My blog “What is That Song Stuck in My Head?” introduced the reader to my friend John. Recently John and his wife Freda asked me to do a family portrait of them (two is a family I think, three if one includes Rufus, the Wonder Pup). Obviously, I did say yes.
I remember the positive changes in John’s life when he and Freda started dating. It was evident to me and his other friends that John had finally found his one true mate.
As time passed and their love and bond with each other grew stronger, John and Freda decided to get married. I was honored when John asked me to be one of the witness for their ceremony. The other person they asked to be a witness was our friend Dave. I introduced Dave in my “Try Getting Outside” blog and have mentioned him in other posts as well.
The ceremony was to be a simple one performed by a Peoria judge. On the appointed day we met at the City Courthouse. My first surprise was needing to go through a metal detector and needing to take my belt off. I know, I know… but I haven’t flown in years, much less gone to a court house recently, so it was a new experience for me.
John and Freda checked in at the front desk and were told there was a slight delay because the judge was busy due to a hearing he was conducting. So we waited in the lobby and had a pleasant conversation to pass the time. After about an hour, we were told to proceed to the courtroom.
We went into the courtroom, and it was full of people in the audience, with the plaintiffs and defendants and their respective lawyers still at their tables. Whatever the case was, it was still going on, so the judge took a quick recess so he could marry John and Freda.
Let me take a moment to acquaint the reader further with Dave. Dave thinks he is funny. And he actually is 99.9% of the time. Dave just at times doesn’t dial it down when he should. Such was the case at the ceremony.
The judge greeted us with a smile on his face and proceeded to apologize for the delay because the case was taking much longer than was anticipated. Dave pipes up with “and whose fault is that?”
The smile immediately was replaced by a look I am sure the judge reserves for the most heinous criminals that appear before him, fixed his cold heated eyes on Dave and proceeded to tell us that he and the City were doing the ceremony as a courtesy and a service to it’s citizens AND that the City did this for free AND… at that point I stopped listening because I was to busy inching myself as far away from Dave as I could without being too obvious while trying to decide if I was going to bail Dave out or let him stew in lock up overnight. I truly expected to hear the phrase “contempt of court”.
Miraculously, and thankfully, those words never were spoken. Dave straitened up and flew right and things proceeded without further incident. Dave actually got back on friendly terms with the judge who started telling Dave and us that his ceremony book had several ceremonies in it depending on beliefs and such, and that he had used them all except the ceremony written for an Apache couple.
Finally, as no one had left the courtroom, the judge had John and Freda turn around and he presented them to the courtroom. The audience applauded. Even the young lady at the defendant’s table was wiping away the tears she had shed during the brief ceremony.
Later, to complete the ceremony, we gathered at John and Freda’s home with friends and family and the lovely couple “jumped the broom.” It was a beautiful thing. Sometimes simple is the best.
The photo session with John and Freda was a treat to shoot. They fit well with my shooting style. Traditional poses have their uses, but I like shooting pictures that tell stories. Freda and John made that so easy. All through the shoot there was a playfulness about them that I feel is evident in these shots, from the Freda ambush of John with a handful of leaves to the romp on the couch with Rufus the dog.
George Bernard Shaw penned the statement “Youth is wasted on the young.” Love can be wasted on the young as well. It is evident that John and Freda are not wasting a single second of their love for each other.