Felix Berman of Bellmore recalls the summer he met his wife, Ruthe, in the Catskill Mountains.
How does a guy from the Bronx meet a lovely girl from Brooklyn in the summer of 1951? These geographical distances were overcome back then via the Catskill Mountains' Borscht Belt.
I was working as a waiter at the Waldorf Hotel and Country Club in the mountains. It was just a few miles from Okun's Bungalow Colony in Woodridge, where Ruthe and her family were vacationing.
On the night of Aug. 17, my friend and I attended a party in town. As soon as I entered the room I saw Ruthe, who I thought looked exactly like the beautiful actress Elizabeth Taylor.
School, work and sports were my main interests in those days, but I could not resist asking Ruthe for a dance. She was 16 and in high school, and I was 18 and about to enter my junior year at City College of New York. We spent the rest of the evening talking. I got up the courage to ask her for a date for the next Friday, and she agreed.
Since I didn't drive, the hotel owner and his wife drove us to a drive-in theater. I saw Ruthe a couple of times before she went back home on Labor Day, and we continued dating when I returned to the Bronx.
Two years later, and numerous arduous trips on the subway connecting the Bronx and Brooklyn, we married on June 27, 1953, at the Twin Cantors in Brooklyn.
I was working as a teacher, and Ruthe had a job in Manhattan. After the birth of our first child -- we have three daughters -- Ruthe became a stay-at-home mother, a job she did superbly. In 1967 we moved to Bellmore, where we continue to live. Our children have provided us with four lovely granddaughters.
Ruthe started a knitting business at home and eventually opened a store in Bellmore. When the children were older, she became marketing director of the Cross County Shopping Center in Yonkers. She retired in 2003. I continued my career as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and deputy superintendent with the New York City Public Schools. I also served on the Bellmore School Board and Bellmore-Merrick High School Board for 18 years. When I retired in 1992, I joined the faculty of Adelphi University, where I have been for the past 21 years.
Ruthe and I have traveled to many sites around the world. We are now both active in senior citizen organizations in Bellmore. To celebrate our 60th anniversary this year, we plan on taking a vacation with our family.