Over the years, Tom and Barbara Wolf have collaborated with a number of people to host picnic drives that have been variously described as “enjoyable”, “fun”, “well organized” and even “perfect”. They always seem to choose the right venue with routes that are carriage friendly and offer spectacular scenery, with a gourmet spread afterwards. The drive from Texas Farm enveloped all of this and more. Still, neither Tom nor Barbara could have possibly foreseen what was to be…
Here’s an excerpt from a recent Carriage Association of America (CAA) e-news: News from CAA members “The Piedmont Driving Club of Virginia (a CAA chapter) is pleased to announce the marriage of CAA member Maryalice Larkin-Matheson to her long-time beau, John Dale Thomas.”They were wed on Sunday, September 15, at the home of William Staples and Butter Strother in The Plains, Virginia. Before the service, the happy couple participated in a club picnic drive that included eleven turnouts, which traveled more than ten miles on roads adjacent to the farm. Maryalice and John Dale rode with fellow CAA members Carl and Caroline Cox on their Roof-seat Break. Bobby Dryer was also on board to sound the horn.
“To the astonishment and delight of all who attended the picnic following the drive, a minister stepped forward and performed the ceremony on the terrace of Mr. Staples’ quaint cottage. The wedding was not only a well-kept secret, it was also extremely moving. Both Maryalice and John Dale are virtual pillars within the worlds of driving, foxhunting, and Thoroughbred racing, so it was particularly meaningful to all present that they chose this venue as the perfect place to exchange vows. One of the guests was Anne Watkins, president of the Piedmont Driving Club and former state rep for the CAA.”
As PDC member Cynthia Daily remarked, “Suppose someone organized a picnic drive and a wedding broke out?” That’s pretty much what happened. Those of us who were there will never forget it — the surprise, the wedding feast, the beauty of it all. Certainly Tom and Barbara, and co-hosts William and Butter, might wonder what ELSE could happen the next time they invite the Piedmont Driving Club to their neighborhood!