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CLIFFSIDE, December 19.—It is very interesting to study the different customs and the different habits of different people at different places, and the marriage custom at different places is certainly interesting to study. And we have come to the conclusion that the Cliffside style is about the most, peculiar, cheapest and quickest of any that we ever come in contact with.
Our people don't believe in any long courtship or any long engagement. Neither do they believe in going to the trouble or expense of inviting a host of of friends or relatives to witness the happy event, and after the marriage is over, they don't believe in any long bridal tour or expensive honeymoon trips.
Their idea is a short courtship, a short engagement and and the shortest possible time to get married: then after the wedding, instead of a long honeymoon trip, they just take a short trip back into the mill where they go to perform the same work that they have performed heretofore. That is the Cliffside style. So you see at once that it don't take them long to make a match. When a couple decides to marry it is only a few hours until they are hitched up in double harness and traveling down the rough pathway of life together. For instance, if early in the morning they become tired of single life, they make all the arrangements and have the ceremony performed and at noon they are ready to eat their wedding dinner, and if they don't happen to make the decision till noon, when the sun sets they are ready to partake of a bountiful supper--provided they can get the bountiful supper. They don't even go to the trouble or expense of going to town to get a license, but instead they just go to the livery stable and hire a turnout and strike a bee line for South Carolina, where they "jine themselves together in the holy bonds of padlock."
It is interesting to know just how quick a couple can get ready to start for South Carolina, Some of them go off in such haste that they don't give the Cliffside band time to play the wedding march until they are gone, while others go off in such a rush that they don't take time to tell the bride's parents anything about it. You see they don't fool away any time, but go right through with it. So if anyone wants to get married quick, without much trouble or expense, they had better come on to Cliffside and sail in.
Now some one may say that we are exaggerating or that our minds are wandering, and pretend that they don't believe this, but if they will just come here and stay a while they won't have to believe it for they will know it, but for the benefit of the unbeliever and the public generally, we will give an account of one of our latest weddings.
On Tuesday night, December 6th, Mr. J. E. Whisnant and Miss Lucy Harrison were united in matrimony just across the line in South Carolina. This couple is very popular and their many friends will learn with interest of their marriage. Their courtship had not been going on very long, but they were expected to marry sometime in the near future, but it seems that about noon on the 6th that Mr. Whisnant gets to thinking the matter over and decides that it not good for man to be alone and that he had better be making hay while the sun shines (the sun did not happen to shine though) so he concludes to marry at once.
It is no easy matter to decide just what action to take, but when he thinks about the fierce expression that he has noticed on the face of Mr. Harrison (the bride's father), he thinks it will be healthier for all parties concerned to have his 'dearly beloved' to meet him by moonlight alone and take a quick drive across the State line and have the knot tied without asking the old gentleman any questions about it. Now if he carries out this plan he has got to bestir himself, so he begins to hustle around like a six-horse wagon in a mud hole and puts things in shape.
As he remembers that Mrs. Harrison has been very kind to him he don't think it likely that she will raise any serious objections to him as a son-in-law so about the first thing he does is to go and have an interview with her and then go back to the mill and have a conversation with Miss Lucy.
He brings her to understand that it is now or never, so she leaves off weaving for the present and goes home and puts on her best dress. In the meanwhile Mr. Whisnant goes and procures a team of fast horses and makes other preparatory arrangements. Night comes on and darkness closes in around our village when he takes his bride in the carriage with him and drives his pair of "thoroughbreds" at at double-quick pace till he reaches South Carolina, where the words are said that join two lives together and permit two hearts to beat as one, so each one had the pleasure of making the other happy.
We want to say right here that Mr. Whisnant is certainly a lucky chap. He seems to have been born on a lucky day. He is lucky in the first place in winning such a lovely bride, and, in the second place, in having the presence of mind and quick wits to form a plan to get away with her, and, in the third place, in being so successful in carrying out his plan. Another streak of luck, which come his way just at the proper time, was an alarm of fire which was given at the mill. The people rush to the woodyard at once, where a pile of wood is on fire. They succeed in putting it out before it has time to do any damage, while Mr. Whisnant succeeds in getting away with his bride at about the same time. We hope he will continue to be successful on through life, and we think he will, for he seems to have a bright future before him. He and his bride are just in the bloom of youth and they are the pictures of health and happiness. It almost makes us happy to think about them. On the other hand, when we think of the bride 's old sweethearts that are left behind, we can't but feel sad and we are bound to put on a long face and sympathize with them.
Cheer up boys and don't be so sad and melancholy! There are more pebbles on the beach, so you are not altogether left. Get a hustle on yourselves and your times are more than apt to come. Nevertheless Mr. Whisnant has outstripped you and gone on. He has launched his boat out on the stream of life and is floating onward. He is already far away in the distance ahead and you can't overtake him either, boys, for he has got somebody to help him paddle his canoe.
This item was printed in The Sun on December 24, 1903.
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