Eileen Darwin of Huntington recalls a sure bet she made with future husband, Manny.
Manny and I met on Sept. 17, 1951, two days after my 21st birthday. We were students at New York University, working in the new law school library. He was 23 and his job was retrieving and replacing books on the stacks downstairs near my office.
We often spoke as we walked through the halls of the book stacks. I waited for Manny to ask me out . . . and waited . . . and waited, but no action on his part.
Fortunately, fate intervened. That year, the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers were embroiled in a playoff to determine who would win the National League pennant and go on to the World Series. I was a Dodgers fan; Manny liked the Giants. I saw my opening! Using a bit of reverse psychology, I bet Manny that the Giants would win while he said the Dodgers would. The loser would have to take the winner to dinner. I can still hear radio broadcaster Russ Hodges shouting, "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!" after Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson's home run. Our first date was dinner at the Hickory House restaurant in Manhattan.
Of course, that was just the beginning. We met for breakfast every morning at the Chock Full O'Nuts across the street from NYU; took rides on the double-decker bus from NYU to 168th Street and back; attended performances of the New York City Ballet and Opera, and, of course, other good things. I lived in Flatbush and Manny was from Yonkers. He always insisted on picking me up at my house, a two-hour trip for him by subway and trolley.
We were married June 8, 1952, at the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn. After a brief stay in California, we moved to Levittown in 1956 and then to our present home in Huntington in 1961. Manny taught at Walt Whitman High School in South Huntington for 27 years before retiring in 1990. I retired in 1991 as a special-education and gifted-program teacher at Finley Junior High School in Huntington.
We were members of Huntington's Handicapped Parking Enforcement program and currently serve as park stewards for two Town of Huntington parks and a Suffolk County preserve. I am also a board member of the Huntington Youth Board. While we were working and for much of our retirement, we traveled the world -- China, Japan, Hong Kong, Israel, Egypt, Europe, from the British Isles to Turkey, as well as Eastern Europe behind the Iron Curtain. In short, we keep very busy.
Most of our friends have resisted the move to points south, so we don't lack companionship. Our three children were generous enough to give us 10 terrific grandchildren whom we see as often as possible. Above all, we have each other. Our goal is to celebrate our diamond wedding anniversary in 2027. And why not!