The legal eye of Bazelon Appraised each match, Rejected all those applicants Who might detach. While other couples frazzle on Let's give three cheers Because we owe to Bazelon These golden years.
-- From "Hail to the Judge"
Romantics all over town have nicknamed him "The Marrying Judge." And David Bazelon, liberal legend of the bench, has tied the knot for the best of them.
With Valentine's Day and Cupid's thunder right around the corner, some of those who had gathered See BAZELON, D16, Col. 1 BAZELON, From D1 before him surprised the judge last night with a black-tie dinner at the City Tavern, a private Georgetown club. He never did charge any of them for the nuptials, and so last night they finally paid him, with two grubby dollar bills framed in glass.
"What could be more curious," asked FTC commissioner Michael Pertschuk, "than paying tribute to a great civil libertarian for his contribution to human bondage?"
Bazelon sauntered into the City Tavern at about 8 o'clock with his wife, Mickey, for what he thought was an anniversary dinner with friends.
"I'm knocked over," he said, putting his hand to his head as Martin Tolchin, a reporter with The New York Times, played "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" on the piano. The 40 guests, among whom were six couples he married, sang along.
"Gee whiz, what do I do now?" blanched Bazelon. "I didn't have any idea. Marrying people is not my business. I never thought of myself as a marrying parson."
"Well, I must say," said Henry Brandon of The London Sunday Times, and husband of Muffie, social secretary to Nancy Reagan, "I didn't have to beg you to marry me!"
"Well, in your case," shot back Bazelon, "I was glad to get rid of you."
The dinner was orchestrated by Marianne Means, a King Features Syndicate columnist, and Warren Weaver Jr., a New York Times reporter, who were married by Bazelon and who celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary last night.
"We were the first to take Jimmy Carter's advice," Means told the guests. "We were married the evening of the afternoon that he spoke at HEW admonishing all the bureaucrats assembled who were living with someone to marry up. So we took his advice and went to Judge Bazelon."
Writer Aaron Latham and CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl; Martin Tolchin and Sue Tolchin, an associate professor at George Washington University; Pertschuk and artist Anna Sofaer; and the Brandons were among those at the party married by Bazelon, 72, a judge on the D.C. Court of Appeals.
Following a dinner of mushroom soup, roast lamb and lemon ice, the 40 guests gathered around the piano in the stately drawing room of the City Tavern. They sang "Hail to the Judge," a song written by Weaver for Bazelon to the tune of "Avelon," and told funny stories about the legendary judge. The Tolchins presented Bazelon with a can of spot remover for a sports jacket of his that Martin had ruined a decade ago; Pertschuk read a verse and presented Bazelon with the framed dollars; Joe Perpich, a former Bazelon clerk, told a funny story about a trip he took with his wife-to-be and the judge eight years ago: Bazelon checked and rechecked the lock on the couple's adjoining rooms. And Lesley Stahl and Aaron Latham told their marriage tale.
"The marriage ceremony was typical of any career wife," said Latham. "We got married at 4 o'clock in the afternoon and then my wife went back to work to finish her report for the news that night."
Said Stahl of the ceremony, "The funniest things happened. I couldn't get the ring on Aaron's finger and I got the giggles. We both couldn't stop laughing . . . It was so embarrassing. Finally, the judge said, 'That's okay. Every successful marriage has a lot of laughter in it."