Sunday, February 20, 2011


My eldest niece Kelly Lynn had grown to the age of getting married.  Kelly is a beautiful young lady with naturally blond hair and blue eyes that sparkle.  Her smile is a smile that encompasses her whole face.  Not only is there a smile on her lips but a smile in her cheeks, her eyes and even her ears.  Kelly gives as well as she takes.  I have a habit of giving my nieces and nephews a hard time and teasing them a lot.  Sometimes they take it seriously and I have to break down and let them know it is a joke.  There aren't any hard feelings when I do that as they all know that it is just Uncle Bill being Uncle Bill.  I consider it my job to tease them to make them think about things.  At an early age Kelly figured out to never take Uncle Bill seriously.  To this day she does not take me seriously but she loves me as much as I love her.

Barb and I drove down to Alabama the week of Kelly's wedding to spend some time with my sister Elaine and her family.  It was an enjoyable visit that allowed me time to continue the teasing and educating Elaine's kids.  Sometimes I think Elaine's kids, Bo and Kim, still take Uncle Bill too seriously at times but they are learning as they grow up.

As the weekend neared we began to plan for the trip over to Georgia for Kelly's wedding.  We would drive caravan style with my brother in law Sonny leading the way,with Barb and I following.  It was about a five hour trip plus the time trying to drive through Atlanta but since I wasn't responsible for getting us to the right place on time, it was a rather relaxing drive.  Since Elaine was to play the organ for the wedding and my son Brett was to be the ring bearer we had to arrive a little early for every one to get into place.

We arrived at my sister Carol's house in plenty of time.  Brett was dressed in a little tuxedo and was getting prepped on what to do.  For a while I thought Brett would have a career as a ring bearer but fortunately he grew out of his cuteness and into handsomeness.

It was a crazy scene at the house as everyone was running all over the place so Sonny and I picked out a corner to sit in and stay out of the way.  It was better for everyone that we do.  Elaine was getting dressed, Kelly was being made even more lovely than she already was and things were moving along fairly smoothly as far as I could tell.

Finally it came time to go to the church.  It was a little country church with gravel roads and a gravel parking lot.  The sanctuary was not very large but it was pretty in its simplicity.  It had been decorated to enhance the event that was being held that night.  Flowers and ribbons adorned everything everywhere.  Elaine went up and sat at the organ to get use to playing it before she would be called upon to do it for real.

Elaine was the only one of us kids to take organ lessons.  We had all taken piano lessons and all of us could pick out a tune or so on the piano.  The organ was a totally different story though.  Up until that night I had never touched an organ keyboard.  I heard Elaine practicing softly and decided to go and sit next to her to give her encouragement before her big solo.  It was an important solo based just on the fact that it was the first wedding of the generation coming up behind us.  As I sat and distracted Elaine from her practicing time began to slip by.  We had not noticed it but people were beginning to arrive at the church for the wedding.  Elaine was suppose to be playing her solo for real but she was too busy talking to me to realize it.

It was at this time I decided I wanted to try something.  There was a song in the rock world called "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida that had a very wicked organ solo opening to it.  I knew this solo.  It was a run up the keys that stopped at the top and then slowly melted into the song.  I loved this solo and had played it hundreds of times on the piano but never on an organ.  I wanted to know what it sounded like.

I gave Elaine a little shove and told her to listen to THIS and ran the solo of overlapping keys up to its high point then began playing the bass notes to the song.  I was really enjoying this when Elaine told me to stop.  We both looked out and saw that the church was over half filled and more people were coming in.  Elaine immediately told me to go sit down and I begrudgingly did so although I wanted to finish the song.

Elaine did very well the rest of the wedding.  She did a fine job on the little time left for her pre-song that was to be played as people arrived.  She was marvelous playing the wedding march and the post wedding song.  As for me I had the satisfaction of knowing I had played one of rock's most famous organ solos at Kelly's wedding while the guests were arriving.

That should be the end of the story but it is not.  Kelly was here in Missouri to celebrate her grandmother's eightieth birthday last October.  While we were talking and messing around I queried Kelly on whether she knew I had played In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida at her wedding.  She wasn't buying it.  She knew Uncle Bill too well to fall for something as ridiculous as that.  I assured her several times that I had indeed played the famous organ intro to the song as her guest were arriving but that I didn't think anyone noticed.  She refused to believe me insisting that I was just teasing her as I had done all of her life.  Finally I turned to Elaine and asked her "Elaine, did I or did I not play In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida at Kelly's wedding?"  Elaine sighed and looked at Kelly and nodded her head.  "Yes, Kelly, I am afraid he did".  Kelly then began to question whether Elaine was teasing or not but both me and Elaine had a serious look on our faces and you could see the recognition in Kelly's face as she he face grew into a large smile.  I had gotten her one more time and I had done it while she was refusing to believe that I was actually telling her the truth.  It was one of the best teases I ever had on Kelly Lynn.

1 comment:

  1. Yes you did get me. What can I say it is not the 1st time and most likely not the last for sure. What is really crazy is that 20 years later I still didnt know that my wedding guest got a rockin show as they entered the church. I love you!!! I can always count on Uncle Bill to make something as simple as a solo at a wedding an event. YOU are one of the 2 best uncles in the whole LOL Love you Kelly LYnn