Return Home John's pers bio

On an Android? You'll have to read.

A Secret is Revealed

(Please leave me a comment. Scroll to bottom to do so.)


By the end of 1966 we had set our wedding date as June 24th 1967. Renee was to turn eighteen in May and graduate in June 1967. We had the perfect plan and Renee was doing all the bride things like invitations, dress shopping and such. Then in January of 1967 Renee's father told her, "We have decided that we are moving to California at the end of March. Either you get married or you are coming along." Well, there was no way I was going to let Renee move to California so we shifted into high gear with planning. We checked the availability of the Richfield Methodist Church and we decided on March 25th.  So the first Monday in February Renee skipped school and we went downtown Minneapolis to get the marriage license. We showed our ID's to the clerk and she looked up directly at Renee and stated, "you're not eighteen."

"No, We can't get married?" Renee asked.

The clerk asked, "Are you pregnant?" 

Renee replied, "No"

The clerk explained, "Well, here is the deal, if you are not pregnant it is not imperative that you get married. If you are under eighteen and not pregnant then you have a lot of hoops to jump through."

Again we chimed, "What do we have to do?"

The Clerk queried, "Do you both have a mother and a father still alive?"

Renee answered, "Yes."

The clerk told us, "You have to get both sets of parents to sign consent forms."

I asked, "Even though I am over eighteen?"

The clerk affirmed, "Yes, all four parents have to approve."

"Okay then, please give us the forms," I requested.

The clerk handed us four forms and then said directly to me, "After you bring those signed forms in you have to get Minnesota State court approval. Everything rests on your shoulders."

"How do I get court approval?" I inquired.

The clerk clarified, "You have to go to a court appointed counselor for interviews. If the counselor agrees that you can support a wife and are mature enough to be married then he or she will request the judge to approve your application for a license."

"How long does that take?" I probed.

The clerk explained, "There are six sessions and then about a week for review so you are looking at about seven weeks from when you start."

Renee and I looked at each other and we did some quick mental calculations and determined we barely had enough time. I asked the clerk, "Can we set up the sessions right now?"

The clerk offered, "I will check the counselor's calendar," and she walked away.

I looked at Renee and wondered, "Well if we can show your dad that we will get a marriage license within a week or two after your dad's leaving he wouldn't make you go with them would he?"

Renee, impersonating her father, firmly stated in a low and growly voice, "I am not going to leave an unmarried daughter behind."

We both stood there sweating as we silently waited for the clerk to check the calendar. After a few minutes she came back and announced, "We can get you in on every Wednesday for the next six weeks starting the day after tomorrow."

I exclaimed, "Good, sign me up!"

The clerk commanded, "Okay, bring your proof of employment with you to the first session."

"What proves employment?" I asked.

The clerk stated, "Something from your Human Resources department on company stationery stating your employment dates."

I asked, "I am curious about something, are you saying if she was pregnant we wouldn't need to do any of this?"

The clerk matter-of-factly replied, "No, but you would need a letter stating that fact from your doctor."

We left and we talked about how doing all this was going to be cutting it very close. We already had the church reserved and if we couldn't make it by that date she might have to go to California. Now, I as have previously mentioned in the story about going steady, Renee was a prude. To quote her, "Respectable girls do not have sex before marriage and I am respectable." My gears were turning so, in spite of her respectability, on the way home I suggested as a backup plan that instead of depending on some unknown counselor to get us court approval we start having sex. After all, the only sure thing is 'if she is pregnant we can get married'. To my surprise, Renee agreed to have sex, which we did as soon as we got home to my place. So this is the big secret, we had sex before we got married. Well, maybe it's not really so much of a secret since I am sure that many people have done the math from our wedding date March 25, 1967 to Cherie's birthdate November 7, 1967.  That is only 7½ months and Cherie's birthweight wasn't low. But this is the first time we have publicly admitted that fact. So, now if you do the math from February 6th it works out.

My work start time was 2:00pm and my boss was normally standing next to his car so he could leave the second I got there. So the next day I went to work I made him wait while told him the whole marriage license story.

"Every Wednesday for six weeks?!" he complained loudly back to me.

I implored, "I will only be a couple hours late, just on Wednesdays, I'll come straight back here from downtown."

He protested, "But it is right in the middle of the day!" After a few minutes of discussion he grudgingly agreed to give me the time off. He also got me the proof of employment letter for my first session.

I showed up on time for each of the sessions and each time, the counselor asked a lot of questions about my character. He wanted to know how long I had been on my own and how well I did do taking care of myself. He asked whether I understood the gravity of the responsibilities of supporting a wife. For six weeks he studied my traits and asked me questions. At my first session I had explained to him the California story so on my final session the counselor congratulated me and told me that since he knew I was under a time crunch he already had the courts permission signed and gave it to me. The downside was that was the end of sex until after the wedding.

As the weeks of counseling passed when I would return to work my boss would piss and moan about how, because of me he, had to work longer hours. With each successive week I would get a longer, angrier speech from my boss. After my last session I was so happy on the way back to work I couldn't wait to tell my boss that I was successful. When I got there, as usual, he was standing outside waiting for me. I didn't even open my mouth and he started the piss and moan session and the longer he went, he got more and more heated he got. He wouldn't let me say anything. He finally spooled himself up to the point he told me to go and do not come back. I tried to speak but he kept butting in yelling, "Get out," until I had no choice but to leave. So here is the irony of this story. In order to prove to the courts that I could support a wife, the requirements of the courts for me to provide that proof cost me the means to support a wife.


I appreciate any comments. Email me at