Rev. Edgar F. Wheeler: 37 Our Honeymoon

Our honeymoon began on a Greyhound bus from Salem, West Virginia. From an early morning start to Kansas, we stayed overnight at the home where I had boarded during my college years in Salem, the home of “Aunt Allie” Randolph. The next morning we flagged the bus right in front of her house.

I guess we were so caught up with each other that I do not have a memory of much of the trip. But we were excited that we went through the town of Xenia, Ohio. Our immediate destination was the Greyhound bus station in St. Joseph, Missouri. There, my mother met us with their pickup truck. As we started toward the truck, our old tin-covered suitcase fell open and we had to retrieve our clothing.

Once at my home in Kansas, we created a lot of excitement for my family, other farm folk and church members. It was for them a novel experience to meet a lovely young blonde bride – and from West Virginia at that. Dad had hired two very common but good men. At the dinner table, the one, a quaint neighbor farmer, said, “My, she looks good enough to eat. When I married, I thought my wife looked good enough to eat. Later, I wished I had ‘et her!”

The other man was surprised to hear Xenia Lee tell of the West Virginia habit of putting salt on watermelon to eat.

The ladies of the church had a wonderful shower for my bride and made a scrapbook that we still have. Despite my faults, it seems that I was generally respected, so there was much excitement over my marriage. I proudly introduced my bride to Jennie Lynn (Medar), my school teacher in Land School in the eighth grade. We met her at the county fair at Effingham.

World war II ended on the very day we arrived in Kansas, so Grandpa and Grandma Randolph drove our 1936 Ford out to my home. From there, we went to Texas to visit Uncle Ian’s brother, Bond, who was in the service. Mom got her first glimpse of real cowboy country and cactus. Arriving in Texas, we stayed two or three days with Mom’s Uncle (Dr.) Ian Bond in Denton and Lake Dallas. Bond came from Camp Hood and we enjoyed fishing and visiting.

Starting back to West Virginia, we spent a night at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Among the “insignificant” things that I remember is our buying a watermelon on a hot day in Mississippi. We stopped on the roadside to eat it, and a smelly dead dog lay nearby.

In Alabama and in Mississippi, we truly felt that we were seeing Dixie Land. In Alabama the flat limestone outcroppings stand out in memory. A few years later we lived in Athens, Limestone County, Alabama and pastured a church there, then at Paint Rock.

Crossing a narrow neck of Virginia, we followed the Clinch Mountains, the setting for the book, “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine.” About mid-afternoon, we came to the ridge on which great Grandpa Randolph’s lived, near Sutton, West Virginia. The road was a mile or two east of their home, so we went afoot through the woods while Mom and Dad drove around the long way. It was exciting for us to take the hike just the two of us. Later that evening we arrived back home near Jarvisville. Xenia Lee had hiked this trail growing up.

It was a truly different kind of honeymoon with Xenia Lee’s parents. It has given us wonderful memories, as it expanded our world in the beginning of our wonderful life together. It was an exciting adventure for Dad and Mom Randolph, also. Neither had traveled west.

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