Rochelle and Ron Alexenburg of Woodbury fell in love sight unseen. Ron recalls their courtship.
In September 1964, I met Rochelle Prusher on the telephone. She was an executive secretary for United Artists Records and I was a stock boy at Garmisa Records Distributors.
Rochelle was 19 and I was 22. Over the next two months we spoke almost daily at work and began calling each other at home. We hadn’t met in person because I lived in Chicago and she lived in Flushing, Queens. I was told that she looked like Bess Meyerson, a former Miss America. She was told that I resembled actor Jack Lemmon.
That November I asked Rochelle if she’d go out with me on New Year’s Eve. I would fly to New York. She said yes. We arranged to meet at the TWA terminal at Kennedy Airport. She wore a leopard skin coat to help me spot her. On Dec. 30, we saw each other for the first time and we were not disappointed.
My boss recommended Chez Vito restaurant in Manhattan, which featured strolling violinists, for our date. New Year’s Eve was magical, even though I hadn’t made reservations and we waited almost two hours to be seated. At midnight, balloons fell down around us. I grabbed one and put it in front of our faces as I kissed Rochelle for the first time. The restaurant didn’t charge us for dinner because we waited so long.
Later, on our way to Rochelle’s house, a drunken man on the crowded subway train asked, “You gonna marry her?” We both laughed.
When we got off the train to catch a bus, another drunken man asked the same thing. I teasingly accused Rochelle of paying them off.
Back home in Chicago, my mom asked me about the date and I replied, “I could marry that girl.”
In February, Rochelle flew to Chicago. She met my parents and that, too, was love at first sight for her and for them.
We married on Jan. 23, 1966, at a catering hall in Forest Hills during a snowstorm that kept many of our guests from attending.
We lived in Chicago for two years until I became assistant director of promotion for Columbia Records in Manhattan. In 1975 we bought our first home in Woodbury, where we raised our three children. Rochelle became a full-time mom and homemaker. We are now blessed with four grandchildren.
After many years in the record industry, signing artists like Michael Jackson and Meatloaf, I started my own company, Alexenburg Entertainment Group, in 1996. I recently had the honor of being inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.
We had an early 50th anniversary celebration with a family trip to Palm Springs, California. On our actual anniversary date last month, Mother Nature got involved again, this time with a blizzard.