A country justice

By Kevin Denton

A    Wedding Story

                          After I became a judge I was surprised to learn that many judges don’t officiate at weddings.  They can do that because  Unlike   getting  called out of  bed on a winter night to arraign a drunk driver,for example,  performing marriages is not a duty of the office     They can perform them or not and many do not.
                          I never minded  if the place and time were convenient and most would occur in our law office during business hours and from time to time I’ll share some memorable ones.
 The first one  of anything is always memorable.  I took a call from a young lady  to schedule  my first marriage at my law office   in Pawling.  My wife, Lynne, also worked in the office and was excited at the prospect of  hosting a  marriage .  She ordered some flower arrangements to brighten  my office a bit and arranged for some piano concertos  to waft in from my library.
Came the appointed day and, naturally, the wedding party was a bit late.  Then one of us said, “What’s that noise outside–loud, throaty engine noises.  Peeking outside I saw  the curbs were filled with Harleys and their riders–Bikers!. The whole wedding party and guests were bikers and the  wedding couple  wore fresh white t-shirts with bold black letters saying    BRIDE  and GROOM.
   My office was packed with bikers–all quiet and well-behaved.  I don’t recall being asked to work in any special biker liturgy.   Our first was a success, but decided next time we might dispense with the flowers and the concertos.