Now headed ‘somewhere’
Belinda K. Williamson and Timothy A. DeMott where joined in holy matrimony Sunday at Nowhere, Kan., the Rev. Tom Decker, uncle of the groom, officiating.
Wait a minute, now, where's that again? Nowhere, that's where. Where's Nowhere? Nowhere, that's where. Sounds like an Abott and Costello routine. Why would anyone get married at Nowhere, the whimsical stop along the Midland Railway's round-trip voyage to Norwood and back to Baldwin?
"If you start out nowhere, you can only go somewhere," said DeMott, a long-time Baldwin resident and Midland regular prior to Sunday's nuptials.
That's what the 200-plus friends and family learned when they boarded the train around 4:30 p.m. Sunday and made the short trek down the tracks to Nowhere. There they found tents, folding chairs and other assorted wedding regalia. But, it certainly was in the middle of Nowhere.
"It was different," DeMott said. "Several friends of mine got married on the train en route. We wanted to do something different.
"Being a long-time Midland Railway volunteer and supporter, it just made sense to combine one of my hobbies with friends and family for the wedding and there we were," he said.
The bride, the former Belinda K. Williamson, was actually the one that hatched the nowhere plan. She's from Satanta in western Kansas, but quickly realized what the train meant to her husband-to-be.
"It was primarily her idea," said DeMott. "I had considered the train, but since she was new to Baldwin and I didn't want to impose on her, I didn't suggest it. But, she brought it up and we decided to pursue the option."
Williamson admitted before the "I dos" were swapped that a wedding at Nowhere wasn't exactly what she'd envisioned her special day to be. But, it was an easy decision to make, she said.
"It's probably not something I would have dreamed up," Williamson said Saturday. "But because he's so involved with the railroad, it's for him. It's a part of him, so it makes it more perfect."
Of course it raised more than a few eyebrows when the invitations were sent out weeks ago.
"Especially for those people who aren't from Baldwin, it was fun to put that on the invitation," said DeMott. "They had to ask where that was. Even some people from Baldwin had to ask. It certainly caught people off guard."
There were some more "caught off guard" moments with the ceremony. DeMott's best man was actually a "best friend," and that was Heather Ballinger, another long-time Baldwin resident, train and theater supporter.
"Heather and Tim have been friends forever," said Martha Wright, DeMott's mother. "It just seemed like the right thing to do. They've worked together on the train, in the theater and in his job side-by-side.
"Tim's uncle, Tom Decker, who married them, mentioned it was the first for him in many ways. It was the first marriage he'd done involving a train, certainly one to Nowhere, and he'd never had a female be the 'best man' before," she said. "But he thought everything was great and so did everyone else."
DeMott said his uncle had married about "80 percent" of the family since he became a minister, so it was only right that he do the ceremony. Other than those items, though, he thought it was a "normal" wedding.
"It was a fairly straight forward ceremony from there," he said.
All went well, too, with no major snags. The "all aboard" was sounded around 4:45 p.m. to signal the trip to Nowhere. The "all aboard" sounded again about an hour later for the trip back to Baldwin. The wedding reception was at the Worden First United Methodist Church, once everyone departed the train and headed to the cars.
"It went great. We had a wonderful time," DeMott said after the train excursion and wedding were over. It's been better than expected. Married life has been wonderful so far."
Of course that was as the honeymoon period was in full swing. Where was the honeymoon? No one was saying, but it certainly couldn't have been Nowhere. There was only somewhere to go from there.