Monday, February 18, 2013

I was a Teenage Shivarette

42 Years ago today, a pair of 18 year olds who only knew each other for six weeks, were married by a Justice of the Peace, in a double wide trailer.


(BTW- that is a '65 Vette...)


Imagine, if you will, early 1971 in rural South Dakota. I had only recently moved to the state, and I had heard about this "thing" people did to newlyweds called a Shivaree, but I didn't believe the rumors.

 One night a couple of weeks after our very small wedding, we were wakened around  midnight (oh all right, we were interrupted- we were 18 years old for crying  out loud) by people banging on the sides of our first home, an 8'x35'  trailer (which was in a trailer court, by the way, and why the police  weren't called is still beyond me).

 Our uninvited guests hooted and hollered  and honked and in general made a wild rumpus. They demanded to be let in and  fed and given drinks. Like I said, we were 18 so there was no booze in the  house, and we were likewise very poor and had only a box of cornflakes, a  sack of potatoes and a cinnamon shaker to set out for the crowd. Luckily,  they brought their own food and beverage (of which we partook liberally). 

The  highlights of the evening, as I remember them fuzzily, included having our  mattress taken from the trailer and ferried down the street at a pretty good  clip on the shoulders of three very drunk fellas. Our only set of sheets was  dumped into a full bathtub. Someone very kindly redistributed the potatoes  into assorted nooks and crannies (some of which we did not find until  several months later when we moved from the trailer into a real house).I  remember seriously absorbing assorted bits of sage advice from the older  married ladies (who were probably all of 25 at the time) and being toasted  and teased endlessly. 

I vividly remember Charlie Reinhardt bursting into  tears after spilling sloe-gin and coke down the front of his white shirt.  At about 4:00 am, the crowd departed, leaving a fair sized wad of dollar  bills behind (which came in mighty handy- we were, as I said, reeeeealy  poor), a missing mattress, a couple of people passed out on the living room  floor and a happy 18 year old married couple who were far too drunk to take  up where they'd left off hours earlier. All in all, a fun evening.

 That was 42 years ago, and yes, we're still together. I'm rather sorry the  practice died out.

13 comments:

Carl Brookins said...

4738What a wonderful memory. My wife is from SD and we avoided the state until we'd been married long enough to be ineligible for shivaree.

Cherie said...

What a wonderful story!

Cherie said...

Thanks for sharing with us! You were blessed to find each other!

Melissa aka twoknitwit said...

oh, my :)

happiest of anniversaries to you both!
Melissa

Kathleen Taylor said...

Elaine- I think I may have accidentally deleted your comment. Thanks so much!

Nora said...

What a WONDERFUL memory! Congratulations on 42 wonderful years of marriage. :)

Natalie Rush said...

Wow...that is crazy story but so memorable! So lovely you are still together after marrying after 6 weeks!

GardenofDaisies said...

Just like in "Oklahoma!". :-) What a wonderful memory you have of friends and good times. Did you get your mattress back?

Kate/Massachusetts said...

So, did you ever find your mattress??? :-) Congratulations on 42 years! Here's to another 42 more!

Teish said...

Thanks for making me laugh, and congratulations on 42 years! :-)

Kathleen Taylor said...

We did find the mattress the next morning, a little frosty but otherwise unharmed.

mikeslittlesis said...

What fun! Shivarees weren't practiced here.

Doreen Nestell said...

Great to hear we do that somewhere in this country that is something i heard they do in Portugal as well!!!