On June 27, 1977, at 3:00 PM in the Community House in Red River, NM, I married Toby. Yep, we have been waking up together for 29 years. My cousin, Patti, was my bridesmaid. My brother, Craig, stood up as Toby’s best man. John the Baptist officiated the wedding ceremony while wearing a top hat and tails. TZ Wright sang The Wedding Song, which made me and Dad tear up while waiting in the back room to walk down the isle. Then we got tickled and started to laugh. My photographer, Ron Burnham (fire marshal for the Town of RR), stuck his head in the room and told us to "keep it down; they are trying to have a wedding out here!" and snapped a picture of us laughing and crying. Dad and I held hands as we walked down the isle because I always held my daddy’s hand wherever we went. He gave me to Toby that day, which had to be one of the hardest things he had ever done, but one of the best things, too. Toby pledged all sorts of things including sharing all his "worlly goods" – whatever that means, but it made me giggle at the time. The preacher said, "Do ya, do ya?" We said, "Yeah, Yeah." And we went to the party.
The party at the Motherlode was one of the most remembered wedding receptions of all time in RR. TZ and his band played "Faded Love" as our first dance song – because my dad could not think of any other song at the moment, and that is what he told them to play. I danced with my dad first, while Toby danced with his mom. Then we traded dance partners and started a tradition. Neil Young of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, happened to be in town, so he joined in with the band. My friend, Janetta, was in charge of the champagne punch. She was later found passed out in the parking lot. When Heglund, the owner of the Motherlode, handed us a bottle of champagne for the road and we started to leave, no one cared. They were having much too much fun to stop and send us off. The wedding partiers managed to pause in their play long enough to throw some rice. Someone had written an obscene message on Toby’s 1974 Camaro, but that was about it as for decorating the car – who had time with all the dancing going on? We drove to Santa Fe for our honeymoon.
Once at Santa Fe, the desk clerk at the La Fonda handed us three keys and let us pick our room. I think the room cost us something ridiculous like $36.00 a night. We chose a room with a tall bed that looked inviting. The room also had a balcony, and the bathroom had an old clawfoot tub. The bed turned out to be hard as a rock. I nearly knocked my self out when I ran and jumped on it. I had gingerly stepped out on the balcony (well-concealed balcony) naked. Toby said, "Is that man over there watching you?" and I ran and jumped back in bed. There was no man, and Toby got a big laugh out of his joke. The next morning the sun came pouring through those same balcony doors and woke us up. I tried to order coffee, but room service told me that I had to wait until 6:00 AM. Neither of us had a watch or a clock, but you know how bright that New Mexico sun can be. We kicked around Santa Fe all day, washed the car, and headed home.
29 years later, Toby still teases me and makes me laugh. Not all of our years have been easy, but we were both raised to commitment in marriage. I knew that Toby was the man for me because I just liked being with him all of the time and he laughed at my silly jokes. Some things never change. There was also that lust thing which eventually turned to love. Although love is suppose to be something you feel (and you do), I believe love is something you choose to do – every day.