Martin Blumberg of Melville recalls how he got the attention of future wife, Maxine, when they met at a dance.
My friends and I decided to go to a dance at a Jewish Center in Rego Park, Queens, in 1961. We lived in Canarsie, Brooklyn. When I got there, I saw this beautiful girl talking to her friends and asked her to dance. She told me her name was Maxine. She was 16 and lived in Rego Park.
I said, "You moved recently." She said, "Yes, how did you know?" It was just a guess, but I didn't tell her that. I wanted to pique her curiosity because, although I was only 18, I knew immediately that she was the person I wanted to share my life with.
As we danced I continued guessing and said, "You have a brother and you just broke up with a boyfriend." I was right again. After a few dances I went back to my friends on the other side of the room. I was playing hard to get. Sometime later, Maxine walked over to me, asking again how I knew those things about her. I kept her guessing.
After the last dance, I asked if I could walk her home and she agreed. On the way, we stopped at Jahn's ice cream parlor on Queens Boulevard. Maxine was a junior in high school. I was working during the day and attending evening classes at Brooklyn College.
When we got to her doorstep I leaned over to kiss her. She put up her hand and said, "I do not kiss on the first date." I said, "Let's make believe it's our last date." She went along with that and let me give her a little peck on the cheek.
A few days later, I called her and we began dating. I remember taking her on some exotic dates, like night court in downtown Brooklyn where we'd listen to different cases. When it was a nice night, we'd ride back and forth on the Staten Island Ferry. I told her not to get off the ferry when it pulled into Staten Island because it would have cost 10 cents to get back on. As you can see, these were not expensive dates. We'd sometimes take in a movie or double date with friends. On most Friday nights, we'd share a combo plate at a Chinese restaurant.
We were married on March 14, 1964. My wife and I have been blessed with the three best children a parent could wish for; they have brought so much love and pride into our hearts. And they have given us eight wonderful grandchildren. This year we celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary with our family at Hendricks Tavern in Roslyn.
Maxine retired in 2008 as an account executive with Studebaker-Worthington leasing company in Jericho. I retired in 2013 from our family-run Auto Barn stores.
When I reminisce and look back on the beautiful years we have shared, it brings joy to my heart. These 50 years of marriage were beyond our greatest dreams. Who said marriage doesn't work?