by Charles Nabarrete
In the last half of the 1990s my nephew asked if I could perform the marriage to his fiancée. I had been appointed an administrative law judge for California in 1990, and was aware that I could perform such ceremonies as well as administer oaths, but I had not performed any marriages. I was directed to the county clerk’s office, where I was authorized to perform marriages on a particular date anywhere in California and a script to follow.
When I arrived at the chapel where the marriage was to be performed, the owner asked me if I was the minister, and I replied “no” and thought, “Not in this lifetime.” All my family was present: grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. My son played the wedding march on the piano. I asked my nephew to cough when his bride was standing next to him so that I would know when to start the ceremony. Unfortunately, I missed the reception, as I had to fly to Houston immediately afterward to attend the ACB national convention.
Later I had the privilege to perform the marriages of two CCB couples. I married Pat LaFrance and Perry Wolf in 2000, and Pam Hill and Ken Metz a few years later. The relatives and blind friends who attended these marriages celebrated the joyful events. The Metz/Hill wedding had a Hawaiian theme. Pam was nervous, and wanted me to begin the ceremony before the music stopped.
These three events gave me a great deal of satisfaction and contentment. They were happy and celebratory as the marriages signified a new beginning for each family.