James Tomlin of Baldwin recalls how his bachelor days were numbered the day he met his future wife, Elsie.
My wife, Elsie, and I met in 1954 at a house party in Rockville Centre. I knew of her through friends, but we had never met. I was 23, had recently graduated from Villanova University and had just gotten a job with AT&T in Manhattan. I was also dating several other girls and had no immediate intentions of settling down.
Elsie was 18 and a nurse at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre. She didn't know the party's host, who was a good friend of mine, but was there with some friends from high school. During the party we talked and got to know each other. She lived in Baldwin, and I lived in Rockville Centre.
At the end of the evening, while people were figuring out rides home, I turned to Elsie and said, "You're coming with me."
I took her home in my new Ford convertible. I don't know if it was the car or me that attracted her at first, but we soon began dating.
Our first date was to the movies, but I don't remember what we saw. However, I do recall that I would always ask her out for a Friday night date. This was one of my tactics to avoid being turned down. She was very popular and most likely to already have a date on any given Saturday night.
We started married life in a condo in Queens Village, then one in White Plains. We moved to Baldwin in 1959. We have five beautiful children and a dozen grandchildren ranging in age from 14 to 30.
This year we celebrated 57 years of marriage. I still don't know if it was me and not the convertible that first attracted her.
Elsie retired in 1991 as a night supervisor from Long Beach Hospital Nursing Home. I retired from Verizon as a marketing director in 1990 after 35 years.
Back in 1955, I got a gift from above that I did not deserve. I had the good sense to marry Elsie and am thankful I was smart enough to not let her get away.