(Left to right) Donna Duperron, Judge Roy Bean, and Gary Duperron

Out and About columns have been running in this newsletter for over six years.  The articles have focused on visits to chamber members and their businesses and excursions my husband and I have taken around the United States with an emphasis on business and visiting other chambers of commerce.

This past weekend, my husband and I visited Knott’s Berry Farm.  In viewing the Buena Park Chamber’s website and working with the Guest Relations at Knott’s, it was a day that was easy to plan. This, however, was a special visit to Knott’s. My husband and I met working there in the summer of 1976.  He was a ride operator, and I sold the tickets to go on the rides.  He proposed to me in Fiesta Village at Knott’s, and we were married in April of 1977. I wanted to do something special for my husband to celebrate our 45th anniversary and I wanted to do something for that ‘work life balance’ we continually hear about today. 

In working with Guest Relations at Knott’s as early as March, I learned that Ghost Town Alive was going to kick off on May 20th and there was an opportunity to ‘get hitched’.  I followed through by purchasing tickets and coordinating with Guest Relations over a three month period of time.

We arrived at Knott’s this past Saturday.  Ghost Town was bustling with guests and employees were walking the streets dressed in costumes to reflect Founder’s Day 1891.  The Blacksmith made wedding bands for each of us and we purchased a small plastic bouquet of flowers in the general store for our flower girl.

As we sat down with Judge Roy Bean to complete our marriage certificate, we learned that he worked as a performer at the Knott’s Bird Cage Theater the same time we worked at Knott’s. Judge Roy Bean asked us to stand by the podium as he went outside and summoned guests visiting Knott’s to witness our ‘hitching.’  Before we knew it, the room was filled with people we didn’t even know but who seemed genuinely happy for us.

Judge Roy Bean began the ceremony adding a western themed flare.  He was animated, he was sincere and he was funny.  At the conclusion of the ceremony, Judge Roy Bean announced us husband and wife and the guests cheered and took photos.  The Judge went outside and announced that a ‘hitchin’ just took place and asked guests walking outside, as well as those on the inside to make two lines my husband and I could walk through and be congratulated.

To say this ‘hitchin’ and renewal of our vows was an experience we will not forget is an understatement.  Judge Roy Bean made the event very personal and special. The guests who were visiting Knott’s that took time out of their day to be a part of our ceremony were appreciated. 

This day clearly showed me that work life balance is important, that working collaboratively and in partnership is advantageous and most of all, being married for 45 years has been amazing.

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