It was only about 7:00 am when the telephone first rang at the
Dawsons, Cousin Shirley had fallen and broken her arm. This
necessitated for her a brief visit, complete with an ambulance
ride, to Methodist Hospital. Since we, with Margie as a witness,
were headed into downtown Des Moines anyway, it was decided that
John would take Margie immediately to the hospital to join Shirley
and that we would follow when Shirley was ready to return home.
Upon resolving this immediate crisis, it was decided that should
Shirley desire us to stop by in the future, she would simply telephone!
Well, with that done and the time approaching 1:00 p.m.
it was off to the Polk County office building for a quick trip
to the recorders office to pick up a marriage license, or
so we thought. Marriage is always a learning experience and we
were about to discover that the learning process was on! Unbeknownst
to us, Polk County has a three BUSINESS day wait to obtain a license
and the day of application doesnt count. The clerk informed
us that we would have to apply for a three-day waiver and go before
a judge. The judge, of course, was located at the courthouse about
4 rainy blocks away. Upon arriving at the courthouse (going through
enough security to choke the secret service) we found the judges
to be very busy with no clerk of the court in sight. Feeling a
bit out of place amongst the handcuffs and prison garb (however
institutionalized we ourselves would shortly be), we sought out
a young sheriffs deputy and requested him to take pity on
us. This he did. Within a few minutes he had found us a judge
willing to hear our request, Judge Novak. Anyway, after chatting
with him for a while (explaining our confusion with regard to
the business day thing), we headed back to the recorders
office and presented our duly signed papers. Incidentally, the
recorders office and the courthouse were still separated
by some 4 rainy blocks, but we learn quickly and discovered the
climate-controlled skywalks! By the end of the day, our 10 minute
trip had become a nearly 3 hour ordeal
welcome to marriage?
Naturally, I could find no strength within me sufficient to squelch
my desire to research the land records also located in the recorders
office. The young clerk looked at me as if I was crazy when I
indicated my desire to look at land records from the 1860s. Treating
me much as he would a diseased leper, he sent me to the dark,
stark, basement archives; there I found a very nice lady, who
helped me satisfy my genealogical curiosity.
Now that we had our license in hand and curiosity
satisfied, we decided to run some errands, specifically to have
Brians first look at the church and to pick up his tux.
So, off to see the church, which was locked up tightly in the
middle of the day when the church office was supposed to be open.
Given that, we altered course for Skeffingtons formal wear but
the shop was closed in the middle of the day with the lights on
and an open sign in the door
oh boy! We decided
to walk to the next shop and look at digital pianos while waiting
for the formal shop clerk to return from wherever he had gone.
He did materialize and we picked up the Grooms tux, which
fit perfectly. We knew that the church was having its missions
conference so decided to return to the church on the off chance
that an evening event might be underway, and one was. We went
in and met our very high strung wedding (un)coordinator and her
very easy going soundman husband.
I stayed with Janice (Margies
daughter) and her husband and began this night to find little
gifts which would be considered useful and appropriate in my role