The marriage ceremony of Rebecca Ann Lashomb and John Thomas Connolly brought joy to many many Grindstone Islanders. From all up and down the island, they took to their boats to go to the service in St. Mary's Church in Clayton, on Saturday, Aug. 10, St. Lawrence Day. The Rev. Daniel Chapin and Dr. John Marks led the ecumenical congregation through the service.
Eight bridesmaids in royal purple led the procession, followed by a matron of honor and a maid of honor dressed in fuschia satin. Behind them came a small ring bearer and train bearers. Becky and her father, Robert Lashomb, came down an aisle three tiny flower girls had strewn with blossoms. Waiting at the altar were eight ushers, two best men, and, of course, the priest and the minister.
Brenda Slate was one of several people on the aisles with camera ready. Leon and Margerie Rusho were there (the day before the 61st celebration of their own wedding) with Junior and Dawn beside them. All the Grindstone men claimed to feel very uncomfortable in their suits and neckties, but they all looked very handsome. The Grindstone women had all exchanged their sneakers for dressy shoes, but they didn't complain.
Rebecca's mother, Audrey read a special prayer which she wrote for Rebecca and John.
One moment in the service reflected the gentleness and generosity of the two teachers, the new husband and wife. Rebecca said/'John, take this ring as a token..." and, hearing herself, went back to say, "John, please take this ring as a token..."
Everyone was invited to the reception after the ceremony where Audrey's prayer for bountiful goals seemed already answered. The Edgewood in Alexandria Bay was alive with the talk of old friends sitting down together when the houseboat carrying the wedding party from Clayton pulled up to the dock - just ahead of the rain, rain which soon passed, long before the party was over, before we all said farewell to Mr. and Mrs. John Thomas Connolly dancing in the rosey hue of low evening sun after storm.
August on Grindstone is a time of parties. Last week there were three on the north side of the island. The Howard-Smith house roused to its old-time hospitality after years of quiet. June, now Mrs. Frank Augsbury, with husband, Frank, and all but one of her children, entertained old friends around a table laden with spaghetti, homemade bread, and raspberry cobbler. Later in the week, Louise Grant had a cookout on McRae Point to introduce friends visiting from Cooperstown where Wayne and Weezie have established their Cherry Valley Spring Water Company. Wayne delivers his delicious water to several families on Grindstone each week.
In Aunt Jane's Bay, there was another large get-together, at the Bobby Custis house on Saturday, Aug. 3. The Dowers were there, and the Dundans, the Afflecks, Marie Moore, The Shirleys , and, of course, all the Wrights and the Holts - about 60 people all together.
This week, the Jackson family was finally reunited for the first time this summer and managed fun and frolic in spite of the rain and sleet. The "children" were the most enthusiastic square dancers at the Saturday night party. (Larry Krauter played guitar and Bubbie Bazinet called the squares while Yuvonne and Phil Marra helped the dancers.) Next Saturday night another DJ will provide the music.
The David Taylors are now "in residence," flag flying, on the north side, but cousin Donald left right after church to go back to the work, work, work world.
Finally, Beverly Pope invited all the residents of the Thurso Bay Association to dessert, when friends from New Haven visited her, reminding us all of her mother's vibrant hospitality when she was alive.
Next Sunday the annual Aunt Jane's Bay service, post poned because of wet, wet weather, will be held on the south side of the island. Ray and Lolita Pfiffer will bring their World War I field organ to the Brooks property early in the morning, and the congregation will sing once more, "Shall We Gather at the River". Joyce Irwin Smith will be organist for the day while Mr. Marks is in Plattsburgh baptizing his newest grandchild, Phoebe.
Mr. Marks was glad to have a chance, given by the bad weather, to try out the newly restored organ in the church. Bob Custis brought a man all the way from Syracuse and across the river, to clean and repair the Hammond organ, and instruct the organist in the use of its many stops. Now all the foot pedals work, the drawbars can be set to give true tones, and the Leslie creates just the right mood for "Blest Be the Tie That Binds".
The Rev. Willette Gipson was, as she promised, with us this Sunday morning and not only helped serve communion, but danced the children's sermon as husband William read "The Creation," a dramatic poem from James Weldon Johnson's "God's Trombones." The children watched, wrapt, as Willette, spreading her hands, looked about, and pronounced in a delighted voice, "That's gooood."
Willette's mother, Mary Burgee, who is visiting for the weekend was busy taking care of little Niahope while her parents carried on the service. She has to return to Raleigh, N.C., too soon.
Notes about coming events at church and hall:
Sunday, Aug. 18, Aunt Jane's Bay service. The bus, however won't run, and the pot-luck lunch and auction are again postponed.
Wednesday, Aug. 21, Robbie Lashomb will talk about his experience in Saudi Arabia at 7:30 p.m. at the church.
Sunday, Aug. 25, pot-luck lunch and charge conference, and auction 2.
Saturday, Aug. 17, DJ at the Dodge Memorial Center.
Friday and Saturday, Aug. 30 and 31, at The Opera House in the Clayton Town Hall, 8 p.m., "Reflections in G". Grindstone Island from its head to its toe, from its south to its north, the church its ridge pole, will be celebrated in poetry from "Poems for River Rats" by Betty Haxall and "So It Is" by Aminta Marks. The readings by John Marks, Aminta, and a Haxall grandchild as yet unnamed, will be against a tableau of photographs set alive by Klaus Ebeling, art history professor at Jefferson County Community College, by dances by Debbie Donaldson's Grindstone Dancers, and by an exhibit of the work of Grindstone artists which Greg and Karen Lago of the winged Bull Gallery are gathering for the occasion. If you live on Grindstone, and need transportation, call Salt Gamsey to arrange for the Debbie Lynn to carry you across the river, and the school bus to carry you across the island.
Doc Schwartz suggested, in church Sunday morning, that people call the town supervisor
regarding the maintenance of the island roads.
The Clayton Fire Department is talking about placing a pumper on Grindstone Island. People interested should contact the Clayton Fire Department.
Next week Debbie Donaldson is going to write the Grindstone News.
So It Is.