|Antique Valentine, 1909|
We had a reasonably unconventional wedding. Leroy and I were married by a judge at the county courthouse in Hannibal, Missouri, birthplace of Mark Twain. His beard was commented upon positively by the judge and his staff -- turns out the city was celebrating its sesquicentennial by having all the men grow beards. Afterward, we drove to St. Louis to see its famous arches. By the time we reached St. Louis, we were in near blizzard conditions, so we had hot dogs in a place not unlike Seattle's Frankfurter, then got back in the car and drove back north.
Our marriage certificate burned up in a house fire in Rochester, New York five years later. That certificate didn't have much to do with how connected we felt then or now, nor do the outward trappings of Valentine's Day. Each year, though, we raise our glasses over a festive dinner on the 15th with dear friends, the Adams, to celebrate our anniversary, Hazard's birthday, and over 30 years of friendship.
I should also point out that, though it was not a consideration in selecting our wedding date, it's easier to book a table on the night after Valentine's Day.