Uplifting moments unfold amid destruction

The flooding caused by Hurricane Agnes in New York’s southern layer was terrible and tragic. But even in the midst of the devastation, there were moments of levity and even joy to cheer weary souls.

Now, half a century later, those who were there remember the moments of light that have stayed with them all those years.

Doug Davis, 21 at the time, and Sally MacPherson, 20, had their wedding date set for June 24, 1972 in Elmira. When their big day arrived, two days after the storm began its relentless assault on the area, the church where the couple hoped to make their vows was flooded. One guest was stranded in Binghamton and many others were evacuating flooded homes or struggling with the damage. But the bride and groom have found a way. They moved the wedding to a venue that usually had a more gloomy ceremony — Sally’s father’s funeral home — and hosted the event with a trimmed guest list.

A special guest – a New Orleans singer who was friends with Sally’s father – almost missed out when her bus stopped in Binghamton.

“She called Sally’s dad and said, ‘I can’t come,'” said Doug Davis. “He took the hearse and went on Route 17. He was stopped by a trooper and said he was ‘going to collect a body in Binghamton’. The trooper waved him on.”

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