(This week’s column was written by my brother, Dave Nelson. It documents the day that Mary and He were married in Harvey, North Dakota. I was eleven at the time and can attest to the 1.5 hour ceremony as I sat through the whole thing sweating away in my polyester leisure suit. Thanks the good story, Dave!)
I was twenty-one years old with a nearly new car, a $500.00 per month job, living in a 10 x 50 trailer home and now a new bride. What more could a guy want!
Well it was just not all that easy. The Friday before we got married I had made arrangements with the local Hwy Patrol to transfer ownership of my car into both of our names. I had also received my weekly paycheck , $106.00 after taxes . The Highway Patrol performed the vehicle transfer and stopped to fill out the paper work. When I signed it he said, that will be $100.00. I said “what!” He said that it would be $100.00 for sales tax on the $2000.00 dollars at which you valued your car. I paid the man and set off to get married with $6.00 in my checkbook.
I had been particularly nervous for two weeks prior to this but was unusually calm when this happened and unflappable through wedding practice, the wedding, and the reception. My poor wife however wept through the entire ceremony! I was not nervous about this but had not seen this much emotion coming from Mary’s eyes before so I was concerned that she was having some regrets!
We were married in a beautiful 1.5 hour ceremony that required most of a box of Kleenex and a 4 x 6 in tear wiping area on the right hand sleeve of my tuxedo. This flood of tears was at least aided by the arrival of Mary’s cousin Harlow who had taken leave from the Army to surprise her at our wedding. I however wanted to think that she was just so happy to marry me she was just emotionally overwhelmed. When the ceremony was over some normalcy returned and the reception went off without a hitch. Time now to leave for a bigtime honeymoon in Fargo at the Holiday Inn.
We left town and something started to stink. In a few more miles it became unbearable so we sat in our wedding finest with the windows rolled down to get a small amount of fresh air to mix with the stench of hot limburger cheese that was gagging both of us. Mary’s Brother and the Uncle she wept over, had filled the exhaust manifold on our car with limburger. When we made it to Fargo we parked the car knowing full well that no thief or self respecting vandal would touch our car. The next morning I was up early and headed for the carwash to try and remove the poison from the engine of our car. I washed and washed and felt I had really cleaned her up only to find that within a mile of the carwash that smell came back with a vengeance. The smell remained for the next two years.
I had enough wedding money to pay for the $42.00 wedding suite, and before long we were headed to Minot to see the west coast relatives and the cousin who ruined my car off before they had to head home. I had now begun my married life understanding that there would be some ups and downs but none we could not manage together.