Family history and stories are often the best, travel well, and create memories and smiles over and over again. South Central Kentucky in 1938 was a somewhat close knit community of Southern Baptist and Methodist traditionalist. They were so-to-speak … set in their ways.
I never knew my Father-In-Law or my Sweetheart’s Father. He passed away years before my entry into the family. That is a shame. In the last thirty years, I have never heard a harsh word said against or about him.
My Mother-In-Law, I did know quite well for many years. She was a industrious, dress wearing, white tennis shoe clad blur of motion with a purpose and destination. She was also quite feisty, which seemed to be somewhat at odds with the common perception of a bible belt lady of the South.
l could see Ms. Elsie as a determined young lady with a rebellious streak that could and would on occasion make an appearance.
Teamed up with her husband to be . . . Elsie and Aubrey bought to 1938 Kentucky a new infusion of rebelliousness. It was a breath of fresh air consisting of stubborn American independence and two or three dashes of Roaring 1920’s rebelliousness. Quite a few traditions were about to be cracked like a 30’s gas station dinner plate.
Weddings in South Central Kentucky were traditional affairs according to local customs and religious dictates. The Bride would a white dress which was the custom. The Groom, and the men attending the event, would wear a dark Sunday-Go-To-Meeting Suit or clean overalls with a dark suit coat. In church during those times, proper atire was both an unspoken, and whispered rule. There were few deviations except for maybe the Groom wearing a dress military uniform should that be his station.
The soon to be newly weds passed on a traditional church wedding with all the bells, whistles and floral trimmings. They also passed on a less than desirable, but grudgingly acceptable, county courthouse wedding. Their plans, when known mostly after the fact, were the causation of more than one jaw dropping. It was 1938 for goodness sake.
The wedding of Elsie McKinley and Aubrey Bradshaw took place on the US 127 Highway Bridge at Jamestown, Kentucky. They sat attentively in their automobile as the right Reverend William Bradshaw, or Uncle Willie, performed the ceremony with one foot on the bridge and one foot on the running board of the automobile. In attendance to witness the special event were Aunt Gladys and Uncle Andrew. It is not known if any farm trucks, tractors or automobiles passed by or interrupted the wedding proceedings.
Of course, Aunt Gladys and Uncle Andrew went with the newly weds on their honeymoon. Some traditions do trump rebelliousness.
From the Jamestown bridge, the four of them were off to Corbin, Kentucky where they honeymooned and ate fried chicken at Colonel Sander’s first restaurant. It was a magical time. Aunt Gladys and Uncle Andrew enjoyed their adventure to no end.
The newly weds, independent and rebellious for a brief moment, had a long and happy life together.
Note: For the Sisters Janet Foley and Jeannie Moss. Their parents were something else. A special thank you to Janet Foley who relayed the story of her Mom and Dad’s wedding and answered so many questions.
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