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Love Story: They fell for each other at first sight, a meeting a work

Irving and Judy Borman of Freeport, seen in

Irving and Judy Borman of Freeport, seen in June 2019 at the African American Museum of Nassau County event honoring jazz musician Steven Kroon, met in 1985. Credit: Gigi Machicote

Irving Borman of Freeport talks about meeting his wife, Judy.

It was 1985 and Judy Montanez and I worked at National Westminster Bank at Rockefeller Center. We hadn’t known each other until we were in a large meeting to iron out some intra-department processing issues.

At the meeting Judy and I kept looking at each other. It must have been obvious to others because while walking back to my office, my secretary said, “What was going on in there?” I told her, “I don’t know but I’m sure going to find out.”

I called Judy right away and asked her to dinner that night. She said she already had a date. I told her to break it, which she did. We had dinner at Captain's Ketch, a restaurant the Financial District in Manhattan, and talked until management told us the restaurant was closing. We had so much in common; it felt like we had known each other for many years. I took her home to Williamsburg and then drove myself home to Jamaica Estates. We both freely admit it was love at first sight.

We started dating, and for the next seven years before we got married, we traveled — a lot. Mostly to the Caribbean, maybe 30 trips. We both love warm weather, sand and sun.

I asked Judy to marry me at my godmother's Easter Sunday dinner. My godmother was thrilled and right away started planning a large and extravagant wedding, something in which Judy and I had no interest. On Aug. 4, 1993, I told Judy, “Get dressed up. We’re getting married today.” We headed to city hall and exchanged vows. My godmother never forgave us.

After our honeymoon in Turks and Caicos, Judy and Jocelyn, Judy’s daughter from a previous marriage, moved into my Jamaica Estates apartment. We moved to Freeport a year later and have lived there since.

I worked at Nat West for 30 years, then joined the Long Island Development Corp., where I served as executive vice president for 15 years. Judy worked at Nat West for 28 years until retiring as an assistance vice president.

We both have interesting avocations. Judy started practicing belly dancing in 1996 and went on to be an instructor, then costume designer and now seamstress. I’ve been involved in Jazz Knights Inc., a not-for-profit that supports live jazz presentations, and I was a Big Brother. I joined the Big Brothers of Greater New York advisory board about 1968. I coached youth basketball teams in Harlem and Queens for 40 years and still enjoy flower gardening. Our front and back yards are filled with flower beds. We see neighbors coming by and peeking into our yard.

For years, Judy and I would host a jazz garden party every summer. We would invite one or two groups to perform and anywhere from 75 to 100 guests. Everyone brought their own seating, but we provided the refreshments and food.

I have two daughters from a previous marriage — Nicole and Rebecca. And we have twin grandchildren, Sofia and Marcos, with whom we love spending time with. Because Judy and I are big beach lovers, we have spent many summers at Jones Beach. Now we enjoy taking the grandkids there so they can start to appreciate one of Long Island’s treasures.

Judy is the most giving and loving person I have ever known. She cares for everyone — family, friends, even strangers. We were planning a trip to the Caribbean this winter, but that’s been postponed. Life remains good, and we feel blessed.

— With Ann Donahue-Smukler

TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU MET. Access the online form at newsday.com/lilovestory — or send an anecdote along with your phone number and a photo to Love Story, Newsday, 6 Corporate Center Dr., Melville, NY 11747; or email ann.smukler@newsday.com, 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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