Martin and Pearl Plawsky of Plainview met with a little nudge from both his mother and sister. Martin recalls their courtship.
My sister had known my future wife, Pearl, for many years before we met. She and Pearl’s aunt were friends. In the summer of 1951, my sister thought it would be a good idea if we dated.
I called Pearl, introduced myself and we arranged a blind date. She lived in New Rochelle. I lived in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn and was reluctant to travel that far for a date. When I told her I didn’t have a car, she said she would come to Brooklyn and stay with her grandmother in Brighton Beach for the weekend.
I met Pearl for the first time at her grandmother’s apartment. She was 17 and a senior in high school. I was 19. We went into Manhattan and saw the movie “A Place in the Sun” with Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift, followed by a snack at Toffinetti’s Restaurant. We both enjoyed our date and met again the next day for a stroll on the boardwalk. We did not see each other again for three years.
In 1953, I received my degree in engineering from City College, landed a job, then was drafted into the Army in December. I was a training instructor in electronic and radar controlled anti-aircraft maintenance at Fort Bliss, Texas. In December 1954, I was home on furlough when my mother told me she recently saw Pearl and suggested I call her. I did and we arranged our next date.
Again, we met in Brooklyn. When I saw her, it was love at second sight. We spent time with each other all weekend walking, talking and visiting relatives. When I returned to Fort Bliss I started writing to Pearl. In September 1955, I was released from active duty early to attend graduate school. We agreed to meet the first night I was to be home, but unfortunately I was sick and had to cancel. Pearl didn’t believe me and thought I changed my mind about seeing her; no way! When I felt better we hung out and she met the rest of my family.
That New Year’s Eve, at a party, I looked at Pearl and asked myself, why wait? I proposed. After a startled pause, she said yes and we became engaged in February.
We were married on Oct. 7, 1956, at Burnside Manor in the Bronx and honeymooned in Miami Beach and Havana, Cuba. In 1961 we bought our home in Plainview.
We were blessed with three wonderful children but lost one son at a young age. We now have a great daughter-in-law and two terrific grandchildren who give us such joy.
I retired from Northrop Grumman in 1996 after almost 33 years in engineering and management. Pearl retired in 2005 after 20 years as a secretary in the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District.
We’ve taken many trips and have especially enjoyed the cruises with our children. We hope to return to Cuba someday.
In celebration of our 60th anniversary, our children gave us tickets to the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” and we joined them afterward for a family dinner. We look back on so many wonderful times and look forward to adding to those memories. I’m so grateful to my mom for suggesting I make that phone call in 1954.
— With Virginia Dunleavy