As I walked out of the Chapel, I looked around there was a seedy hotel in the back with a lot of young girls coming out they were dressed a little risque. I looked at my watch four PM. I put two and two together. These girls were hookers starting there shift for the evening. The place the courthouse across the street is where they clocked in and went elsewhere. Ha.
My first day at the Chapel was meeting Gus the Wedding Consultant. He was from Ireland. How did he end up here? He love to take photos. Later on, I would see him instruct his subjects the (brides) into very suggestive poses on their wedding day. Not kidding. Everyone would laugh as he tried to get the light just right. The groom did not know what to say and had a very uncomfortable look on his face. Gus would walk in at times, pissed off and go in the back for some tea. He would say “The loonies will be out tonight.” And sure enough Nomi would fill me in on the events that happened the night before. Time to write it down. One of my duties was to go across the street to the courthouse to drum up business. The preacher and me. I would hand out flyer’s and the preacher would sing. He had on a really bad sequin jacket but like a good performer he gave his all to the fans! The Preacher was a local celebrity of sorts he would open car dealerships, restaurants, sing at funerals. Other Elvis look-likes from other towns would torment him with fancier cars and would try to steal away business from him.
Nomi…. I found out had been married so many times that she lost count. And that making flowers was her therapy for the brides that would come in. I myself, would start to get attached to some of these brides even though I had been married for some time.
Winnie the Ghost:
As time went on I got stuck doing the night shift. Well, little did I know the Chapel was haunted. The ghost was named Winnie. Apparently she was the original owner of the chapel. She would make her presence known to me and everyone. I would hear noises in the back. I would yell out. Hello! Hello! As I traveled to the back no one was there. Blinds would go up and down as I sat in the kitchen. Candles would burn out during a ceremony. One night, while I was watching TV in that cluttered room where I was hired months before… I saw her in the next room. She seem to be cooking or making something.
There are so many situations and stories that are covered in the show. All I know is my print- outs of what happened at the Chapel was beginning to grow.
Five months later, I found a new job. A better one. Little did I know that the Chapel never left me even to this day. Now I will take you to another journey. How “Redneck Weddings” would become a show and how it would consume me for the next six years. And that creative groove that I lost started creeping back.