A traditional Double Wedding Ring quilt.
If you drive out past the Romp Hole access to the Kings River you'll come to the old Hootie Schoolhouse. It sits on the right side of the road between two cow pastures and, like every thing else around here these days, it is brown as a nut and firecracker hot. It was my pleasure to go there to attend a wedding.
Weddings are not the sort of thing I usually write about, but I was struck by how perfectly this one captured the sense and spirit of the place we live in, and how this wedding, among all the weddings I have attended, will stick in memory far longer than most.
Heather Dale Toombs, the bride, wanted her wedding to be held in an historic building that had a connection to her family. She found both in the Hootie Schoolhouse when she learned that her maternal grandfather attended the school when he was a boy.
During the time my wife and I chatted with the other guests, I watched Ben Toombs, the bride's brother, direct late arrivals to a parking area in a field about 50 yards from the Schoolhouse. It was easy to imagine horses and wagons in place of the Hondas and Chevys folks came in.
There was a Redtailed Hawk sitting in a pin oak next to the Schoolhouse, and legions of grasshoppers spun through the brittle hay left and right of where we were sitting. Summer, hot, hot summer in the Ozarks.
What I will most remember about this wedding is how elegant and simple and truthful it was, and how at home I felt. Yes, we witnessed the joining of two young people into a single couple, but we also observed another thread woven into the fabric of the place where we live and our history in it.
Oh, yes: the bride was beautiful. The groom, Page Summers, was handsome. The parents were all proud. As they should be.