Irene and Hal Ringel of Commack celebrated their 55th anniversary this year. Irene recalls the day they met.
Little did I know I was to meet my future husband on a beautiful day in early November 1956. I was with my parents at my sister's house in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. We were there for her baby's bris. My brother-in-law's sister lived upstairs and I was outside talking to her when a tall, handsome young man walked over to us. His name was Hal and he lived across the street.
Hal, 23, served from 1952 to 1954 with the Eighth U.S. Army, a field unit whose missions focused on the Pacific theater starting in World War II. He had been a corporal posted in Korea, where he worked as an accountant. After his service he attended classes at Long Island University in Brooklyn and worked part time at a bank. I was very impressed. We talked for a while, and then he asked if he could drive me back home to Fresh Meadows, Queens. I was a recent graduate of Jamaica High School, so I had to ask my dad. After speaking with Hal and then getting character references from my brother-in-law and his mother, my father said it was OK.
As we drove along the Belt Parkway, Hal pulled into the parking lot at Plumb Beach and asked if I wanted to do some "submarine race watching." I didn't know that it was a term made popular by a New York disc jockey named "Murray the K," which meant kissing or "making out" in a parked car. So, we kissed a bit and talked some more, then went to get pizza before Hal took me home.
He asked for my phone number, but when I didn't hear from him a week later, I went to visit my sister hoping to run into him. I spotted Hal as he was heading over to Gravesend Bay. He told me he was going to sit by the water and study. He invited me to go with him, and I helped him study by quizzing him on his lessons. Hal asked me out on our first date that day, and we began seeing each other exclusively. We enjoyed going to nightclubs on Long Island, such as Page Two in Oceanside, with our friends.
Slowly we fell deeply in love, and on June 7, 1958, a day after Hal graduated from LIU, we were married. We have two wonderful children and four marvelous grandchildren. Hal retired from his accounting practice in Commack in 1991. I'm a registered nurse with the office of Dr. David Gabbaizadeh, Huntington Medical Group in Huntington Station.
Hal and I celebrated our 55th anniversary this year with our entire family on a cruise to Canada. There have been some sad times but mostly glorious, happy times over the past 51/2 decades. This was one girl who knew how to pick the right man!