Shotgun Wedding

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August 23, 2012

Good Sam members tie the knot at the Tennessee Samboree

Would it ever cross your mind to get married at a Samboree? Over the years, dozens of gung-ho members have staged their weddings at Good Sam gatherings, knowing they’d be in the company of friends for their big day without the bother of mailing invitations or booking a venue.

Exchanging their vows at a Samboree sounded like a good idea to Jim Lusk and Teresa Head, who consider their fellow Tennessee members as extended family. With marriage on his mind, Lusk approached Tennessee Good Sam Director Ron Masterson, a county commissioner who’s licensed to perform weddings, and Masterson enthusiastically agreed to conduct the ceremony at the state’s Samboree last fall. Keeping their plans quiet, the couple confided in only five friends: Masterson, his wife, their best man and matron of honor, and their wedding photographer.

To make sure they’d have plenty of guests, Lusk and Head timed their nuptials to coincide with the close of the Samboree’s popular Oller Comedy Hour. For those unfamiliar with the comedy hour, it’s the time when the Tennessee Good Sam staff and Chapter members entertain the crowd with humorous skits and comedy routines. The event gets its name from two of the first Good Sam members in Tennessee, Frank and Verta Lee Oller, charter members of the state’s initial Chapter, the Golden Circle Sams.

As the comedy hour drew to a close, best man Lee McClure strode onto the stage with a shotgun in hand and loudly proclaimed to Lusk, “It’s time for you to make it right.” On cue, Lusk proposed to Head, she accepted, and the two were escorted to the waiting Masterson, wearing his flowing judge’s robes. Then it was announced to the astonished audience, “This is a real wedding.”

The laughter quickly subsided as the assembled members realized this wasn’t a skit. The couple solemnly exchanged wedding vows and rings, and Masterson pronounced them husband and wife. Next came the flood of congratulations, as the newlyweds greeted their amazed guests, sliced into a rose-frosted cake and hopped aboard the getaway vehicle—a golf cart adorned with white wedding bells.

This was the first marriage performed at a Tennessee Samboree, but Samborees elsewhere have united members in matrimony. If you have a hankering to get hitched at a Samboree, contact your state or provincial Good Sam Club director at

Of course, you don’t have to say “I do” to attend a Samboree. These Good Sam gatherings are open to everyone—members and nonmembers alike.

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