Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Wedding Getaway?

I never really had a chance to talk to my grandmother about her “romantic” entanglements when I was a teenager and she passed away when I was 18.  Frankly, it was hard to think of your grandmother having much of a love life…and wasn’t really something I wanted to think about too closely J  I don’t know for sure when my grandmother met her first husband, O. Richard Tannahill.  I’m sure they knew each other in high school and I imagine they started going out together around 1932 or 1933.  I know that when my grandmother was teaching at the Snow School in 1933 that she was going out with Richard.  I do know that when they decided to get married…they had to be sneaky about it!

Richard & Cappy - taken about 1933
I don’t know if it was a common rule, but evidently school board members didn’t like the idea of their female teachers being married – at least in 1934 in Idaho.  I know that my father’s grandmother was a teacher and taught during the first year of her marriage in Nebraska.  Capitola, my grandmother, and Richard decided to go to Portland, OR to get married.  Grandma Cappy’s older brother, Jack and his wife lived in Portland.  My great grandmother (Mom Friddle) and Uncle Claude (Cappy’s younger brother) would travel to Portland by bus and return with Cappy & Richard by car.  It sounded like a good plan at least until they tried to get married in Portland, OR.  Later I found out that there was a waiting period between when you got the marriage license and when you could get married –so they married in nearby Vancouver, WA instead.  After their marriage, they traveled to Multnomah Falls and stayed in the lodge there for a short honeymoon.  They then returned to Portland to pick up Mom Friddle and Claude for the trip home.

I have often wondered why they traveled so far to get married.  They probably could have accomplished the same goal much closer to home.  I suppose it was important for Grandma Cappy to have both of her brothers there that day!  Today with a modern car and modern roads, it is a 6 hour drive from Lewiston to Portland on a good day with good weather.  Making that trip in a Model T back the early 1930’s in the dead of winter couldn’t have been an easy or fun trip.  The bus ride down had to be somewhat hairy as well and a super long trip.  When I was a teenager, I rode the bus home from Portland after visiting my grandmother and great grandparents in Canby, OR.  The trip home ended up to be about 10 hours rather than the normal 6 hours.  Several years ago, I asked my uncle Claude about the trip.  With a smile on his face, he began to relate the story coming home.

The old road between Portland and Multnomah Falls is now a historical road that winds around numerous hills, waterfalls, and beautiful vista points.  It is a wonderfully scenic drive that requires a good amount of concentration and skill driving the car.  Back in 1934, it probably had the same beauty, but was probably also much busier and probably not in quite as good of shape.  Richard brought Claude up front with him and sat him in his lap.  Richard let 10 year old Claude drive the car from his lap.  Claude told me it was great fun for him.  I asked Claude if he would allow a 10 year old to do the same from his lap – Claude told me NO WAY!

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