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Happy might end if a wedding dress goes missing

August 21, 2011
Messenger News

This is shaping up to be a happy week.

Happy birthday to my sister, Barbara. Happy anniversary to my sister, Cindy, and her husband, Dwight. Happy birthday to my husband, Walt. That's a lot of happy to remember.

Then, Joel and John Michalson's birthday is running around in there, as is Jennifer Christenson Wicks' birthday - they're all from the Vincent area.

How a person's expected to remember all that, I'd like to know. My mind is birthdayed out of whack.

Cindy and Dwight make a break from birthdays with their anniversary. I remember the wedding. She was the first of the four of us sisters to get married. Her dress was beautiful. My sister, Suzan, borrowed the dress about 18 months later for her wedding in California, and she was just as beautiful in it.

A wedding dress will do that to brides. There's a special glow that all brides get, and I'm thinking part of that comes from having a special dress.

Then, after the wedding, after the honeymoon and maybe after a week or two for the sheer laziness of it, a bride hauls her dress to the dry cleaner, who removes leftover happiness and wipes the stains away.

Home again, the dress is tucked into the back of a closet, only to be brought out when melancholy overcomes reality or water trickles into the closet.

Just ask Karen Cuckie Amman, of Fort Dodge. She and her husband, Dennis, moved to Fort Dodge from the Duncombe area in 2008 after they retired from farming. They were married in 1965, and after the wedding her dress was cleaned and closeted, where it stayed until 1994.

"My daughter sent my wedding dress off to be cleaned after we had that nasty summer in 1993," Amman said. "She took it to be cleaned in April of 1994. She said the closet looked mildewy. There was some water damage on the ceiling."

It went to Brooks in Fort Dodge, taken to and picked up by Molly Amman for her mother. When she brought it home, they found another closet to store the newly cleaned dress and promptly forgot it. When the couple moved in 2008, the dress moved from one closet to another. Now, three years after that, Amman noticed three hangars in the bag. Her dress, her train and something unexpected.

"This wedding dress was sandwiched between my train and my dress," she said. "You flipped it around, and all you noticed was my stuff."

But the other dress was there. Off-white, below the knee. Off-the-shoulder with four layers of fabric and a row of embroidered lace hanging from the bottom row of fabric. The dress has a V waist line in front and a big fabric bow in the back covering the V waistline in the back.

"I was like, whose dress is this?" Amman said. "It was cleaned, so you have to kind of think the wedding was shortly before that, but you don't know. It could have been something like me, hanging in the closet."

She doesn't really care how it happened to be hiding in her dry cleaning bag, she'd just like to get it back to its bride.

I've got pictures of the dress here at The Messenger, and Amman can be reached at 576-8260. If this is your dress, or you know whose dress it might be, let one of us know. A girl and her wedding dress should not be parted.

So long friends, until the next time when we're together.

Oh, by the way, don't forget to stop by St. Olaf Lutheran Church at 4 p.m. today for the Sonshine Singers Summer Sing.

Contact Sandy Mickelson at (515) 573-2141 or



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