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Love Story: Meeting each other was a day at the beach 

Miriam and Marvin Chatinover of Great Neck are

Miriam and Marvin Chatinover of Great Neck are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary this year. Credit: Nadav Chatinover

Miriam (Kleinberg) Chatinover of Great Neck talks about meeting her husband, Marvin.

It was at Santa Monica Beach in California in the summer of 1949 that Marvin and I met. I was 19, and he was 22. I was living in Los Angeles with my family, and Marvin, a Los Angeles native and Yale University graduate, was attending graduate school at UCLA.

My father, my brother, my girlfriend and I were sunning at the beach one day. Marvin was walking on the beach by himself. He had gone to high school with my brother, and after they recognized each other, Marvin joined our group. We chatted for a while and then invited him back to our house for dinner. The following weekend Marvin called me for a date, and that was our beginning.

We went to the movies on our first date. From then on, we saw each other every weekend. We took buses and streetcars to get around. Movies were our destination most times. Marvin was, and still is, a movie lover. We went out to dinner every now and then, enjoyed attending UCLA events and double-dated with friends. We both were going to UCLA. I was studying to be a teacher, and Marvin was getting his master’s degree in journalism.

Marvin proposed in October, and I said yes. We wanted a small wedding in June 1951, when I would be graduating. My mother had other ideas. Anxious for us to get married, she said, "I’m having a party on Feb. 4 with 350 guests. If you would like to get married during the party, that would be fine." Our Rabbi was Jacob Sonderling, the chief rabbi for the German army during World War I.

After earning his master’s degree, Marvin got a job as a reporter at The Wall Street Journal. We moved to New York and eventually Great Neck. Marvin held positions at Forbes magazine and the New York Stock Exchange. He earned his MBA at New York University in 1970. I was an elementary school teacher in the Massapequa school district and then Great Neck before retiring in 1988.

At age 50, Marvin decided to become an actor and appeared in about seven movies, including four Woody Allen movies. He also portrayed Dr. Jerome for four years in the sitcom "Ed."

I was active in several civic and religious organizations in the area. Marvin loves to read magazines, newspapers and books. He was a member of the New York Financial Writers Association and an accredited member of the Public Relations Society of America. I read, knit for the family and Northwell Health cancer patients, garden and dote on our three children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandson.

Marvin, to quote his grandson, Levi, "is the smartest person I know." He has a fabulous memory for names, places and events, and he reads constantly and watches news programs. He loves his 1991 Buick. "It sounds like a tank when the door closes," he often says.

Because of the COVID-19 menace, we are limited to how we can celebrate our 70th anniversary. We will likely Zoom with our children, grandchildren and great grandson. When all is calm and safe, we will get together and enjoy seeing one another again.

Who would have imagined that we would be together this long? I say be patient, listen to each other and have a sense of humor about life and its challenges.

— With Ann Donahue-Smukler

TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU MET. Access the online form at — or send an anecdote along with your phone number and a photo to, or call Ann Donahue-Smukler at 631-843- 2520. Publication is not guaranteed. Photos cannot be returned and may be used in other publications affiliated with Newsday.

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