The Man Who Almost Cost Me My Marraige-Not Really

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The Man Who Almost Cost Me My Marraige-Not Really

Cindy Barganier

Only in my dreams

I had such a thrill this past week that I just had to share it with you. Only my cousin, Rodney Etheredge, would really appreciate this post so Sandra please be sure that he sees this.

July 7, 1979 dawned as a beautiful sunny day. I happily leaped from bed to join two of my sorority sisters who were helping me fill dozens of bags with sand and candles. These would be the luminaries that would line my parents’ long driveway and street on both sides for the evening’s party; for this, at long last, was my wedding day. In compliance with my parents’ wishes we had dutifully waited three long years until I graduated and I could not wait to be joined with the love of my life, aka, The Writer.

Fast forward to 4 pm. The wedding party, my parents and I are preparing to leave Mama and Daddy’s house for the church where the wedding will take place at 6. The phone rings. It’s the caterer. That’s never good.

“Have you seen the sky?”

“Ah, no.”

“Well you might want to look outside. What is plan B for the reception?”

“Plan B? There is no plan B. What are you talking about?”

Now you must understand that my sweet little Mama who had lived for this day had been slaving in our yard for over a year to get this thing just right. We had borrowed I don’t know how many sets of lawn furniture, a dozen giant ferns were scattered just so, the roses or hydrangeas or whatever is supposed to bloom in July were in full bloom. It was gorgeous but I was being told to “go look at the sky.” So I did.

You guessed it. The worst electrical storm of the year hit at 6:15 just as the choir finished the opening blessing. Ah, but I get ahead of myself.

Poor Mama was undone by the phone call but I was too happy to care. I was GETTING MARRIED!! TONIGHT!!!

When we got to the church the guys were dressing in one wing and the girls in the other. Somehow  Cousin Rodney and I ended up in the sanctuary at the same time. Well that was probably not the best scenario because my family loves to sing and Rodney and I had just graduated from Auburn together where we were each a part of choirs that were like family to us. As a matter of fact, parts of those choirs were singing for the ceremony. For whatever reason, we ended up at the piano trying to remember a song called “Moses” that composer Ken Medema had written a few years earlier. If you have never heard it you must go here and have a listen. We would make it through 3-4 lines and forget the words. We were having a blast…. until Mama opened the door and said, “Cindy! The choir has arrived and practiced. Your guests are pulling into the parking lot. This is your wedding and YOU are not dressed.”  LOL

Rodney is the 1/2 man on the far left. (I know that you are really a stud but you almost didn’t make the picture)

Cindy Barganier

Well I had never met Ken Medema and he had never heard the story of how he almost made me miss my wedding…. until this week!

Ken is one of the most inspirational musicians I have ever met. Blind from birth, I don’t know how he ever learned to play the piano but he flat burns it up, he water skis and he has the most delightful personality of anyone I know. He was in town for a concert and my awesome neighbors Jack and Gayle Horner had us all to their home for dinner so that Ken could hear the story in person. The pictures stink but I couldn’t be still long enough to get a decent shot.

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Cindy Barganier

Cindy Barganier

I have a new friend for life.

Well I did get dressed.

cindy barganier

The wedding was glorious. The reception was a disaster.. almost a non-event but 34 years later we are still blissfully married so the ending is happy.


Thanks for indulging my little trip down memory lane and if you ever have the chance to hear Ken in person climb the mountain, rent the boat, forge the stream but don’t miss it!

Oh, and by the way Cute Thing, I didn’t mean to call another man a stud while talking about our wedding. You are the real deal.


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