In the mid-eighties when we I was practicing law in Florida, we were invited to the wedding of my secretary.  It was to be a formal affair, though out under the oaks in a beautiful county park near Ruskin.  But a problem developed.  There had been a miscue  with the preacher about the time, and he didn't show up.  In a panic, Linda asked if I'd handle it.

In Florida, preachers and judges and notaries are authorized to perform weddings. Why notaries have that authority, I don't know.  They sure don't get any special training for it - or for anything else for that matter.  Anyway, I was unexpectedly called upon as a notary public to perform a wedding with about 30 minutes notice. 

The last time I'd even thought about wedding vows was thirty years earlier at my own wedding.  I scrounged around for something to write with and on.  In a trash can I found an old stub of a pencil and a wadded up envelope.  Then, I called Fred Boehmer, our pastor in Brandon.  Fred recited the words to the marriage vows, and I tried to write them on the envelope which filled up quickly.   When he was done, he wished me well and hung up.

The bride and groom were nervously waiting when I finally came away from the phone.  We went to the spot they had picked out, and the crowd gathered.  Then, I couldn't find my reading glasses.  I had written the notes so small to get it all on the envelope that I couldn't begin to see what I had written without the glasses.  There was nothing to do but "ad lib" the ceremony, glancing at the unreadable notes in my hand for support.  Linda and Paul said their "I do's" at appropriate times, and in time, I pronounced them husband and wife.  They were very appreciative. Everybody was sweating in the heat, but I probably more than the rest from nervousness and frustration.

When I moved to put the envelope back in my pocket in order to sign the marriage certificate, there my glasses were in the palm of my hand.  They had been there underneath the envelope the whole time.  Notaries should not be subjected to such - not lawyers either. 

I started to tell this as the story about the day I married my secretary, but then that might raise the wrong questions.