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Love Story: A long subway ride couldn't keep them apart

Larry and Harriet Roslow of Franklin Square celebrated

Larry and Harriet Roslow of Franklin Square celebrated their 70th anniversary in January. Credit: Roslow Family

Larry Roslow of Franklin Square recalls his first encounter with his future wife, Harriet.

I first saw Harriet in the summer of 1947 at the swimming hole in upstate Spring Glen, in the Catskill Mountains. As I swam over to her, she smiled, said, “Hello,” then got up and walked away. She was tall and, in her one-piece bathing suit, she looked like a college student.

I saw her again that evening in town at the post office, which also housed an ice cream parlor. We sat on the front porch with our friends, eating ice cream and chatting away.

I introduced myself. Her name was Harriet Winograd. Both our families had owned bungalows nearby for many years. Harriet was spending the entire summer in Spring Glen. I was only there on weekends. Watching her, it was obvious that she was outgoing as well as pretty.

There was a problem. She was only 17 and still in high school, whereas I was 25 and had served in the Army from 1943 to 1945 during World War II. I was an MP, first in North Africa then in Italy. After the war I worked part-time as statistician with a radio station ratings company in Manhattan and attended Columbia University on the GI Bill.

Also, Harriet lived in Borough Park, Brooklyn, and I lived in the Bronx on 196th Street in the Fordham Road district. But as we ate our ice cream, it didn’t seem to matter too much. When it was time to leave, I joined Harriet and her friends on their walk home. We continued talking and soon reached her bungalow, and we said good night.

Over the next four weekends I managed to spend time with Harriet. We would play baseball with our friends or go swimming or fishing during the day. In the evening we’d go to the ice cream parlor, then I’d walk her home.

One night about six of us drove into the neighboring town of Ellenville to see a movie. Afterward, Harriet and I were dropped off at the post office. It was well past her 11 p.m. curfew.

Suddenly, Harriet’s father drove up in his car. He said her mother was very worried and insisted he look for her. Well you can imagine how I apologized, said it was my fault and promised it wouldn’t happen again. Harriet later told me her parents thought I was a perfect gentleman and let us continue to see each other.

When summer ended, we returned home. I was stuck in the Bronx without a car while Harriet was in Brooklyn. When I called her for a date, she invited me to a party instead. We had a good time, and I began my odyssey on the IRT and BMT subway lines, a 90-minute ride one way.

I saw Harriet a couple of times a month on Saturday nights and would get home well after midnight. Eventually, her mother said I was welcome to stay overnight on the couch.

Harriet graduated from New Utrecht High School in June 1948. She got a job at Martin’s department store, and we began planning our wedding.

On Jan. 16, 1949, we were married at Linden Heights Catering Hall in Brooklyn. Harriet continued working until we started our family. She then worked part-time as a piano teacher. We moved from Brooklyn to Franklin Square in 1951.

I retired in 1992 as a vice president of research at what was then SSC&B, an advertising agency in Manhattan.

We have two children, a son- and daughter-in-law, four grandchildren (two of whom are married) and four great-grandchildren. In January we went out to dinner with them to celebrate our 70th wedding anniversary.

— With Virginia Dunleavy

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