127. The Wedding (1)

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It was a strange day, Thursday, for a wedding. Who ever heard of a Thursday wedding? "Well," Harlan explained to everyone, "the Thursday event is going to cost me half of what Friday, Saturday, or Sunday would cost me. And a 50-percent discount is a lot of money, believe me." Everyone believed him. Harlan knew how to count his pennies. The early evening event was at Cowfish, a popular restaurant and meeting place on campus.

Nevin and Janelle arrived at 5 p.m. for pictures, but the photographer had been delayed on the freeway because someone had jumped off an overpass. So they decided to take a stroll on campus. Walking westward, they soon found a fish pond. About a dozen small turtles were swimming in the eastern end of the pond. As Janelle kneeled at water's edge, all the turtles swam toward her. A couple of them climbed out of the water and onto the footpath. They wanted food, but a sign advised visitors not to feed the fish or turtles. So she apologized to the turtles, not that she had any turtle food anyway, she added. Nevin and Janelle took pictures of themselves and the turtles.

They walked back to Cowfish just before the ceremony was to begin. Some of the preacher's words were unclear because of static on the portable microphone. After the preacher pronounced Harlan and Ellen husband and wife, guests clapped and cheered. The photographer, who had gotten "some great pictures" of the fallen body, busily took pictures of the bride and groom, the preacher, the parents, and the guests.

After their meal, Nevin and Janelle said good night to the newly married couple. This was the fourth marriage for Harlan, so everyone was hoping it would be his last. Then Nevin and Janelle walked out to their car, holding hands and talking about what would be the same and what would be different at their own wedding. That is, if they didn't decide to just drive to Las Vegas for a quick marriage, with Elvis performing at their ceremony. "That way, our only difficult decision will be to pick which song he will sing for us," Janelle said.

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