Places I’ve Played: A piece of justice

By Bill Skiff

One of the duties I enjoy as justice of the peace for the town of Williston is the opportunity to marry an array of wonderful couples. Many have chosen unique ways to tie the knot—from the clubhouse at Vermont National Country Club in July, to the snow-covered fields at Trapp Family Lodge in February.

Recently, I married John and Barbara on the fishing pier at Lake Champlain’s waterfront. It was pouring rain and the wind was blowing in from the lake, but their spirit and obvious love for each other made the moment magical.

I wonder how Dr. Seuss might have described some of my marrying experiences? Perhaps like this:

The Ceremony

They ask,

“Will you marry us two?”

I say, “I will,”

They say, “I do.”

Married ‘em on a mountain

and in a field,

With a babe in arms

who wouldn’t yield.

Married them near a lake

And in a barn.

Done it in a sleigh

and on a farm.

On a boat, of course,

and even

from behind a horse.

A car was nice,

so was a room,

But next I’d like it

in a balloon.

Bride was expecting

and that was fun.

Groom jumped in the lake

then went for a run.

The Playboy dress

was quite a gown.

The bride’s inlaws

could not be found.

Hit golf balls,

Into the lake

And on a tennis court

we cut the cake.

Dogs down the aisle,

caused a smile.

Couple left for a bear hunt

after a while.

Drifted into New York

side of the lake.

Law required

a quick retake.

Senior ceremonies

are always fun.

Especially when

the best man

is the son.

 Now listen here.

Married a mother

and daughter

in the same year.

I’ve tied the knot for many

and more.

And as of today

They’ve divorced only four!

Bill Skiff grew up on a farm between Cambridge and Jeffersonville. After a career in education, he now lives in Williston, where he is a justice of the peace and Fourth of July frog-jumping official. In “Places I’ve Played,” he shares his experiences of growing up in Vermont. Comments are welcome at