The Loudest Day in Oysterville
At 98º Fahrenheit, last Saturday was Oysterville’s hottest day on record, as far as I know. It also turned out to be the loudest day, at least in recent memory – not an unpleasant loud, just an unusual and prolonged loud.
The source of the noise was a full-out marching band that was providing the music for a wedding. That was unusual in the first place – certainly different from the string quartets or piano accompaniments that frequently attend weddings at the church. The band, though, seemed to be in keeping with the entire, out-of-the-ordinary wedding which took place not in the church, but at the foot of Clay Street.
The ‘location of the venue’ was a first, as far as we know. Once, during the Oysterville Regatta, there was a fake bridal party that posed for photographs on the bay shore in front of our house. They were modeling for a magazine spread. There have probably been pictures of real weddings taken on Clay Street with the bay as a backdrop, and maybe even entire wedding ceremonies have taken place there before but, if so, we are unaware of it.
The backdrop and staging area for Saturday’s wedding (and also, the neighbors reported, the place where people changed their clothes) was the Oysterville Church. And, that too was unusual, since it had not been rented. The only charitable thought I had regarding that situation was that there must have been some gigantic misunderstanding when they rented the schoolhouse from the Oysterville Community Club. Perhaps they thought it included the church. And Clay Street.
It seemed particularly awkward to say anything right in the middle of the ceremony but the thought did cross my mind. I wondered idly if “they haven’t rented the venue” would have been an appropriate response to the age-old request for objectors to “…speak now or forever hold your peace.”
Following the wedding ceremony, the parade of some 200 celebrants returned up Clay Street, turned on Territory Road and thence onto School Street, led by joyous, upbeat band music. There, in the schoolyard, under the biggest tent I’ve ever seen outside a circus, the festivities continued. The music and the dancing lasted until well after 11:00 p.m. according to the nearest neighbors.
We had a house full of guests but, fortunately, the music and gaiety provided only a dim background and didn’t disrupt our household in the least. (Other, nearer households weren’t so lucky.) Fortunately, too, such goings-on don’t happen often in our little village. And, I must say, that even though the clean-up took them the better part of two days, everything was pretty much back to normal by Monday evening. Only the rented Sani-Cans at the schoolhouse are left.