Is There a Judge in the House?

Continued (page 2 of 2)

My daughter, fortunately, had to find only one officiant, and her older sister came up with a way to do it: In some California counties, a resident can, by filling out some forms and paying a fee, have himself appointed a deputy commissioner of civil marriage for the purpose of conducting a wedding. Selecting someone for the role was easy. My Uncle Jerry, who lived nearby in retirement, was a favorite of the bride and groom. Also, he’d had a distinguished career as a city librarian and an academic in library sciences.

“I think retired librarians should be able to perform weddings even without being deputized, the way ship captains can perform weddings,” I told the bride. “Think of the experience they have in keeping people quiet.”

Uncle Jerry was duly deputized. At the ceremony, he was splendid. He quoted Samuel Johnson, the 18th-century man of letters, on marriage, and told a charming anecdote about the bride as a child. Needless to say, he stayed for dinner.

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