Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Goin' to the Chapel: a Russian Wedding in 1970's San Francisco

To honor National Panic Day, I found it apropos to spotlight this vintage collection of Russian wedding snapshots I found in an old manilla envelope. They were taken to commemorate the youngest of the Seoul Sisters, Lena's nuptials. The marriage took place on Sunday, June 21st, 1970 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox church located at 1520 Green Street in San Francisco.

Mary "Masha" Goosev helps Elena Vasilev get ready for her wedding in June 1970 at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California
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Elena Vasilev before her June 1970 wedding at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California
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Jill Weissich, Elena Vasilev, Mary "Masha" Goosev, Marie "Rhea" Thomson, and Natalia "Tasha" Thomson at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California in June, 1970

The husband-to-be was Franklin William Storti (1931-2006). Ever notice how there are never any traditional "getting ready" pictures of the bridegroom before the ceremony? What do men do before their weddings?

Frank Storti and Elena Vasilev get married at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California
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Frank Storti and Elena Vasilev get married at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California
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Frank Storti and Elena Vasilev get married at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California

The officiating clergyman was a young Polish cleric by the name of Fr. Leonid Kishkovsky. You can read more about him here. The year prior, he was assigned to build an English-language community in Holy Trinity's downstairs chapel, St. Innocent. He and his wife, Mimi, were also actively engaged in Orthodox fellowship work with college students in the San Francisco area before they moved to Sea Cliff, New York in 1974 to serve at the Church of Our Lady of Kazan. He sounds like he was pretty hip. You know, for a Russian Orthodox priest. *dodges lighting bolt*

Frank Storti and Elena Vasilev after their June 1970 wedding at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California
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Frank Storti and Elena Vasilev after their June 1970 wedding at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California
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Elena Vasilev and Frank Storti pose outside the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California after their June 1970 wedding.
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Frank Storti and Elena Vasilev after their June 1970 wedding at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco, California

According to California public records, Frank and Lena's divorce was finalized two years later in July 1972.

Oh well, here's to the happy couple—for the short time that they were happy.

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