Moose Lake Star Gazette - Serving Carlton and Pine Counties Since 1895

By Wick Fisher
Moose Lake Star-Gazette 

Number One Son's wedding story

Wick's World


August 31, 2017

This is a story about a wedding. The events are as factual as my memory serves me. In this case it serves me quite well for the events occurred at differing times during the week of August 15-20 of this year. Only the names are disguised as a means of allowing your unbiased interpretation of my story.

The story begins early in the week of Number One Son’s wedding when close family friends and relatives of our family gathered. Other than an extra three-hour wait at the airport because the rental van wasn’t ready (are they ever ready?), the arrival went fairly smoothly. That evening’s festivities were highlighted by a traditional Sudanese feast and ceremony. As an enlightened man of the cloth who has participated in many traditional and non-traditional ceremonies, I must admit my entire contingency of family and friends were very much unprepared for the events about to take place.

Details of the actual ceremonial events will remain private and precious to Number One Son and his bride. Some of the more entertaining and amusing events can be revealed. To begin with, the Sudanese feast was a remarkably colorful blend of rice, fruits and vegetables that were tastefully spiced. Meats and desserts were somewhat foreign, yet delicious.

Following dessert, the marathon began. As the African music blared, all of the women from the bride’s family began to dance. Soon the men were invited to join. The Sudanese men didn’t have to be asked. The rest of us (particularly me) were escorted to the dance floor to join a dance line that at times morphed into a circle. The female spiritual leader of this Dinka tribe of South Sudanese forcefully placed me at the head of this rhythmic serpent and at times would talk into my ear, telling me what, how and which way the dance was to move. As I hopped around like a wounded jackrabbit, one of the men approached.

Preparing to be reproached, I was somewhat relieved when he said, “Two steps forward, one step back.”

I thought to myself, this is just the Sudanese version of the old American “Bunny Hop” I had learned back in the 1950s at the old dance hall in Reliance, South Dakota. In reality, the dance was much more complicated and fluid than anything I had seen before.

Although some of my friends and relatives caught on much quicker than I did, it was the Sudanese who literally put the color in the dance. The women were dressed in long, beautiful and stunningly colorful gowns that flowed with every step they took. Meanwhile, I added a new wrinkle to my khakis with every wiggle and jerk I took. The color added to the music was provided by the women’s astounding ability to blend the traditional ululation with the heavy rhythmic African beat. The look on the dance floor was that of humans performing a shimmering rain.

The only missing part to the evening was our family’s close friend and a schoolmate of Number One Son’s. She honored us by bringing her son and two daughters all the way from the Canadian border to San Diego for the wedding. That night was spent in the emergency room with her own number one son who broke several bones in his foot attempting the California sport of "skimming," or basically surfing the foam of a wave. She had met the beautiful, tall bride-to-be several times over the years. The bride had asked for no children to be at the wedding ceremony due to the large number on her family’s side. That is until she was informed our friend was bringing her children all the way to San Diego. The new bride loved that family’s kids, especially the youngest one who was infatuated with my son’s fiancé.

When told about this, the bride-to-be said, “Their in!”

I will close out day one of our family wedding with this old Moose Lake High School classmate's story.

When my friend told an old classmate she was going to my son’s wedding, the conversation somehow drifted to the fact that the bride-to-be was black.

As my son had a previous long-term relationship with a lady of Jamaican-Polish ancestry, the old classmate said to our friend, “Oh, so he’s re-marrying his first wife.”

My numb-struck friend replied to this dumbstruck statement with, “Good Lord, there’s more than one black woman in America!”

Meanwhile, Number Three Son slowly shook his head back and forth and said it best with, “Sheltered.”

Either you get it or you don’t.


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