50 Years, 50 Stories


Published Nov. 8, 1997, in The Ledger Independent

Actor George Clooney stayed away from his aunt’s wedding so he wouldn’t upstage her or detract from her special day.

But comedian Bob Hope, who arrived fashionably late to a thundering round of applause in St. Patrick Church, may have.

Hope was greeted with much fanfare by media and local residents who converged on Maysville Friday from the celebrity wedding of singer Rosemary Clooney, 69, and her longtime companion, Dante Di Paolo, 71.

George, star of “batman and Robin,” and TVs “ER,” was not there although there sere several rumors hours later that the Hollywood hunk had covertly hidden in the choir loft. Those rumors, however, were untrue.

As she had wanted, Rosemary had her hometown wedding — a traditional celebration shared with family, friends and others who packed the church where she was baptized.

A standing-room-only crowd of more than 800 joined her and Dante in an hour-long Nuptial Mass led by the Rev. William Hinds.

It was a traditional wedding of beautiful church music that echoed through St. Patrick, filling locals with pride in the church’s choirs.

“It sounds like a musical,” said one woman, her voiced choked.

The altar was filled with greenery — ferns, peace lilies, china dolls and shiny-leaved foliage — accented by white flowers and white candles.

“It was simply pretty,” said Marian Robinson, who along with Alice Wilson designed the flowers for Carol Jean’s Flowers of the Garden Center.

Rosemary and Dante walked out together, she beaming with her arm draped around her groom’s. She wore a dark green velvet dress and carried an asymmetrical cascade of dendrobium orchids, white roses, Stephanotis and larkspur — all white — and snow on the mountain, said Robinson.

Nick Clooney, George’s father, praised his sister, saying “I can;t recall seeing a lovelier bride.”

Rosemary;s attendants wore dark brown velvet and halos of white dendrobium orchids, larkspur flowerettes, baby’s breath and snow on the mountain encircled their heads.

The men work cornflowers — Rosemary;s favorite flower, Robinson said.

Their vows were also traditional with readings from I Corinthians 13. Dante spoke softly. Rosemary, her voice husky, seemed nervous. She affectionately patted his arm, and he at one point leaned over to give her a kiss.

Packing the church an hour before the ceremony was to begin, many locals chatted excitedly about who was to attend, craning their necks to see what friends got in and to catch a glimpse of someone famous.