attended only by Lisl's parents, her favorite uncle and aunt, my parents, and my sister and her husband.

When I think of the size of the wedding receptions I have given my daughters, I am slightly jealous of Paul and Lotte, Lisl's parents, for getting off so easily.

Our wedding in July 1949 was unusual in one respect. Would you not think it unusual, to say the least, if you saw a young woman sitting in a car, not a convertible, with her umbrella open while the sun was shining outside? Might you think it even more unusual if the young woman in the car is a radiant bride, smiling from ear to ear? What gives?

To the best of my knowledge, Lisl does not have any phobias that dictate she must sit under an umbrella in a closed car, either now or then. There is no religious significance to this behavior, either. It has more to do with the idiosyncrasies of a 1934 Ford sedan, which was my car when we were married.

This particular model was a four-door sedan. It had a metal body except for the roof, which was made of thick fabric, made waterproof with special paint. I am sure the car was completely waterproof when it was new and for years afterward. But, alas, in a car 15 years old, signs of aging do appear. Come to think of it, 15 years in a car would be the equivalent in age to a person close to 100.

Anyhow, this special cloth roof repelled most of the water it came in contact with, as it was designed to do. However, in heavy rains, it absorbed some moisture. Like a camel that fills itself with water at an oasis and then draws upon its water stores for days to come, this roof would store some of the water during heavy rains and then get rid of it by dripping water in the car for some time after the rain stopped.

On July 17, 1949, it rained heavily while we were inside the rabbi's studio. It had stopped raining and the sun was shining when the religious part of the ceremony was over and we were ready to ride to the restaurant where the reception was going to be held.

Lisl was offered a ride in one of the two limousines rented for the occasion. However, good trouper that she is, she declined and chose to ride with her new husband in his antique car with all its idiosyncrasies.

So it is our claim to fame that this has been one of the few times, perhaps the only time, that a radiant young bride, all dressed in white, sat inside a car riding down Broadway with her umbrella open while the sun was shining outside.

It was a charming event during a memorable day.

Dr. Alfred Schick of Clearwater is director of medical education at Morton Plant Hospital.

Up next:Correction