Ruth Saylor of North Bellmore recalls meeting future husband, Anthony, and their courtship.
In 1945, a few friends and I threw a small Labor Day party at Plumb Island beach in Sheepshead's Bay, Brooklyn, to celebrate the end of World War II and the start of our sophomore year at St. Brendan's High School in Midwood.
My best friend came with her boyfriend and his buddy, Anthony "Bob" Saylor. She introduced me. I was Ruth Tiedmann back then. Bob, 19, lived in the Flatlands. He had served in the Navy from 1943-45 as a deep-sea diver stationed at Pearl Harbor. He was shy and we didn't talk much, but we did make eye contact a few times. When the party was over, Bob asked to drive me home, but I was staying overnight at another friend's house nearby.
A week later, my best friend invited me on a double date with Bob as my date. I insisted he meet my parents first, and when they all stopped by my home in Flatbush to pick me up, Bob learned I was only 15. He was very surprised. My parents liked him, though, and gave us permission to go out on the date. We went to see the film "The Bells of St. Mary's."
We were soon going steady and dated throughout my high school years. Bob played on a semipro community football team, the White Eagles, at Marine Park, and I joined their cheerleading squad.
After I graduated in 1948, I got a job and took evening college classes. A year later, Bob asked me to marry him. Our wedding was on June 24, 1950, at my parish church, St. Rose of Lima. We had a dinner reception for more than 100 people. He then surprised me with our first car, a dove gray 1941 Buick Roadmaster four-door convertible with plaid interior seats. We drove it to Marilyn's Inn in Virginia Beach for our honeymoon.
We have been blessed with eight children -- one now deceased -- 18 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
In 1953, we moved into our house in North Bellmore with a big backyard for our children and our own vegetable garden. We love Long Island and the many friends we've made living here.
I eventually went back to college and studied social work at Molloy College. Bob worked at a brake service company until 1966. In 1991, he retired from his job as building maintenance supervisor at St. Raphael Church in East Meadow. I was office manager at a doctor's office in Rockville Centre until 1995, then volunteered as a grief counselor at St. Raphael's Church. I'm also on the board of St. John of Jerusalem Cemetery Inc. in Wantagh.
Bob and I recently celebrated our 65th wedding anniversary with our family at a party in our backyard.