Southern Calif. couple unlawfully wedded for 48 years

Associated Press Published:

REDLANDS, Calif. -- After spending nearly a half-century as husband and wife, Bob and Norma Clark are finally married.

The couple from Redlands, an inland California city halfway between Los Angeles and Palm Springs, celebrated their 48th anniversary in August, and in November they were getting their end-of-life documents in order and sought a copy of their marriage license for Social Security purposes.

The Clarks, who met in college, took their vows at a church south of San Francisco in August 1964, shortly after Bob had served in the Army during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

But when clerks at the Hall of Records in San Mateo County tried to pull the license last month, they came up empty.

The church where they had married still had a record of the ceremony so they knew they hadn't imagined it.

On Nov. 21 they made their marriage legitimate, filing their paperwork and obtaining their license at the San Bernardino County Hall of Records, with the maid of honor and a junior usher from the original wedding serving as witnesses.

Bob Clark brought flowers for Norma, and at the urging of family and friends kissed the bride to seal the deal.

"I got her a nice bouquet, and it was just a hoot," he said.

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