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Newlyweds Take Plunge At Border Crossing

April 20, 1988

LOS EBANOS, Texas (AP) _ With the Rio Grande flowing underneath them, a couple took the plunge aboard a hand-pulled ferry that serves as an international bridge in this border town.

Sam and Connie McSpadden’s brief ferry tale wedding found them tying the knot Tuesday as crewmen pulled ropes to propel the vessel across the narrow river crossing.

Los Ebanos International Ferry is the only hand-pulled ferry used at any U.S. port of entry.

″It’s the last one of its kind, I’m only planning on making the same mistake once, which I just made a while ago, and it’s weird,″ McSpadden said after the ceremony while drinking a beer under an ebony tree near the federal inspection offices.

McSpadden, 44, and his 41-year-old bride live in South Padre Island and said they always visit the historic ferry on frequent trips to Rio Grande City.

″It was kind of mutual,″ she said, when asked whose idea it was to marry on a ferry with Mexico in the background.

Hidalgo County Justice of the Peace Arnaldo Corpus said he has married people aboard an airplane, but never on a boat at the border.

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