My Parents’ Wedding Photo

Source: Robbins-Valk Wedding, Bride and Groom and Their Parents. Photograph. 25 Jun 1965. Original photograph in the possession of Miriam Robbins Midkiff, Spokane, Washington. 2008.

Growing up–like most little girls, I suppose–I loved to look at my parents’ photo album of their wedding. The big 8″ x 10″ black and white glossies made them look like the movie stars I was sure they were. In addition, there were photos of members of the wedding party–my beloved aunts and uncles whom I rarely saw–and individual shots of my parents with each set of their parents, my grandparents who were like celebrities when they visited us in Alaska from their homes in Michigan.

But I never saw the photograph above until eight years ago, when I visited Michigan last and spent some time with my Grandmother DeVries, who had arranged for my husband, my children, and myself to take a memorable vacation that October. She handed me a miniature photo album filled with forty-four 3″ x 4″ shots, including the one above, which I had never seen before. It quickly became my favorite, showing my parents, my paternal grandparents, and both sets of my maternal grandparents (my mother’s parents having divorced and remarried to other spouses).

From left to right are my paternal grandparents, Robert Lewis ROBBINS (1920 – 2003) and Jeanne Marie HOLST (living; birth name, Jane Marie YORK); my parents, Bryan Henry ROBBINS and Faith Lillian VALK; my maternal grandmother and step-grandfather, Ruth Lillian HOEKSTRA (1919 – 2001) and Adrian DeVRIES (1916 – 2007); my maternal step-grandmother and grandfather, Elaine Estelle SEIF (living) and William VALK (1912 – 1989).

This photograph was taken the evening of 25 June 1965 by Werkema Studio of Grand Rapids, Michigan, in the chapel of my parents’ alma mater, Grand Rapids School of the Bible and Music (now a part of Cornerstone University), Crescent Street at Bostwick Avenue.

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