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Paul Turner: 30 years of marriage is great, eh!

Paul Turner (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Paul Turner (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

My wife and I celebrate our 30th anniversary today.

We’ve lived our entire married lives in Spokane, but the wedding was in Canada.

Seems like a good time to update a column from a few years ago dealing with the implications of getting married up north.

Some of these questions and answers are just as they appeared on Canada Day in 2014. Some are tweaked or expanded. Still others are new.

So if you hosers are ready, here goes.

Q: Does getting married in Canada count here in the U.S.?

A: As far as I know, it does.

Q: Do you have to bow to the queen of England?

A: No. But I would want to be polite. And I like corgis.

Q: Is your wife Carol a Canadian?

A: No, she was born in St. Louis. But she doesn’t mind cold weather.

Q: Does getting married in Canada mean you buy the NHL’s rationale for allowing fighting in hockey?

A: No. (I’ve been railing about this for decades. But I have to admit, when they drop the gloves on the ice I watch until they stop throwing hands.)

Q: Does getting married in Canada imply that you are not a loyal American?

A: Take off, eh!

Q: Did you play songs by Rush at your wedding?

A: No. But I have nothing against Rush.

Q: Did you and your wife go to the Neil Young concert last time he was in Spokane?

A: We did. (That concert was in October of 2007, a few days after my father died. Can’t recall if Neil has been here since then.)

Q: In what province were you hitched?

A: Alberta. (The ceremony took place at the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton/Glacier International Peace Park. It was just the two of us. A man named Mr. Gladstone was the officiant. A waiter from Saskatoon filled in as the best man. Because forest fires nearby had prompted some cancellations at the Prince of Wales, we got an eye-popping room upgrade. We always intended to go back, but it hasn’t happened yet.)

Q: Did you consider getting married on Prince Edward Island and having an “Anne of Green Gables” wedding?

A: No. But I am one of 19 people in Spokane who have been to P.E.I.

Q: Before you and Carol were married, what was the location of your “best date”?

A: Montreal. (It was an easy drive from where my parents lived at the time, in Vermont.)

Q: When as a kid you lived near Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., did people often confuse it with Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario?

A: Not that I recall.

Q: Did you know that much of the Steve Martin movie “Roxanne” was filmed just up the road in Nelson, B.C.?

A: I did.

Q: What do you think of the Canadian national anthem?

A: “O Canada” is great.

Q: So when you got married, the Montreal Expos still existed?

A: Yes. It was that long ago.

Q: Did you know that there are quite a few transplanted Canadians living in the Spokane area?

A: Yes. They tend to be terrific people.

Q: When you get married in Canada, do you have to wear a beaver hat and exchange vows via loon calls?

A: No.

Q: Ever tasted poutine?

A: No. (Since then, I have had it a couple of times. I liked it. It features gravy, you know.)

Q: Does getting married in Canada mean you have to say your vows in both English and French?

A: Non. It does not.

Q: Did you know “Hockey Night in Canada” gasbag Don Cherry spent a season as a minor league hockey player in Spokane in the early 1960s?

A: Yes. I’ve mentioned it in my column about 80 times.

Q: Where does the Canadian government’s hard copy of your marriage paperwork reside?

A: Edmonton.

Q: Are you going to use this as yet another occasion to remind S-R readers that Spokane, on a line of latitude, is north of major Canadian cities such as Toronto and Ottawa?

A: No.

Q: Had you met and begun dating your wife yet when you went to Expo ’67 in Montreal?

A: No. I was 12. We met when we were 30 and got married when we were 33, on the anniversary of our first face-to-face.

Years before we met, Carol’s mother had told her she ought to meet me because my column in the Memphis morning paper convinced her the two of us would hit it off. That produced predictable eye-rolling. But after my newspaper did a story on a Beatles bibliography Carol had published, I wrote her to apologize for my colleague – the reporter who wrote the story – who apparently could not understand why Carol had failed to make Elvis the focus of her book.

Q: Does having gotten married in Canada expedite border crossings?

A: Not that I’ve noticed.

Q: It takes a pretty big ego to interview yourself, doesn’t it?

A: I’m an American.

Q: How long do marriages made in Canada last?

A: Forever.


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