Wisconsin War Bride Diary I, Chapter 3

My Sister’s Wedding

The summer in time flew past with much fun and gaiety. I met lots of people, a few guys, and endlessly worked after being interrupted for sleep periodically. I’m happy to have the nursing work, overtime, and comradery of St. Claire Hospital in Monroe, Wisconsin. I love every inch of my job and it gets better daily. We have many young obstetric nursing recruits because the babies just keep coming. We’ve had a few close calls, but that comes from the practice of obstetrics itself. The younger physicians are very nice, well schooled and practice utilizing the very best standards. We are performing caudal and saddle local anesthetic blocks routinely for deliveries which helps a woman tremendously. Most women in our rural area have no health insurance, few funds, and actually pay the doctors occasionally with a side of beef or chickens. This is “old school”medicine at times. Health insurance on a larger scale is just beginning, and the reduced expected costs tremendously assists our obstetric population. Most women are having multiple children in a short period of time. Many are war brides that have tremendous joy in their place in life and the magic they are bringing into this world. I’ve been routinely invited to baby and wedding showers; however I don’t really like to mix work and play. I generally go when pressured; but have to endure the endless chiding from a group of gals trying to “line me up.” I get some subtle kidding from Mom and Dad at home; so I’m surrounded by the apparent need to get married and produce. Maybe I should have stayed in Milwaukee and roomed with my old friend I knew in the dormitory. There would not be the endless pressure of finding the right guy and being a baby factory myself.

I love the friends and relatives from patient contacts I’ve met while working. Many acquaintances call me and want to provide something more than my salary. I’m very humbled; but maintain my professionalism and generally decline. I don’t really desire a new dress I’d never wear, candy, books or jewelry. However, I actually do want it all. I’m not a fuddy-duddy. I have to endure small-town social life intrusions while being prodded by friends, family and now many acquaintances. I’m constantly reminded at work and especially at home that I’m without a steady guy. I’m not yet rationed!That thought process really gets old! I’m surrounded by others thinking I just yet don’t know my place in Monroe, Wisconsin. Remember, Bernie Sattler is always writing now. I’m not certain where he actually resides overseas; nor do his parents know. I want him to return and take me dancing. Oops, I forgot. We never made it to the afternoon ice cream in downtown Monroe, Wi.. Berni’s spirits are fairly good considering he’s probably constantly in harm’s way. I dread what could potentially happen because the newspapers discuss unrest throughout Asia despite a war just ending. Korea, China, Russia and Europe it seems could explode in a moment. I’m desperately trying to analyze why the United States is everywhere throughout the world as the enforcing nation.

Mary’s wedding is now a mere two weeks away. Our dresses have all matched and are of the “New Look” style which is sweeping the United States fashion industry. We are slowly gathering post war energy in many ways. Fashion in both men and women is at the forefront. Mary’s wedding consists of white elegant traditional gowns with long veils. The hems are long and visible. However, the full length look is out and shorter gown length is now blending in with the long hems. It is highly impressive what my sister has arrived at with her fantastic taste in clothes. All the bridesmaids appear as they are also undergoing matrimony with the formalities of the dresses sewn by Mom. Everyone says I’ll meet “the man” or “the guy” at this wedding. I don’t really know about this because I feel I’ve met every eligible guy in the county and it hasn’t paid off with anything serious. Bernie is always on my mind, but he’s thousands of miles far away in Asia (I think). Our white veils are all lengthy and traditional. My mother has sewn all the gowns’ stitching and made this a fabulous wedding seem like a royal affair. I can’t wait!

The summer in Monroe, Wisconsin has been very hot and humid. The evenings have loud insect noises (cicada’s voices). These insects sing throughout the evening; and communicate to the world in an unintelligible mode for most of us. It’s almost as if I can’t wait for fall to come; along with Badger and Packer football. My dad can’t get enough of football; and it occupies his mind all day. He’s not unlike most guys I’ve met, however. Sports are a passion in Wisconsin. Our radio is on all weekend with football during the fall, Milwaukee Braves and Chicago Cubs baseball during the spring and summer, and Cheesemaker high school basketball during the winter (WEKZ locally and WGN in Chicago). Many weekends have the Dads sitting around with a beer listening attentively to sports broadcasts if they are not in live attendance. I don’t know what most guys would do without sports. It’s an addiction.

I’ve tactfully maintained plenty of nursing overtime; and therefore have the weekend off for Mary’s wedding. All systems are a go; and Mary will appear beautiful with her smiling face and never ending charm. I’ll miss my big sister; but life moves on. Rollie and Mary will occupy a home in suburban west Chicago (Aurora, Illinois). I cannot wait to see the vows taken, rice thrown and the party that will ensue that evening. Many Marquette graduates (friends of both Rollie and Mary) will arrive at the wedding expecting a colossal amount of fun. Thus, I’ll be on good behavior the entire weekend as the “Maid of Honor.” I am a bit nervous regarding the upcoming wedding. I will attempt to calm my nerves with something; but honestly cannot drink much alcohol because of pictures, relatives and the nuances of weddings. There will be a girls after party I’m told in the next day or so after Rollie and Mary have embarked on the honeymoon.

I really don’t know what is happening to my brother, James. He is transcendent with his now Jesuit training underway. Thus, for sure he’ll be at the wedding with his robe on and participate with the wedding vows on the alter. Our family Zuercher priest will take care of most of the celebration; and Mary and Rollie will ride off into the sunset on their honeymoon to the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior. That will be a total blast and more fun than anyone could imagine. The summers on the coast of Lake Superior are heavenly; and now we’ve achieved finally someone from our family really taking advantage of these glorious summers. They’ll have a great time before heading to the Chicago area. I do know there will probably be a baby conceived shortly in our family through Mary. That will really be something; because they both want to have children very soon. I cannot wait to have a nephew. Neither can Mom or Dad wait long enough to have grandchildren. It will be an occasion; but first we need to get through this wedding at our local Catholic Church, St. Victor’s. It is really critical that a full blown mass occur. The Jesuits in our family are so strict regarding Catholic ways; but in the end the Catholic Church doctrine is a way of life for essentially everyone. We’ve got two uncles at Creighton who have recently returned from the Indian Reservations in the Black HIlls of South Dakota. My uncle Joseph has a large statue erected of himself in front of St. Cecelia’s church. Father Joe is holding an Indian baby in front of the church. Father Al Zuercher (35 years in South Dakota), has a thirst to assist poverty. Joe will have been there 50 years as a Jesuit, and with Father Al, the two Zuercher Jesuits are highly respected by everyone in the Dakotas.These two uncles were strict disciplinarians and taught English and theology quite well. I’ve heard rumors of their intolerance; however the entire tribe has immense amounts of love and admiration for the Zuercher mission on the South Dakota Indian Reservations.

I certainly cannot wait for the final fitting of dresses, the evening before groom’s party and the eventuality of all the events for the wedding. At times, knowing I have a 12 hour RN shift which can turn into 24 hours, I still cannot sleep. I’m overwhelmingly excited over Mary’s wedding. It is convenient not being in college; though I do miss my Marquette University friends immensely. We communicate occasionally by phone; however our party line is so non conducive to conversation because of the interruptions by the neighbors’ kids frequently. In time, we’ll obtain a private line for expediency. Better yet, maybe I’ll drive the family car to Milwaukee and pay a weekend visit to my best friends of all time. We vowed to meet frequently until we died. I cannot fathom getting through college without many close friends. It was quite tearful leaving Marquette University upon graduation; but we all must move on. Most of us dormies have been decidedly depressed about the reality of real world nursing and the implications of not having a college to back us up. I’m hearing rumblings about a few of my close nursing student friends getting engaged, having babies and settling into the Milwaukee area. That is all grand and expected. They were all good catches because they were all very good people. Thus, they are “moving on;” and apparently I am “moving on” also in my own single manner. Time to head to bed, because I’m exhausted though I only worked 10 hours today. An old local friend of mine delivered her third baby by breech presentation; and did well while incurring a real struggle in the last phase of delivering. At times, I couldn’t hear fetal heart tones with our new fetal stethoscope; however she always recovered and avoided a Caesarean Section. It seemed the saddle block, Demerol, scopolamine, and phenergan triple twilight sleep just didn’t work at all. I’m glad for her with the baby having an unremarkable pediatric exam.

 

I guess I’ll never know and understand war. It seems like Bernie Sattler, my buddy I just met prior to his reserve military mission, is now a dream away. I have not heard from him in a week or so. I’m wondering if something is occurring that is steep trouble. I do worry; and I’ve been through this before with a military guy who made the ultimate sacrifice. We would have had two children by now. It’s sad these guys have to make this life ending choice for all of us at home. I’m very worried now that I’m thinking about what could or actually did happen to Bernie Sattler. He would have left a note with his family that he was out of reach or something worse. Maybe I shouldn’t worry so much; but I do! Maybe I’ll call his Mom in a few days to determine if Bernie is actually okay. They wouldn’t hide this from myself. Besides, it’s Monroe, Wi., and everyone knows everything.

Dad’s Oldsmobile just went in for a checkup and the transmission is leaking and expensive to repair. Thus, he’ll trade it in for a new Oldsmobile. These are generally dependable autos, but very clunky vehicles. They ride smooth, but eat gas madly at 8 cents a gallon. I can’t imagine these prices and how expensive it is to own and operate a car these days. I was never allowed a car while in college and have only begun to think about a used purchase. I know little about cars; and don’t care to mess with vehicles. My friends in Monroe and Milwaukee and beyond are now purchasing vehicles. They range from Fords, Chevys, Chrysler models and occasionally a foreign sports car – like an English MG. I love foreign sports cars; however that is well beyond myself thinking about a purchase such as this with few mechanics having foreign car repair skills. It is only a far reaching thought that I could own such a glamorous vehicle. I’m now on the “make it on my own pathway.” Thus, I’ll hang in there until the real deal comes along. I’m certain my dad will have his say as to what car his second daughter purchases. Above and beyond, I’m still dreaming; and that is healthy.
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We had our bridal shower for Mary with 25 in attendance. Some Marquette alumni nearby attended also. I can’t believe how everyone is just pregnant and loving it. Mary received a boatload of gifts; and now our family home is a storage facility. Rollie and her don’t need a wedding. They need a large barn to accumulate and maintain wedding gifts until they have their new home. I’m concerned that the amount of presents from the wedding and reception at Turner Hall in Monroe will overwhelm my parents. It’s nice to have this problem. I’ll keep on holding near and dear to my few belongings while my older sister accumulates wealth. How many toasters doe one need? In fact, Mary doesn’t toast anything! I want it all also; but these gifts are consuming and overwhelming. People are very nice; but I also show concern for the millions worldwide who could use some of these duplicate gifts. Registering at a department or clothing store is a very new concept. However, Mary should have done that with her wedding , reception and bridal shower. I probably have far more important matters for concern than excess gifts surrounding the wedding.

I can’t imagine how many people are now attending the wedding one week away. Many distant relatives are now deciding to attend. All of the Zuercher’s in Chicagoland and beyond will be attending.Rollie’s Canadian roots will all be watching vows of Mary and her hubby. I want it all; and I’ve got it all right here in Monroe, Wi.. The fact that all these people are attending the wedding means our house is stuffed with relatives staying for a few days. I’m in my room with cousins I barely remember and don’t really know. They are on their way; and I’ve got no choice in the matter. The few hotels we have in Monroe have been sold out for months. Neighbors and friends have come aboard with rooms for up to a week. People can be very nice. I have patients and new Moms volunteering their homes for the wedding guests. I’m overcome at times at how wonderful these Monroe, Wisconsin people can be! I could never say another negative word about anyone in this community. I don’t think friends lend themselves out as much in larger cities. We are very fortunate that this community has essentially zero crime. Nobody locks their car or house doors in the evening because there is no need. I remember staying at friends’ homes in the Milwaukee area during college; and everybody double locked their home’s front and back doors, the garage and all the cars. What a deal to live in a small community where these theft concerns never occur. It’s just my hometown, Monroe, Wisconsin.

The warm up dress rehearsal for the wedding is on a Friday evening. We have guests from out of the community, family from both sides, and the royal couple, Rollie and my sister Mary. I’m wearing a college outfit (termed utility clothes) to make myself relax. This included colored bobby socks, a plaid skirt, and a sweater over a blouse. My shoes were casual low tops. I needed to be absolutely ready to dance in case there was a party after the rehearsal (common). This would be Mary’s call, not mine. Mom wanted us all home for a final night together. That idea should prevail over any conflicts (such as dancing “Swing” at Turner Hall). Additionally, I’ll wear my ID bracelet, a chain necklace and maybe bring a white scarf (though it’s summer). My “Sloppy Joe” cardigan sweater a few sizes too big with a crew neck I’ll save for the post wedding party if it occurs (probably). My sweaters are “ still in” and are laced with Mom’s flower embroidery. I was a huge sweater girl in college. I’ll probably slip into a tailored suit after the wedding and before the dancing really begins. Our home is only 3 blocks from Turner Hall downtown, and I must dress to fit the exact occasion within the wedding. I’ve already planned a navy blue tea dress for the Sunday afternoon opening of gifts. I think that is my job; along with Mom and staying relatives. It will be gobs of fun. Right now, Mary and Rollie have 8 toasters. Many are headed to poverty stricken families or families of veterans who’ve incurred major injuries.

I even purchased a Bolero jacket off mail order from Montgomery Wards last year which would look great over my tailored suit with the high jeans. My shoes are ever changing from very high heels to wedgies (more comfortable). My saddle informal shoes are adequate for everywhere except in the church. Our skirts are very colorful and we have a variety of selections; however, none are going above the knees. These are “house” rules. I’m not close to discussing a bikini which was recently invented. However, if some of the family wants to swim in this beautiful August afternoon; then I’ve got my one-piece bathing suit with essentially zero cleavage. Remember, I’m on home turf for some time and my Mom knows more than anyone in this community. I cannot escape much. My mother means well always. And I fully realized coming home was where I wanted to be more than anything after college. At least I’ve got the most colorful clothes.

My handbag or leather purse in black satin complements my day bag with a shoulder strap. I love these matching bags; and all my beauty products are self contained wherever I travel. I’m always ready to adapt to the situation which Mary’s wedding will require. The scalloped treatment of the leather fits well with all the bags that are fashionable today. The small clutches that Mom and her generation used for carry bags are very dated. Seamless stockings generally are what makes a women of the 1940s. Mine are mostly brown and travel to mid thigh with garters pulling to the sky. My undergarments were pretty average and nothing special. We are only beginning an era where a women was to reveal a small portion of her private parts. Undergarments cover our backs and waists snugly and completely. Post WWII everything is loosely labeled “The New Look.” This “New Look” includes jewelry of brooded floral necklaces, large earrings and large beads with bracelets and necklaces. Patriotic themes are popular. I’ve got a small flag on many necklaces to support the US Military and all its accomplishments. I only have one ball gown (tan and white) along with my solo pair of opera gloves. All this seems complicated; but virtually all women of our generation dress for occasions.

I also have a turban hat with flowers for formal occasions and a beret for the informal lunch. The beret would have been worn with my failed Bernie Sattler date. Hopefully, I’ll be able to wear this hat soon with him. I’ll wear this fashionable red hat with white trim after the wedding. Hats immediately place style in a woman. It makes you stand out and be noticed. That is probably something that I need. My problem is the Bernie Sattler situation because no one (including Bernie himself) knows how long he’ll be deployed. Some deployments have been over a year. Am I supposed to place my life on hold for him when we have not even dated? He is military and this is the issue surrounding military guys. I just wish he was here for the wedding because everyone (including my parents) loves this guy. He is a hard working tradesman, Catholic and very good looking. Bernie is basically a good catch; however I really don’t know him well other than meeting him, a living room discussion with my parents and many letters. Unfortunately the letters have tapered for over a week. I’m close to calling his Mom; but I probably shouldn’t intrude. He could have fallen in love overseas. I understand that situation. Bernie may be thinking I’m dating guys in Green County, Wisconsin also. Who knows? It’s just that I haven’t received a letter in over a week; and that may mean trouble. I’m worrying. I’ll cry to sleep tonight. I know I should not shed a tear; but I will.

We are rapidly closing in on the wedding of my sister. It is three days away. Family and friends from many arenas are closing in on our little town in southern Wisconsin. There are many days after work and I arrive home to buckets of relatives and friends in our house. I’m sharing my room with Eleanor and Frankie Zuercher of Chicago. They are the best of friends within our family; and recently married. I’m presently quite aware of the Zuercher cheese business in Chicago. We actually compete amongst families. I was the northern tier of Swiss immigrants that traveled through Ellis Island. Our family cheese factory is in Green County near Brodhead, Wisconsin. Most of the competition within the family is for national prizes of cheese quality. Our farm in Brodhead, Wisconsin (still Green County, Wisconsin) is considerable fun. The farm is quite productive with dairy cows and staples of crops including soy, corn, wheat and barley. I work there in the summer; and it is inspiring to work with now Swiss and Austrian immigrants who speak essentially no English. The work habits of our cheese factory employees are tremendous; and many are coming to Mary’s wedding. We have an old school method of paying workers. These families do whatever it takes to make a profit in our cheese factory. They generally work 6.5 days per week. None of these people are unhappy. They have very little money because our family pays for all their expenses, room, board, food, transportation and even college expenses if needed. I’ve learned what successful work demands through these Zuercher cheese factory families.

We are one D-Day from the wedding. I have two days off barring a hospital emergency. The other head RNs who have more experience than I are covering the OB ward. I cringe thinking of how busy it has become. The rehearsal dinner is at Baumgartner’s on the square. This is such a cozy place that is simple, and we can talk after the rehearsal. I’m ready with my “New Look” preppy dress. There are some cute guys who will be at the rehearsal and dinner afterwards. I just don’t know what to do if someone engages me in a serious conversation. My mother will be there to protect me; then again it’s so different than college when she was miles away without knowing my life. My Mom may be watching me more than Mary, the bride. Thus, I need to be on good behavior. I’m ready. If a guy asks me to do something after the rehearsal dinner, I’ll say the last show at the Goetz theater is 1020 PM. Mom will be watching me like a hawk everywhere I travel. I’ve become accustomed to this behavior; but it also gets overwhelming and old. Dad doesn’t worry because he isn’t required to worry. Dad allows Mom to worry; and that’s plenty. I need to finish up work, eat something at the hospital cafeteria and obtain some flowers for Mary that were pre-ordered. I have the family car for this shift. I knew I should have purchased a car of my own since the upcoming wedding has immense last minute transportation demands. There are plenty of cars at our house constantly with many relatives gladly assisting in the wedding preparations.

I’ve arrived home and Mary is displaying her bridal gown. She has a full length white wartime gown with the very final sewing adjustments completed by Mom.This wedding gown is respectful of Rollie’s wartime Canadian military service.This gown is 100% white, has a lapped custom zipper, georgette lining, tulle ruffle and small hip padding for comfort. The fabric is mainly silk with some lace. Mary and Mom designed this masterpiece together. Many relatives have considerably great comments for Mary with her bridal appearance at home today. She does appear quite beautiful with her dark hair and total elegance. This wedding gown is fabulous; and Mary’s picture could easily appear in Parade magazine. As I see her from the side, she is quite stunning and then I notice a twinkle of a tear. I’m certain this is a happy and sad time for my sister. Rollie and her are moving to Illinois shortly after the wedding and will be involved with the General Electric company within the Chicago area. Rollie is an electrical engineer who graduated from Milwaukee college of Engineering. Again, I’m certain there will be little ones shortly. Thus, I need to think of a special gift that someone else wouldn’t give. The flower bouquet is my idea for tonight. I want something further, however. I need to think. Mary and Rollie have every conceivable house staple for years to come. They want a comfortable home like everyone else. They’ve already discussed donating many of the repetitive gifts to families in need throughout Green County, Wisconsin. Everyone is so very excited.

We have six groomsmen and six bridesmaids. I’m the Maid of Honor. My gown is similar to Mary’s and sets off to a degree from the other bridesmaids. I have a short veil; but I also have silk with some lace. The extreme edges of tulle truffle and georgette lining are not apparent by design. My back like the bridesmaids just simply ties together. Obviously our gowns are a little shorter than Mary’s masterpiece gown. I set off in my total wedding appearance from the other bridesmaids just a touch. Mary, however, sets off immensely with her elegant gown and appearance. Mom completed all the gowns with measurements the girls provided by mail. Now they are all coming downstairs and this is quite the picture. I’m required now to dress for the wedding also. We all appear so very proper, fun and enchanting. All of Mary’s bridesmaids were dormies at Marquette. They all appear well on their way to marriage if they are not already there. Suddenly Rollie and the groomsmen arrive all dressed for the wedding. This is part of the pre-rehearsal formalities insisted upon by Dad.

My Pops is so well prepared. He envisions a tumbling cascade of follies if we don’t prepare. I notice these guys are all very stunning, handsome, mature and cute as they enter our house. Only one guy has a wedding band. My thoughts are quite suspicious! The groomsmen are all staring at me. I’m blushing. Mom is checking the guys apparel first to determine if the tailor in Monroe got it just right. A cufflink on one of the Black suits needs repair. Another groomsmen had a shoe that had a small streak that Dad fixed. And still another had a collar that was too loose. Finally, Mom in 10 minutes shortened a pair of pants to avoid them dragging on the floor. It was minor, but this guy, Stanley appreciated it quite well. I had to give him a pair of my brother, James, jeans to wear or stay in the room. The jeans didn’t fit so he stayed in my room. Oh, my God, all of Bernie Sattler’s letters are in an open bin. He’ll surely read these military love letters. He’ll also discover I have a ton of shoes, but not many clothes. I now have 4 nursing uniforms and caps. He sees all my pictures on the wall from my Marquette college days. I have one with my tearful boyfriend that died overseas after the 3 week romance.

I’m the relay person for the wedding’s groomsmen black formal trousers shortened by Mom. His name is definitely Stanley (Stan or Stanley is okay). I wasn’t sure because my nerves are frayed with all these guys in our house. I hand Stanley the trousers through the door slit. He asked who the guy is on the wall. I don’t know what to say. What do you say with a question like that over a guy that died overseas? I just mumbled that he died overseas and was a good friend. Stanley says he knew this guy he thinks. Oh, my God! It’s a small world. He then comes out looking like a total ten! I escort him to the wedding party. Mom has checked out all the groomsmen and bridal gowns excepting mine. Dad curiously notices this Stanley guy staring and smiling at me. I’m embarrassed. Mom gives her approval and we’re within an hour of the church rehearsal. Everyone finds a place to hang their wedding attire and gather casual clothes. Stanley keeps staring at me and asks if I need a ride to the church. I say yes. Mom and Dad smile. Everyone else also smiles. I’m glad I’m through with that venture. Monroe, Wisconsin is so small that I couldn’t do anything here without everyone knowing. I need to concentrate on the positives, my job, friends and sister Mary’s wedding. We are committed as a family to make this a joyous occasion. I then rush upstairs to place my casual clothes on for the evening including saddle shoes, colored socks, blouse navy top and plaid dress. I look preppy and fun. I pad on last minute perfume and lipstick. I’m on my way into a new Studebaker. Stanley’s parents are part owners and board members of this iconic car company. I’m riding in luxury to St. Victor’s for three blocks.

After arrival at the church, the priest, organist and wedding party all meet. The formalities are quite clear with a family mass said by my Uncle Albert. Uncle Al just arrived from the reservation in South Dakota. He’ll say a Latin mass as quick as anyone possibly can. Servers have timed him in eight minutes with a low mass including a homily. Uncle Al seems in bright spirits; and not unexpectedly, the preparations take just a few minutes. Word has it that Uncle Al taught at Campion, a private Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, for years. Uncle Al was a total bear on the students. He actually expected the students to know the English and theology better than him before class started. Unpreparedness was not a thing to do in his class. Thus Uncle Al expects everyone to be prepared before they arrive in church, know the songs and how to sing them properly with musical accompaniment. The song that will be the true wedding song is from Glenn Miller (In The Mood). Other songs considered and will be played at the wedding include: I Love You For Sentimental Reasons – Nat King Cole, Again – Doris Day, Rum & Coca-Cola – The Andrews Sisters, Sentimental Journey – Les Brown. The wedding reception features music and dancing records from The Andrews Sisters, Benny Goodman, Al Jolson, Artie Shaw, bing Crosby and the Ames Brothers. We are prepared in every way.

The non-Catholics who will be attending needn’t worry about the length of the proceedings because Uncle’s Al’s masses (even at weddings) are at supersonic speeds. We’ll be reciting vows, throwing rice and on our way to the reception in minutes. Mom and Dad will be extremely happy; as will the rest of our family. Brother James will be on the altar with his Jesuit garb. We have other attending Jesuits within the family including Jack Zuercher from Chicago, Uncle Joseph from South Dakota and Sister Suzanne Zuercher (nun) from Chicago. Uncle Joe was the recent president of Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. My Swiss aunts (Bertha and Lydia Zuercher), from Brodhead Wisconsin nearby will be singing at the wedding and also yodeling at the reception. The yodeling was at the insistence of my Dad. Thus, we’re well prepared and on our way to Baumgartner’s for the rehearsal dinner at Rollie’s family expense. There will be Green County cheese and Huber beer. These products are manufactured locally in Monroe and within the county. Stanley offered again a private ride to the downtown rehearsal dinner and I accepted. He is a touch chubby, but very cute. I like this guy. I feel a dilemma occurring.

We arrive at the rehearsal dinner and everyone from out of the area is present. We are all on schedule for the weekend. I’m sitting with Stanley and a few groomsmen. All these guys are quite cute. Mary and Rollie are with my parents and everyone is having a great time listening to Swiss music and enjoying the food, drink and festivities. The evening ended in a couple hours and Stanley drove me home. He wanted a kiss, but I refused kindly. I’m in a total not unexpected dilemma because of Bernie Sattler. This Stanley guy seems serious, is an engineer like Rollie and has good stock. He’s from a wealthy Chicago family with many siblings. Stanley is stable, intelligent and has a great sense of humor. We’ll see what happens over time!

At last the wedding occurred. It was a grand affair with all the nuances predictable and covered. The music was fabulous with Pachelbel’s Canon in D for the opening ceremony. The church was full to Dad’s delight. Mass was said by my Uncle Albert in record time for a wedding (15 minutes). This included Al’s normal homily (Be good and fight poverty). Mom and Dad knew the service would be rapid. And the server’s received from tips from the guests and family. Mary and Rollie were smothered with rice and off to the Turner Hall reception. Plenty of guests were there when I arrived with Stanley. It seems like we’re now going steady. He’s kind of my date now. I’ll live with this because he’s fun. The dancing went on well past midnight and I’m planning on walking home. However, it’s Stanley to the rescue – still in his groomsmen garb. He still insisting on driving me home and I accept after dancing the jitterbug and swing with him successfully for hours. Upon arriving home, all the lights are on. I invite Stanley into our house which is buzzing. Rollie and Mary have embarked onto their honeymoon in the Apostle Islands. Mom and Dad sit down with Stanley and myself. We have small talk about Stanley’s family and my parents are off to bed. Everyone else retires wherever they can and I lead Stanley back to his Studebaker. I kiss him goodnight and make him no promises. I didn’t mention Bernie Sattler to him; but probably should have. Then again, maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned Bernie overseas because in actuality we have not even dated.

The next morning at 10 AM Mom has a brunch buffet prepared in advance. Mary’s gifts are exquisite. She received more than any bride would want. Mom packed all the gifts away in the basement after the formal openings. Thereafter, I’m off for a nap as many family and friends head back to Chicago, Illinois. I’m walking upstairs and our party line phone rings. Mom says it is Stanley. I attend to the phone and before you know it, I’ve invited Stanley to our house for a meet-up. I’m not certain what to do, but will tell him that I’m writing to a guy overseas. The overseas concept in a relationship usually, but not always turns guys away quickly. I prepare for Stanley’s entrance and he arrives with 24 roses, kisses my Mom and shakes Dad’s hand. He is adorable and well dressed with a cuffed shirt, fitted trousers and shiny loafers over upgraded white socks. Last night it was 51/49 in favor of Bernie Sattler. Today it is 51/49 in favor of Stanley Haber. I now know his real name! We’re off for a country ride and I’ll show him our Zuercher cottage, cheese factory and farm. It is a sultry hot day in August. I don’t want it to end. Mary’s ending of her single life is just my beginning. Hip Hip Hooray!