A Decade Ago

Saturday the 19th was my anniversary. I know that for sure because I checked my marriage license. For some reason my husband and I have a really hard time remembering exactly which day it falls on. Stereotypically he’s allowed to forget it, but I’m not supposed to.

We had to go up to Portland to the Veteran’s Hospital for an appointment my husband had on Friday, so we let our son stay over at a friend’s house and stayed an extra night to goof off and celebrate a little in the city. We went out Friday night for dinner and music at a place called Bushwhacker’s Saloon and Dance Hall. They have a big dance floor, decent food, and a DJ playing country music for line and partner dancing. Yay! Fun!

We had a good time. One of the coolest things (to me) was this group of college kids who knew a lot of the dances from classes at college in Eugene (UO). They were pretty good and VERY enthusiastic. They were a lot of fun to watch. My favorite was when one of the girls (who was wearing very slick boots) slipped and fell. She recovered by doing a somersault, jumping back up and continuing the dance as if nothing had happened. I thought it was hysterical and smooth.

We got married in Reno. Not because we eloped, but because we lived near there and it was convenient. We went to the courthouse to get our license. The office there was conveniently open from 8:00 in the morning until 8:00 at night every day. We just missed the Justice of the Peace who did not keep those same hours. We left the courthouse and walked across the street to the Heart Of Reno Wedding Chapel which coincidentally kept the same hours. Nevada is pretty easy about these things so we only needed one witness. That was the secretary who was filling out our paperwork while the Minister officiated our ceremony.

“Do you, Brook, promise to love Alan?”

“I do.”

“Do you, Alan, promise to love Brook?”

“I do.”

“By the power invested in me by the State of Nevada I now pronounce you husband and wife.”

The very nice secretary gave us our paperwork and a manila envelope. In the envelope were a couple brochures and a lovely native american wedding poem rolled up and tied with a ribbon. She told us we could go around the corner to the casino there for a free wedding gift. Ooh, free stuff!

We followed her direction to the casino ( I think it was the Virginian, but can’t remember for sure. I have our precious momentos in storage. One day I will compile them in a shadowbox picture frame to mount on the wall). We went to the main cashier to collect out free gift. The cashier handed us a pen and what looked like a pad of paper. I said, “Oh, I have to sign something?” She replied, “No, that’s your gift.” On closer inspection, the pad of paper was a coupon book with many valuable coupons including two free drinks. Another coupon was for 50 cents off 1 hotdog at the snack bar. There were a few more of equal (or lessor) value. Of course, we can’t forget the pen. To make sure we got our full value, I also took a couple of matchbooks from the bar while we were having our free drinks.

If I recall correctly the license cost $35 and the ceremony cost $30, or vice versa.

That’s the story of our wedding day.

A quick search reveals that the 10th anniversary is the TIN and ALUMINUM anniversary traditionally. The modern list shows it as the DIAMOND JEWELRY anniversary. Hmm… that’s a tough choice.

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