On a Thursday in February 1980, English couple Mark Smith and Kay Lund were facing a dilemma: Smith was about to overstay his tourist visa while visiting Lund, a postdoctoral fellow in Joel Habener, MD’s Laboratory of Molecular Endocrinology. “Well,” an immigration officer told them that day, “you could get married.”

The couple, during a conversation at a Friendly’s restaurant – now the site of the Charles River Plaza – decided to do just that. The following Monday, with lab colleagues and friends in attendance, and a justice of the peace presiding, they were wed in a venue that was both convenient and free: the Ether Dome.

Were they at all unnerved by the presence of Egyptian mummy Padihershef, or the fact that thousands of operations had been performed on the spot? “Not at all,” says Smith. “I just thought it was cool, a bit of history.”

Lund was given away by Habener. Smith was escorted by Habener’s assistant Jean Sullivan. Many friends from MGH attended the ceremony. After the ceremony, the attendees headed to Houlihan’s in Faneuil Hall for a celebration.

After Lund spent three years at MGH, the couple moved to North Carolina where she held a faculty position at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill for many years and Smith was an artist and home builder. They raised two daughters and recently moved to Maryland where Lund is the director of the Division of Biomedical Research Workforce at the National Institutes of Health and Smith continues to be an artist. They recently returned to the unusual site of their “I do”s – 40 years later.

Alas, they no longer have those fabulous hats.