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Lighthouse Tales: Married at circus on April Fools' Day

Last weekend we celebrated a holiday without greeting cards, presents, flowers or candy; we celebrated April Fools' Day.

For some people the day is made for practical jokes and for others it is more or less forgotten. For the Battery Point Lighthouse keepers it is a day to remember; it was our wedding anniversary.

It was the day that we were married at the circus.

Marriage talk

I was a Shrine Clown for many years and Sally had been a face painter for us while we were dating. When we first talked about getting married I suggested that we go to Las Vegas and find an Elvis impersonator to marry us.

After a few snickers and a little thought , we decided it would be fun to get married at the circus.

Shriners

The Shriners do wonderful work with their Children's' Hospitals, and we thought that being the first to ever get married at the circus would not only be fun but, would also help sell circus tickets if promoted properly.

Being in the broadcasting business at the time I knew how to get the ear of the radio and television stations. I also knew how to talk to the press. It ended up that we had a full house for our wedding performance in front of about 4,200 hundred of our closest friends and neighbors.

April 1

The morning of April 1, we went to breakfast, and when we paid, the cashier asked us what we were going to be doing that nice Sunday afternoon.

She was told that we were going to the circus. She then said "Did you know a clown was getting married at the circus that day?"

I responded, "How did you know that?"

She said it was on television that morning talking about things to do that day. I knew that the advertising was working.

Unique wedding

We replaced the normal clown skit with the wedding. We placed chairs in the first ring to give our families and friends a place to sit and to create an aisle.

Our flower girl was a six-year-old granddaughter of one of the clowns who passed out twisted balloon flowers to the ladies. Sally was up front with the Honorable John Stipach, a local judge, and I was the one that walked down the aisle.

I had a potted plant for a bouquet and I walked down the aisle very nervously.

Clowning around

After a few clown shenanigans we were married. I put a red nose on Sally, on the judge and on my best man. We then left the circus ring and rode around the arena on a golf cart with clown shoes tied on the back.

April Fools' Day means something more to us and we look forward to many happy returns.

Randy Ansley, the Battery Point Lighthouse keeper, can be reached at

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