(Fifth Line, Erin  Township,  Wellington  County)
alan skeoch
july 2018

This  may seem  like a strange  picture but it was one of the touching  events of our marriage.    Uncle  Frank Freeman dressed up as  the bride (i.e. Marjorie) and  it looks like young Christopher Peers was the groom.  (i.e. alan) Not sure about that as  the groom might have been  Aunt Lucinda Freeman.

All our kith and  kin on the Freeman side  were gathered at Uncle Frank and
Aunt Lucinda’s  farm  on the Fifth Line  of Erin Township and  the Mock Wedding proceeded.

Things like this are unusual today.  Deep in the past  rural  folk in Herefordshire
England had all kinds reasons to make  merry and mock weddings were
top of the list.  The same  was true  for rural  Canada.   Farmers had  limited
contact with big towns and even less with big cities like  Toronto.  City
people were  regarded as different and  just a little too worldly.
Mock  Weddings,  One  room school concerts, birthdays,  threshing bees,
funerals, Christmas, New Years were reasons to gather together.
Now  that is not much different than city folk.
But take a look at my Uncle Frank…the bride  is really different and
I doubt she (he)  was common in the big city celebrations where
he might have been regarded as a cross dresser.
Eric and  I were very lucky to live  in both worlds.   We were city
boys mostly.  But sometimes we were part of rural  life…accepted in
other words.  Otherwise there would  have been  no mock wedding.
Imprinted.  What was  imprinted?   Without thinking we knew  we were welcome
at Uncle Frank and  aunt Lucinda’s place…anytime,  any season…no prior
notice  needed.   Just coming through the front door simply was  always
a big event…a reason to laugh and sing.   There  are people  like that here and
there in our life experience.   People  who  you know would love to see  you.
And there  are others who want prior notice  and  even then you are  never
sure you are wanted.
alan  skeoch
july 2018
P>S>   I just noticed that Uncle  Frank had broken  his arm.   Wonder  if we
noticed at the mock wedding.   Uncle  Frank was a non drinker and a  non smoker
but seems to have  found a corn cob pipe for the bride to puff.  Parties at the
Freeman Farm did not need alcohol to make  merry.   Being a part of the Temperance
movement did not mean  being dour and deadly.
*Elsie Freeman was our mother.  Her father  and mother, Edward and  Louisa Freeman  migrated  to Canada
around 1908 for a  variety of reasons.   One  reason was  to escape the class system in
England.  “Got sick  of  tipping my  hat to my  betters, Alan.”  Granddad would say occasionally.
Canada was  not a land of milk and  honey they discovered. Their farm in Erin  Township  had one  great crop…stones.   So they were poor.
But they made the best of  it.

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