These photos were taken on my parents’ wedding day in 1957, at the home of my maternal grandfather. The first one, clearly discolored due to its age and the nature of the film, is of my dad and mom, and their attendants. Dad’s best man, George Francis McGrath (1934-1960), is on the far left. Mom’s maid-of-honor, in blue (though it’s not obvious in this photo!), was her friend Jane (Sommerfeld) Stroth (1934-2011). Mom and Jane met in nursing school; Jane would marry Jan Sroth the following year.
Dad and George were best friends, having gone to high school together — and possibly college (?). George later joined the military and was doing training exercises at NAS Corpus Christi — flying — when his plane crashed and he died in January 1960. My grandfather, who was informed, chose not to tell my dad (who was studying for his doctorate up in Michigan) because Grandpa didn’t want Dad to take time away from his studies to come back to San Francisco for the funeral. (Not cool, Gramps! Not cool at all.)
In the photo below, it’s a bit more obvious that Jane was wearing blue — even so, the color has faded significantly since I was a child. It used to be evident that she wore a forget-me-not blue — with matching blue shoes.
This last picture was one I had printed from a slide about 30 years ago, so the color is richer, but still fading. I don’t know everybody in the picture, but can name some folks:
From left to right — the first 3 people I don’t know. Wearing a navy blue dress is my grand-aunt Anita (Colbert) Foley (Dad’s maternal aunt). Behind her is her husband “Bud” Foley. Next to them are my dad’s parents Cassius Dempsey and Margaret (Colbert) Dempsey. Then, my dad and my mom. On my mom’s left, wearing a hat and flowered dress is my dad’s sister Peggy. Next to her, in the belted dress, is my mom’s cousin Rita Diamantine. Behind Rita to her left are maid-of-honor Jane (Sommerfeld) Stroth and best man George McGrath.
What strikes me in going through these photos is how casual it all was. The reception is my grandparents’ backyard. Sandwiches, punch, wedding cake, and coffee was all that was on the menu. Contrast that today with, say, the destination wedding! Times change, don’t they?