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Sunday, December 15, 2013

"Just a Thought" Column continues in La Prensa of SA, 12-15

Just a Thought: Performing memorable weddings
By Steve Walker

In last week’s column I reminisced down memory lane on various wedding venues where I performed those celebrations during my tenure as a Justice of the Peace. I mentioned that I would in this week’s column share with you some remembrances of particular weddings that ranged from hilarious to extremely touching that even made me shed a tear.

I also stated that during those years I was blessed to perform my share of ceremonies for the old as well as the young alike to include people of all colors, ethnic backgrounds, and those who were multi-lingual.

I was so excited to perform weddings as a Judge that I acquired credentials as a wedding officiate after I left the bench to continue to perform them.

Back then I officiated over weddings in my court and out in public and private venues all over San Antonio. It was rewarding then and now to unite those embarking on a new adventure of marriage. 

One of my first memorable ceremonies in the courtroom involved an 81-year-old widow of 46 years who was marrying her 78 year-old boyfriend. Gracious and soft spoken she brought some of her friends along. Believe it or not she still worked part time as a receptionist and her boss walked her down the aisle to give her away. She was a lovely lady to say the least with a reddish tint in her hair, and sporting a stylish print sun dress.

After the ceremony she thanked me profusely and then apologized to me. Stunned I inquired why she apologized. Her response was, “I am old!”

I looked at her and said, “Ma’am, I am 62, you give me hope! She smiled with a twinkle in her eye and introduced me to her 75 year old girlfriend!!!!

On another occasion I happened to be standing at the front door of the court building talking to one of the constable’s deputies who manned the desk and metal detector and directed those people who came to do business, or pay a ticket or talk to a Judge, to their destination.

A well-dressed lady asked the deputy if he could direct her to a judge who could perform a wedding. He pointed to me. I asked her when she wanted to get married and she responded “right now.”

I continued, “Where is your spouse to be? She responded “at Santa Rosa Intensive Care Unit.” Surprisingly I didn’t blanch. She added, “Will you follow me to the hospital now to perform the wedding? Un-phased from my numerous experiences I told her I would be more than happy to do so. It was at the end of the day and I was off the bench for the day. 

She handed me the wedding fee and said, “Let’s go, follow me.” Out the door we travelled to the hospital in afternoon traffic. As we were walking down the hall at the hospital to his room, we visited. Apparently he had suffered from an aneurism and was recovering. Performing the wedding at his bedside with tubes up his nose I pronounced them husband and wife, congratulated them as they beamed from ear to ear and made my way back to the courtroom in shock!

Next week I will share some more funny examples of weddings that brought laughter to the eyes of the participants, those who attended and me.

And as always, what I write is “Just a Thought.”

Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran and former Justice of the Peace and Journalist.

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