Marriage not for the birds

Twenty years ago today Shannon and I were married here: St. Theresa of Avila Church in Bodega, California. The white, wooden church with a steeple sits on a hilltop above the small, rural coastal town. The church was built by shipbuilders in 1859 and is the oldest church in continuous use in Sonoma County. Ansel Adams made the church the subject of a black and white photograph in 1953, and we have hung a copy on the wall in the living room wherever we’ve lived over the years — San Francisco’s North Beach, San Anselmo in Marin County and Nevada City. The church is located next to the Bodega schoolhouse, which was the setting for the schoolhouse scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s film, The Birds. Hitchcock attended services there during its filming. The town carries a special meaning for our family: My parents lived in Bodega Bay for years, and my father was born in nearby Sebastopol. My parents are buried in the cemetery there. At our wedding reception, near the water in Bodega Bay, my Chronicle coworker Don Clark (now of the Wall Street Journal), his wife and friends played classic Irish music. Our life-long friend Anita Minard was the caterer. We kept it small, about 60 people. It was a very memorable day.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.

9 thoughts on “Marriage not for the birds”

  1. What!?! No wedding photo?!?

    C’mon, let’s see how the years have worn.

    Jo & I have our 20th this August.

  2. We’re celebrating our official 30th, July 2012, providing the Universe hasn’t been vaporized by a Supreme Trump. It would be our unofficial 32nd, if you counted from when we met.

    Happy Anniversaries to everyone, and especially Shannon and Jeff.

  3. Thanks for the good wishes. The house is filled with a bouquet of 20 roses and another tropical display to boot. Foothill Flowers does a great job.

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