Mendham Wedding

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Only in a Small Town: "No License, No wedding!"

by Rickie Kelly

While doing some late fall cleanup on my East Main Street front lawn, my old (as in long time) friend, Marie Pfeiffer, stopped to chat. We reminisced about our years in the Mendham Junior Women's Club and how after 35 you were no longer junior but were eligible for senior status.

There were wonderful projects like the start-up of the Co-op Nursery School and the Opportunity Shop run by seniors where many of us swapped and recycled clothes, skates, skis and other paraphernalia. Lazy summer days were spent at the Mud Hole with fun and games at Labor Day and Halloween provided by the Fire Department. The kids' favorites were the races at the park and searching for potatoes embedded with dimes and quarters at the Mud Hole beach and shallow water and the fire engine rides after the Halloween parade at Hilltop School.

The only bank in town was Morris County Savings; truly a small town. Many of us benefited from calls by tellers and managers like Anne Neil or Gloria Sandelli, letting us know that our accounts were low and a check was at risk of bouncing. Imagine that today!

Sharon Kelly WeddingWhile chatting, I was reminded of one of my personal small town stories. It was June 21, 1981, and my daughter's wedding was scheduled for 4 o'clock at Hilltop Presbyterian Church. Our house was a flurry of activity of caterers, flowers, girls getting dressed and the clock ticking. The groom was at the church pacing while groomsmen cracked jokes. Imagine the panic when our minister, Rev. Bob Phillips, asked for the marriage license.

"License? License?" said the groom. "No license, no marriage," was Rev. Phillip's response. This was quickly followed by a call to soon-to-be-Mother-in-law, who made a call to Borough Clerk Marie Pfeiffer's home. Marie made a quick trip to the Municipal Office and arrived at the church, with license, in time for the "I do." Where else but in a small town?

We are not as small anymore and the pace has quickened but I do believe, in our hearts, the Small Town Spirit is alive and well in our beloved Mendham.