Wedding Chronicles ’73

March 10, 1973, a young social worker, Diane E. Popp, and a working musician & Army vet, Richard A. Jones, walked down the aisle at a Baptist church in Upper Arlington, Ohio. “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love,” and “Love Train” were in the top ten on the radio. “All in the Family” was the number one show on TV.

over the shoulderThe couple met  in 1972 when Richard, working at one of the nation’s first cable TV companies, did a story on the place where Diane worked. A month later they went on their first date, dinner and the movie, “What’s Up Doc,” then Richard promptly lost his job when Coax Cable TV stopped local production. After showing up at her doorstep several times, she finally felt sorry for the now struggling musician, and invited him inside for supper. Like a stray cat, he kept coming back for food, and their romance blossomed into true love.

On the day of the wedding, the normal March central Ohio grey, dreary, cold weather disappeared, and a gorgeous, bright blue clear Saturday in the 70s magically arrived. Ask anyone who has lived in Ohio for a while, this never happens, and has been referred to by the media since as the miracle of ’73.

Richard’s best man and lifetime friend, John Weinland, remembers two hours before the afternoon wedding that he had never thrown the groom a bachelor party. We headed to a popular bar not too far from the church and proceeded to enjoy the free snacks and one each of the noontime drink specials. They tell me we were late to the wedding, so neither of us appear in the pre-wedding photos, but I really don’t remember.

wedding partyHere’s the wedding party. That’s Weinland standing next to me (we look sober, right?). The other guy is Chuck who was my cousin Leslie’s fiance at the time. She is on the far left. Next to Diane is her matron of honor, Joyce LeCaptain.

The reason my brother, and fellow musician in the Jones Brothers act, was not an usher, was because he provided our music for the ceremony, including Diane’s walk down the aisle to “Day by Day” from the musical Godspell.

brother billHere’s what my kid brother used to look like when we sang together. No wonder all the girls wanted to take him home (and quite a few did!). He also performed “Love” by John Lennon and some other  songs I can’t remember. I wonder if he does?

We found a great photographer that took all these pictures.

What follows is some of my favorite shots of Diane’s parents, my parents, and some artsy stuff.

Diane.parentsDiane’s parents, Walt & Doris Popp. They have passed on now, but boy did they love their daughter.  Doris also became the Jones Brothers manager and got us all kinds of gigs all over Franklin County.

Art, Dolores, Bride GroomMy folks, Art & Dolores Jones. Unfortunately, also no longer with us.

baptist church ColumbusBeautiful church. We were not Baptist (Diane was Lutheran and I was a Methodist), but a friend of hers was the pastor at this church and he agreed to do the honors.

wedding thoughtsYeah, I know, a little sexist…her thinking about her husband to be, but me thinking about her on the honeymoon would be too racy to print…

kissMay not be as dramatic as Rodin’s sculpture, “The Kiss,” but I liked this one much better.

Wedding CakeOur lovely wedding was followed by a great reception with friends and family. In honor of my bride’s heritage, and because it’s much better tasting than the alternatives, we decided on German chocolate for the wedding cake.

We spent the wedding night at a Columbus airport motel, complete with two bottles of wedding champagne, and a $.25 for fifteen minutes massage bed. We stayed there because bright and early the next morning, we caught a flight to Montego Bay, Jamaica, to a romantic bungalow right on the beach at the Half Moon Hotel.

We spent several days enjoying the resort, including a scuba dive on the nearby reef. Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen were staying at our hotel at the same time making the classic movie, “Papillion.”  I had a chance to be in a French prisoner in the film, but for some reason Diane didn’t want me unshaven and gone for a whole day.  …and so it began.

Stay tuned next blog for the honeymoon photos…..(not all of them)…

By the way, the few days we were gone in Jamaica, the temperature in Ohio dropped and it snowed! Check out today’s weather in L.A.  on March 10, 2014 on our 41st anniversary, the same as it has been on this day for the last 41 years, no matter where we were living, bright blue clear skies and in the 70s.

*   *   *

Rich Allan –author of the comedy adventure novel, “Drafted.”

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