Newberry County Council on Aging holds hillbilly wedding benefit

By Kevin Boozer

June 15, 2014

NEWBERRY — A collection of “cards” from the Newberry County Council on Aging shuffled their genders and talents to staff and perform a hillbilly wedding Friday at the center off Hunt Street.

Written and directed by Elinor Hoffman, the wedding included the stock character parts of a parson, a father holding a groom at gunpoint and a homely, if manly-looking, bride.

Using totality of effect, costuming and dialect, they transported patrons to a simpler time in rural America in the fictional town of Possum Holler.

The parson asked the crowd for anyone objecting “say yeah or forever hold your mouth” and with those words the hi-jinx truly began.

Saddie Sue Hedgepath (Baby Sue) was asked in the wedding vows if she would slop the hogs, milk the cows, churn the butter, tend the garden, feed the chickens and cook good vittles. If she, needed to answer, “I does.”

She did so on condition that her husband-to-be keep her supplied with the pinches of snuff she liked.

And true to the routine, the groom had to wipe some snuff from the mouth of the bride before sealing the marriage with a kiss.

Rocky Top, Camptown Races, and other traditional mountain music accompanied the performance. Some music was on CD while other songs were played by accompanist Suzanne Ringer.

The cast and crew included:

Marcella Lake as the bride’s Ma and Bill Henderson as the bride’s Pa.

Steve Arthur as ring bearer and Johnny Brown as contester.

J.C. McCartha was the bride, Claudette Lester was the groom and Betty Jo Hill was Granny Pearl. Ushers were Joan Smith and Ruth Melton.

Glenn Melton, the parson, attempted to keep the shenanigans from hijacking the ceremony.

The NCCOA Card Players performed the skit. Funds donated at the wedding benefited NCCOA.