Lucky Friday the 13th

Author: Betty Kuffel

Friday the 13 of June

No, we aren’t superstitious, but after our wedding day mishaps, maybe we should reconsider. This year marked our 39th anniversary after an interesting beginning to wedded life. Tom had assured me life with him would not be boring. As many of you already know, he was right.

As recent Alaskan arrivals, few of our longtime friends could travel that far to join us on the appointed day in 1975. After rainy days, power surges and electrical brown-outs, along with not enough time to get everything ready, the sunny day arrived.

Both of us working long hours impeded some of the arrangements. About an hour before our drive to the church, you would have found me clearing the back yard of dog poop from our four sled dogs, raking grass and sweeping the front sidewalk. Tom checked the bar and verified the bartender would arrive on time.

A quick shower followed by a hair and make-up flourish, I dressed and took a final look in the mirror. Before leaving, I made sure reception details had come together. The table looked perfect with flowers, candles, silver, napkins and plates…but the wedding cake was missing. I called the bakery. They assured me the cake would be there before our guests arrived.

By the time of the ceremony, all the planets aligned. The string quartet played beautiful music as the small log church filled with new friends. My five-year-old son had told everyone we were marrying Tom that Friday the 13th … and we did.

We exchanged vows, and with smiles, the three of us exited the church into sunshine.

Attendees filled our new home for the reception, along with Tom’s father and my mother who were staying with us…and did not get along. We ignored their bickering and enjoyed our friends as we awaited the delivery of the cake. — Well, the cake finally arrived but not the one I had ordered. This one fell. As the bakery explained, during a brown-out, their oven quit and the cake layers fell. They didn’t have time to bake another cake nor apply the beautiful frosting decoration I had ordered. Instead, the cake tilted much like the leaning tower of Pisa and had hard candy daisies stuck along the layers.

What could I do? Well, we all laughed and drank a champagne toast to the strange crooked cake. Then, as I cut the cake, I set the sleeve of my gown on fire as it hung across a candle flame.

The photographer did a wonderful job of documenting our wedding. We made our photo choices and placed the Wedding 1975.edorder. When I called to see when the photos would be ready for pickup, I was told the photographer had divorced his wife and left town. He had taken the photos with him. We were unable to track him down or retrieve even one photo.

As Tom says, even without the pictures, we are just as married. The blurry photo in this blog is one of the few I have. It was cut from a snapshot and scanned.

We are happy and actually make a habit of wishing each other a happy day on the 13th of each month. And…a wonderful gift to us is, our son and his wife also chose to marry on Friday the 13th of June. Each year we celebrate the date together.

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