While answering the call to civic duty, Joanne and Tom Kirk of East Meadow found each other, and love. Joanne explains.
I was a divorced, single parent, raising my 15-year-old daughter in East New York, Brooklyn, when I received a summons to jury duty. I wanted to get a postponement, but my boss at JPMorgan Chase said it wasnt a busy time at work and advised me to just go and get it over with. So on Sept. 4, 1990, I headed to the courts in Downtown Brooklyn.
During the selection process, I kept ending up in the same group with this very handsome man with gorgeous blue eyes. I thought to myself, Oh, he must be married.
When we took a midday break, he came over and introduced himself. His name was Tom Kirk. He was originally called up for jury duty three months earlier but had gotten a postponement. Luckily for me, he wasnt married. In fact, he had never been married.
At the end of the day, neither of us was selected for the jury, and Tom asked me to dinner that night. We took the subway to his neighborhood in Midwood, Brooklyn, and dined at the local Chinese restaurant. It felt very comfortable being with him, as if we had known each other forever. I was 36, and he was 35. Tom had a car and drove me home after dinner. We started seeing each other frequently. Our first movie date was to see Ghost with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze.
We were only dating for a month when we knew that this was turning into a serious relationship. In April 1992, he surprised me with an engagement ring, and I said Yes! We were married on Aug. 14, 1993, at St. Thomas More Church in Breezy Point, Queens. My daughter walked me down the aisle. We moved to East Meadow in 1995 and were blessed with a son the following year. He is now a junior in high school.
We enjoy yearly vacations to different resorts and just returned from Disney World, where we took our two grandchildren for the first time. A vacation to cherish!
Tom worked in Brooklyn for 22 years as a New York City sanitation worker before retiring in 2012. I retired in 2007 from Chase after spending more than 36 years as an administrative assistant. This year we will celebrate our 20th anniversary. I thank God every day that my boss insisted I go to jury duty!