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Our Chivaree! TBT
Posted On 03/13/2020 23:54:29 by yourchoice

This week has gone so fast for me… and I missed Thursday. I was ready to do a ‘Throwback Thursday’ Blog, but now it will look like a “throwback weekend”. 

My husband and I met in a small prairie town where we both worked. He was the telephone foreman in town, and I was a nurse in the 19-bed hospital. We loved the community but some of the “traditions” were new to us. We had a very personal introduction to a “chivaree” party, traditionally conducted for ‘newlyweds’.

 Google has this example posted online: A few days after the couple got settled, the community held a shivaree. The shivaree was a post-wedding noisy party for the community where the newlyweds were pressed into service as hosts. In short, the shivaree was a mock serenade and a roast of the newlyweds.

We had taken a road trip to the mountains for our honeymoon, and on our way back, we stopped to pick up our wedding gifts at my parents’ home in the city. It was a great evening of opening gifts in our new home, tossing wrapping paper and boxes down the back stairs, just to get it out of sight until we had the time to burn the trash in the backyard. 

We finally retired for the night, we made sure that the extension phone was working in our bedroom because we were both “on call” for our jobs. Minutes after our lights were out, our phone rang LOUDLY. I picked up the receiver and heard the dial tone… and the phone kept ringing. My telephone man thought it was the phone in the kitchen that was ringing, It was so dark in the house, and the power was out and the street light in front of our house was out too. There must be an emergency in town, we thought,… and the phone kept ringing! We didn’t have a flashlight, and we didn’t smoke, so we didn’t even have matches to help us find our way through the house. Hubby got the idea that the ‘ringing’ was coming from the basement, but we had to navigate the stairwell that was filled with wrapping paper and boxes. When we finally got down the stairs, we discovered electrical wires taped to the backside of a pole in the basement, and leading to the metal ductwork of the furnace. Somebody had been in our house while we were gone, and it didn’t look like work done by our building contractor. Hubby hoped that if he ripped the wiring, it would stop the incessant ringing telephone, and sure enough, the phone stopped ringing and the lights came back on. We suspected who was responsible for this event… his partner in the telephone company, and our neighbor who worked for the power company. We later learned that they had placed a bell system, normally used in grain elevators, in the metal furnace duct, and wired it to a telephone number at the neighbor’s house. No wonder it was so loud and so annoying!

Minutes after the lights came back on, there was a commotion at both the back and front doors, and about a dozen people were there for “breakfast”... even supplying the ingredients for me to make pancakes for all of them. This was our initiation and celebration from our community. As a matter of fact, most of the town knew that it was going to happen.

The town is much bigger now, and friends who live there haven’t heard of a chivaee in town in years. I guess it is now considered to be ‘old fashioned’. It sure was an event that we have never forgotten. We were the ‘newbies’ in town, but we were properly welcomed by the community.

Tags: Community Wedding Party Friends



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Viewing 1 - 7 out of 7 Comments

03/18/2020 17:39:31


WritterDeb wrote:

... I remember they were so excited as they were given a TV.  I remember jokes being told about the tv and the couple and I'm glad I can't remember what they were but can just imagine.   I have not thought of that in so long.  ....

I'm glad you enjoyed my blog... it is so much fun remembering the great times in our village. It was nothing like living in the city.
You mentioned about the comments... we were fortunate with the crowd that arrived at our place. There were instances when damage was done to the home -- I just had to pretend that I knew how to cook! (i.e. throwing grain seeds through a window on to a newly built wooden floor; throwing garbage in the toilet.) Inappropriate remarks sometimes even made the local paper. Some we very funny!




03/18/2020 17:25:54

How Cool.  I love your memories/stories.  When I was about 6 years old I remember the church where my grandfather was minister of music, had a house raising.  This couple was getting married that had been in this church all of their lives  and they first built them a home in a very short time.  They then had a big party to "fill their pantry" and then the wedding.  A large party was held in the couple's front yard to celebrate their union and I remember they were so excited as they were given a TV.  I remember jokes being told about the tv and the couple and I'm glad I can't remember what they were but can just imagine.   I have not thought of that in so long.  They were one of those communities whiuch we called, the country, and yes, they did barn raisings also



03/17/2020 05:50:08


texasjane wrote:

I really enjoyed this. Thank you for sharing it.  What a blessing for your beginning.  When newlyweds have the support of those around them they are truly lucky.  I know from your writing what a warm memory this is for you.  I too remember the Walton's episode and thought at the time I was glad I did not have to go through anything like that.  I like your version better.

Thanks for your kind words. The one thing that I had to learn to accept (being a city girl by that time) was to accept the fact that the whole town seemed to know what was going on! Even though we moved almost two years later, because my hubby received a promotion, we still visit friends in that town, and consider it our hometown.



03/17/2020 02:54:34

I really enjoyed this. Thank you for sharing it.  What a blessing for your beginning.  When newlyweds have the support of those around them they are truly lucky.  I know from your writing what a warm memory this is for you.  I too remember the Walton's episode and thought at the time I was glad I did not have to go through anything like that.  I like your version better.



03/15/2020 20:17:17


Altara3 wrote:

I hadn't heard of that, till watching The Waltons; in their version, a Shivaree was when guests at a country wedding followed the couple home on their wedding night and serenaded them. It was quite an embarrassment to the groom, who was a city boy. 

You are right about the Waltons' version. In our case, we didn't get married in our town, but in the city where my parents lived, and from there, we went on a road trip, thanks to the generous cash gift from relatives. So... the next best thing was to "shivaree" when we got to our home, which the two guys would know when that would be. In a small town, most everyone knows what is going on anyway!!!!



03/15/2020 12:19:36

I hadn't heard of that, till watching The Waltons; in their version, a Shivaree was when guests at a country wedding followed the couple home on their wedding night and serenaded them. It was quite an embarrassment to the groom, who was a city boy. 



03/14/2020 09:43:51

What a greeting to to the new community! I have never heard of a "Shivaree" so I will look it up.





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