Love Story: A Valentine's Day party brought them together
Alice Steinberg of Jericho recalls how she met her husband, Morty.
I met Morty at a Valentine’s Day party in 1948 at my best friend’s house. He was turning 19, and I was 16. I saw Morty from across the room and thought he was very handsome, so I walked over to him. We hit it off, and at the end of the evening he asked me if he could walk me home, which was nearby; we lived a few blocks from each other in the Bronx.
When we arrived at my house, he asked me out. When he arrived to pick me up the following day, my parents liked him very much, especially my mother because she thought he was very personable.
That night, Morty and I went by bus to a movie. After that, we started dating regularly. He was charming, and we would talk for hours while he held my hands. I admired him for his mechanical abilities — he could fix anything. As time progressed we fell deeply in love.
I was a senior at Christopher Columbus High School; Morty had graduated in 1947 and worked as a costume-jewelry salesperson.
We dated steadily, and Morty proposed in 1949, when I was 17. My parents gave us three house parties to celebrate. We married on Feb. 4, 1951, at the Paramount Caterers in Washington Heights. We had six bridesmaids, six ushers and a choir; we honeymooned at the Nevele Grande Hotel upstate.
We moved into an apartment in the building where my parents lived in the Bronx. I attended Hunter College, graduating in 1953 with a degree in early childhood education. My son was born a month and a half after I graduated, and 22 months later I had my first daughter.
My father-in-law bought us a small house in Whitestone in 1957. Morty and I were involved with the Whitestone Hebrew Center, especially the bowling club.
Morty inherited his dad’s commercial sign business when his dad died; and when the Whitestone house got too tight, we moved to a bigger house in Little Neck, Queens.
I started substitute teaching in the New York City public schools, and then had my second daughter in 1959. When I was 31, I attended night school for my master’s at Queens College, completing the program in 1969. Then I became a kindergarten teacher specializing in music — and I still play the piano.
Morty is 94 now, and I am 91. I worked as a substitute teacher until I was 83, and I was blessed to love and be loved by my students. Morty retired in 2002 from his sign business.
In 1986, we moved to the Hamlet in Jericho, where we stayed for 36 years; we now live at the Encore Luxury Living in Jericho surrounded by friends and wonderful staff.
The key to our 72 years of happy marriage has been making sure we are each other’s best friend. Morty feels that our life together has encompassed many phases, and we have tried to grow together.
We have three beautiful children, six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. We are very grateful to have a loving, supportive family.
On Feb. 14, we renewed our vows at The Encore with a ceremony performed by Rabbi Jenn Weinstein of Simchat HaLev in Woodbury; the celebration included live music and a luncheon. My original
wedding-day bouquet was recreated for me, and our great-granddaughter Emma was our flower girl. — With Lynn Petry
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