Friday, March 20, 2015

52 Ancestors - no. 28: The wedding socks—the start of a new family tradition? (week 12)

Same—the optional theme for 52 Ancestors week 12—who in the world might I find in my group of ancestors to fit that theme. Each week, I look at the theme to see if I have something that fits. Well nothing came to mind for week 12 until I actually sat down to work on this specific blog entry. This week I want to share what two years ago may have become a new family tradition—a bond between father and son.

When my husband Charlie and I were planning our wedding 35 years ago this June, he informed me that he had a pair of socks he would be wearing on our wedding day. The socks had been part of Charlie’s high school stage band uniform. The stage band colors were red, white, and blue, a color scheme the students had chosen. After graduating from high school, Charlie dared a friend of his who was getting married to wear the socks on his wedding day. He did and that started a tradition among the friends with at least four guys wearing them, including Charlie, who was the last person to don the socks. Charlie showed me the socks and told me he was wearing them. I told him to go for it, not that it mattered as he was going to wear them anyway. But I didn’t care, the wedding wasn’t for me, it was his day. I didn’t want a big wedding; a small affair would have suited me just fine. But he told me he was only getting married once and he was doing it right. Our wedding day came and he wore the socks. Oh, he was so proud of those socks!

Now, fast forward 32 years to 2012. We were preparing for a major house renovation and were in the process of packing up all of our belongings to put in storage. Low and behold, the socks surfaced. We showed the socks to our oldest son, Chris, who was planning his own wedding scheduled for 2013. We shared the history of the socks and asked if he wanted to wear them on his wedding day. He did, and his fiancée, now wife, gave him the go ahead—as long as he cut his hair. The elastic was worn out but with the help of a second pair of socks underneath the wedding socks (and maybe a rubber band or two), they held strong and Chris walked down the aisle with the “same” socks his Dad wore 33 years earlier. Have we started a new family tradition? I wonder if the socks will survive for the next generation. Only time will tell.

Left: my husband Charlie (1980); right: our son Chris (2013)

What do you think? Would you let your husband wear a pair of red and white striped with a blue banner of stars at the top pair of socks in your wedding? I’m guessing not that many brides would allow their husbands to do so. But I have to tell you, it’s one of the few things I remember about our wedding—it was such a blur—and it always brings a smile to my face. So, this is not a story about an ancestor per se, but I hope someday it will bring a smile on the face of one of my ancestors when they discover this story and its pictures.

By the way, the socks couldn’t have been more appropriate for my wedding. We were married on Flag Day!

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