Brian J. Linn

October 22, 1997

Brian: It was only about 7:00 am when the telephone first rang at the Dawson’s, 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!

Joyce: 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 recorder’s 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 doesn’t 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 sheriff’s 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 recorder’s office and presented our duly signed papers. Incidentally, the recorder’s 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?

Brian: Naturally, I could find no strength within me sufficient to squelch my desire to research the land records also located in the recorder’s 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.

Joyce: Now that we had our license in hand and curiosity satisfied, we decided to run some errands, specifically to have Brian’s 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 Groom’s 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 (Margie’s daughter) and her husband and began this night to find little gifts which would be considered useful and appropriate in my role as bride.

October 22
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