Way back in 1968, the company I worked for, having signed a contract with the defense department, decided to tear me away from California and send me 'somewhere' else. They didn't say where it would be but it would be on a military base somewhere on planet earth. I had to go to Chicago for some training first and then they would reveal all.
Mrs. Wilderness was not Mrs Wilderness yet so being, 'ever the romantic' I offered that she should come to Chicago with me and we could 'tie the knot.' Actually, I pleaded with her, but we won't go there.
So we sold up things in California and took off for the windy city. Right after arriving I looked in the telephone book and chose a likely looking church nearby to contact. I told the Minister that we wanted to get married next Thursday. He hesitated for a moment and then said; "But that's the Fourth of July!" I said; "And I'll never forget my anniversary!"
He hesitated again and said; "Are you Methodist?" I could see things weren't going my way. I told him that the future Mrs Wilderness was once a bride's maid at a Methodist marriage ceremony. I doubt that carried any weight at all but I must have sounded desperate because in a moment of weakness he agreed to marry us.
He said; "Okay, you and your witnesses be here at 10:00 on the day." "Witnesses?" I heard him sigh and then he said; "Don't tell me you don't have witnesses." I explained we had just arrived from California and didn't know a soul in Chicago.
So that is how Mrs Wilderness and I came to being married on the 4th of July, in a Methodist church in Chicago by a very understanding Minister with 'two' witnesses; the Minister's wife and the church janitor!
By the way, our thirteen month honeymoon was spent on a sunny Pacific island, Guam!
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