The Art of Traditions

an old car becomes part of many weddings


photo-may-19-9-23-01-am.jpgMeet our family’s wedding car. A tradition started 25 years ago exactly today.    This is a 1929 Model A Ford,  which cost about $500 new.  This particular car has a “manufactured on” date of April 16th, 1929, which sounds like an ordinary day, till you read further…..

But lets start at the beginning….my father purchased the car in 1960, when he was a young man of 18 years old.  His father was a small engine repair man and my father had followed his footsteps, but his love was for cars.  He purchased the car with the intent of restoring it.  In our family we get attached to our vehicles, and have a hard time parting with them.   But back to the wedding car……

My parents were married in the spring of 1966.  My great Grandmother Antonia, baked and decorated the wedding cake, and then realized there was no way to get it to my parents wedding reception.  My Dad thought of his Model A, which had a seat that lifted up leaving a nice area to fit the cake.  Little did it know, but it was becoming the wedding car that day.  I wish I had pics of the car and my parents but sadly I do not.

My Dad restored the car in the 1970’s and I can still remember nights spent in the garage wet sanding the fenders with my Dad.  I still love the smell of body filler!  While restoring it my Dad saw the date that the car was created, stamped on the gas tank.  April 16, 1929.  If you remember that was my parents wedding day, but in 1966.  Isn’t that something?

Then I met my future husband in 1985, got engaged in 1992, and started my wedding plans.  I decided to use it to arrive at my wedding on May 29th of 1993.  And this was the first of many trips to church for this pretty car.

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Then my brothers used it in their weddings…. Yes I am an only child, but I don’t think of myself as one…. its a long story, but I will paraphrase for you. When I was 5 years old, we had a family move in next door with 3 boys.  That family became my second family, the boys my brothers, and the parents, my second set.  It has not changed over the years, and never will.

Below is my brother Ricky’s wedding to his wife Sharon, in September of 1993.  Their daughter Katie, is the first of the second generation to use it, and to continue the tradition.


Below is my brother Rob, with his wife Kersti, in a beautiful photo taken by Guy Grube, at the Public House in Sturbridge, Mass.  Below that are more pics of my brothers, two Dads, and the car on their wedding day.


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Slowik Wedding 1995

My cousin Christine with her husband Troy at their wedding,  in 1994.  Ironically the newer limo broke down at their wedding, but the old Ford was dependable as ever.

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Thetreault wedding, June 1994

And onto the latest wedding…. Katie is the first one of the next generation to use the Model A.  Below is my niece Katie at her wedding  earlier this May. The father of the bride is holding the umbrella, and Mom is with her in the back.   (Photos below taken by Stephanie Gallow)

It is a wonderful thing to have a tradition like this…. and even more wonderful to see the next generation use it.  While at Katie’s wedding another couple came up and asked to have their photo taken with the car.  They had also used the car at their wedding over 25 years ago!


The Gray’s with the Wedding car

Recently one of my brothers mentioned that all the couples that had used the car are still happily married.  In fact, I am celebrating 25 years today, and my brothers are doing the same later this year, and next year!  So I am hoping and wishing that my niece has the same luck!

Congrats Adam & Katie! Love you more!





The art of meeting again

I grew up the daughter of a mechanic, and both of my parents enjoyed cars.  So its not a surprise that I love them as well.  Growing up it was normal to see a car in my Dad’s garage in various states of repair.  One of these cars was a 1929 Model A that he had since he was 18, and restored while I was growing up.

This car was a big part of my childhood, and it was only natural to use it to travel to the church for my wedding.  Then other family members used it, and it became a tradition.


my daughter many moons ago…..


A few years ago my Dad sold it to a family member.  He had not been using it much, and we thought our cousin would enjoy it, which he did.  Sadly our cousin Ray passed away a few months ago, and my Dad decided to purchase it back.  While it was gone, I continued to paint it, and you probably saw it in many paintings.  I missed it, and the sight of it always made me think of happy memories.  So imagine my happiness seeing it return to my Dad’s garage, and see my Dad and son tinkering on it.


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getting spruced up for a May Wedding


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A simpler engine from simpler times



I am excited to also say that another family member is using it in a wedding, so it has come home just  in time!  The tradition continues and in May this reliable Ford will be reassuming its duties once again!  Taking the bride to the church, and making more memories for the next generation of our family.


One of the many paintings I have done of our family Model A.


Honoring my grandmothers

organizing a new hutch brings back memories of loved ones

I was just very lucky to talk my hubby into updating our dining room furniture.  We had purchased our dining room set over 20 years ago, and my style has changed since then.  A lot.  My hubby often jokes that I have changed everything in the house and he is lucky he is still here.  I don’t think he has to worry, he is a keeper.  But back to my new dining room.  It was no fun selling the old set.  I am sentimental and wanted it to go to a home.  After a ton of scammers, a wonderful pregnant lady expecting her first child decided to purchase it.  So I was free to get a new set that my hubby and I had already picked out.

I was going for farmhouse style,  and we picked out a dark wood dining table, with matching chairs.  But the piece de la resistance, was the hutch.  I wanted one with glass, as I do not want to spend my time dusting.  Plus in the words of the late George Carlin, I have a lot of “stuff”.

My set arrived today and I spent about two hours washing and arranging my “Stuff” in my new hutch.  And while I did this it brought back memories and made me think of loved ones.  My meme, Aurore Rainville, was a classy lady and has left me so many dainty items.  Noritake plates with bright flowers, teacups with plastic flowers, a pretty serving dishes with roses and hand painted roses on dessert plates.  I found a wine glass from my best friends wedding, a wine bottle favor from my other best friends wedding, and my champagne flutes from my own wedding.

My other Grandmother, Nellie May Reynolds, was more rustic, and I do not have a lot from her, sadly. But my Great Grandmother Antonia Reynolds, left me her silver.  One of my most treasured things.  We use the silverware on holidays and other special occasions.  I feel so lucky to have it and wish I could tell her how thankful I am that she gave it to me.  One day my Dad was visiting and she simply gave it to him to hold for me. Little did I know what a treasure it truly is, and I plan on passing it down as a heirloom, as she did.

One holiday we were cleaning up and while I was drying the serving spoons I noticed the coolest thing….. my Grandma had written her initials on a little piece of tape for when she brought her silver to church suppers.  What a wonderful thing to find!   I have taken care to keep that tape on, but sadly some of it is wearing off.  I would guess this silver to be over 75 years old, and to me it is priceless and irreplaceable.


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A.B.R.  Antonia Beatrice Reynolds

So I organized my china, remembering how proud my Aunt Cil was to give me a place setting, and walked down memory lane thinking of those that I love. And when my daughter came home, I told her who each piece belonged to, hoping she will continue the tradition with these beautiful items that we are lucky to have.

Below is the finished hutch, which I was trying to make look like a Grandma’s hutch.  I think and hope I succeeded.  Because I did not tell you the whole story…. the other reason behind getting a new set is that I am going to be a Grandma myself, or a Mimi.   Our family is growing and we wanted to get a bigger table to fit everyone comfortably.  So my hutch will soon be my own Grandma’s hutch, and that’s a wonderful thing.

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