Sunday, February 6, 2011

Trauma getting a marriage license...

Tried to put the heart at the end of this post, after I typed the post, but I can't figure out how to do it. Anyone have a solution?

Sorry, I don't have photos from this traumatic day before our wedding.
JUNE 1961
My folks drove to Provo in early June and packed up my things from the apartment for my BYU years and we headed home to Gooding, Idaho.

Walt got home to Wendell, Idaho, about 2 or 3 days before our wedding.

June 13, bright and early, the day before our wedding, we drove to Salt Lake City to get to the City Hall in plenty of time to get our marriage license.

I had the Utah certified form with my blood test officially recorded--a requirement in those days--which I presented at the marriage license bureau when we arrived.

When Walt presented the scribbled scrap of paper of his blood test results from the Barnes Hospital in St. Louis which was affiliated with the Washington University School of Medicine, the marriage license official asked what it was.

"My blood test results," Walt said. He told me later that he knew the only reason for the blood test before marriage was to see if a person had syphilis or not.

"Well," replied the man in a huff, "the blood test has to be on our official form and the blood test here in Utah takes a few days to have the results." (or something like that...)

"We're scheduled to be married tomorrow morning in the Salt Lake Temple, and our families are on their way to Utah to be here for it," I said in a panic.

We left City Hall and Walt called his Aunt Maureen Carlson in Woods Cross with whom he and his folks were going to stay that night. She had him call their family doctor who told Walt to go straight to the State Lab in downtown SLC and they might be able to do his blood test and give him the results the same day on the official form.

We went there, and they thought they could get it in time. It was getting late afternoon by now and I was really nervous. I remember thinking:

"This can't be happening, the day before our wedding is supposed to be a calm, peaceful day. We had everything planned so well (we thought) and now we might not get our marriage license in time to even get married tomorrow!"

I finally told Walt I was going to walk back back down to the City Hall....a few loooong Fourth South (I think the lab was on South Temple or First South) and not let them close until Walt got there.

The minutes were flying by, the big City Hall clock approaching 5:00....and still no Walt in sight. About 4:55 here he came racing down the sidewalk, up the steps, and into the front door...with the blood test on the official form, which they accepted and issued our marriage license.

A couple had come in just before Walt got there who wanted to be married right then at the City Hall. The officials asked Walt and me to be there witnesses since they had no one with them. As we stood there I thought, how sad--no family or friends with them, and married only until death do they part.
We rendezvoused with our parents at Harmon's Cafe and had a chicken dinner together. We dramatized the harrowing day we had had...and we were all thankful for the lucky outcome.
Then Walt and his parents drove off to his aunt and uncle's and my Mom, Dad, and I went to the hotel just north of the temple next to Mormon Handicraft....which is where The Conference Center is now.
I didn't sleep much and got up early to do my hair...I think that was in the days before curling irons.

Next week we'll share June 14, 1961, about our marriage for time and eternity in the Salt Lake Temple surrounded by beloved family and friends.

1 comment:

Janiece said...

I can not wait to hear the rest of the story!