2012-11-07 / Opinion

Up The Creek Without A Paddle

Never done that before!
by Terry Toole

Over all these years that I've been on this earth, I did something Saturday that I've never done before, didn't want to do it, and have said I wouldn't if I could help it. I went to a wedding ceremony.

Now I've been to quite a few wedding ceremonies in my long lifetime, very few. Until I was grown, I wasn't invited to many marriages. They just didn't seem to interest me. That was a woman thing. I had rather go fishing or hunting or most anything than to have to dress, usually in the middle of the day on a weekend, to see two people get married.

To tell the truth, I can't remember attending too many weddings prior to my own to my first wife. I really don't remember too much about that one except I've never seen a prettier bride than I got that Sunday in January, 56 years ago.

The preacher gave the benediction, and said, "Anyone who wants to stay for a wedding, stay seated. The rest of you are dismissed."

I'm not sure how many stayed, but there was a good crowd that stayed.

The next big wedding that I remember was when Tammy and Kent got married at the same location, different buildings.

Another recent wedding we attended was Wendy and Brian Donley's at that same location.

That's about all the big weddings that I remember anything about or that impressed my memory button.

Now over the eight years that I was a probate judge, I attended and officiated over hundreds of weddings. Very few weeks passed that someone didn’t come up to me to say, "You married us."

My stock reply is, " Do you remember what I asked before the wedding ceremony?"

Many of them remembered by saying, "Are you sure about this. It is very important."

With two marriages that I remember fairly well of all the hundreds that I attended and performed, you could say attending a marriage ceremony is not one of my favorite things to do.

Another item that I remember being asked before, and after the ceremonies that I performed, "How much do you charge?"

My stock answer was, "Whatever she is worth." I think I would have gotten more from the bride. I never felt right charging for a service, and many times, that's just what I got.

For the life of me, I can't remember what I gave our preacher for performing the ceremony for our wedding. It wasn't much, since I didn't have but $100 to pay the first month's rent on our apartment, pay a night's rent for our honeymoon motel, buy gas to get back to Atlanta and start college that next day, Oh, I had to go to court to clear up a ticket I got the month before.

Back to our adventure last Saturday that we did what we have never done before. A bus load from Colquitt attended the wedding of our pastor, Jay Roberson, and this good-looking girl, Kathy Taylor of Nashvile, Ga. They were married at Camp Tygart, near Ray City, a Methodist campground where they met. The trip was a little over 100 miles from Colquitt. We didn't make the bus ride. Spud and Pat Bush rode with us. Someone wanted to get back to see the football game that evening.

It was a most impressive event. The ceremony was held in an open-air Tabernacle that holds 900 people, and it was nearly full. Not only were there lot of people there for the wedding, there were more preachers there than I had seen in one place, and they all took part in the wedding ceremony.

Don't know who paid for all that, but they fed us a good meal in another large conference room. Maybe preachers get a discount rate.

After we got home, and Georgia won, I was glad we went.

Pray for our pastor, and his new bride. From all reports, we got the best deal getting Kathy, but that is always the case in most weddings.

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