In 1976, Mary and I were living in Santa Fe. We’d spent the spring planning a wedding for June. It would be small since family and friends lived on the coasts.
We’d arranged for a service on Saturday, June 19, in town, and after that, everyone would carpool to Bandolier National Monument for the reception. We’d then have the afternoon to explore the Anasazi ruins, and spend the night in the old stone lodge that dated from the ’20’s. This would be last year the lodge was open to visitors.
There were lots of glitches, as might be expected, but the most serious one happened the day before the wedding. I was working at a printshop that was failing for various reasons, and bouncing employee paychecks at irregular intervals. My coworkers urged me to go to the owner’s bank across the street to cash my check.
Heart thumping, I prayed that the cashier wouldn’t check the account, but unfortunately, she pulled down the ledger to look it up. “I’m sorry,” she said. “This account is $1,000 overdrawn so I can’t cash your check.”
“Please,” I said. “We’re getting married tomorrow. I’ll need to pay the caterers, and our guests are arriving tonight. If the account’s down a thousand bucks, what’s another two hundred going to matter?”
She thought about it for a moment, then smiled and said, “Have a beautiful wedding day,” as she counted out the cash.
We went back to work the following Monday, and immediately set about saving a month’s worth of living expenses. And then two months. Then we started to talk about moving back to California. Neither of us wanted to leave New Mexico, but in retrospect, it was clearly the right decision.
At times like this, the memories are precious and hardly seem dimmed by the passage of time.
“How young we were!” – Edward Weston.
“Some folks trust to reason / others trust to might.
I don’t trust to nothin’ / but I know it come out right.” – The Grateful Dead