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Love Story: They've been happy campers since summer of '43

Arline and Aaron Berezowsky of Deer Park in

Arline and Aaron Berezowsky of Deer Park in 1944 at Mothers Clubs Camp in upstate Mountaindale, where they first met. They married in November 1948 and celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last year. Photo Credit: Berezowsky Family

Arline Berezowsky of Deer Park recalls meeting her husband, Aaron, at camp.

In the summer of 1943, I was 16 years old and recently had been hired as a counselor at Mothers Clubs Camp in upstate Mountaindale. My name was Arline Saltman.

Aaron Berezowsky, also 16, had been hired as a waiter for the children’s meals in the camp’s dining room. During World War II most 18-year-olds had been drafted into the military, so they lowered the age for camp workers.

This was a family camp for club members featuring separate bungalows for parents and bungalow dorms for the children. Our parents, who were friends, also worked at the camp.

My group was 3- to 5-year-olds and Aaron waited on our table. His niece was in my charge, so I received extra attention. Aaron also helped me take care of the children, and we became good friends. We were both from the Bronx. He lived in the East Bronx and I lived near the Grand Concourse.

We kept in touch that winter while I attended Hunter College — I had graduated early from high school — and Aaron was a senior in high school.

The next summer at camp we became a couple, one of many who met there. In the evenings, after the children were in bed, we and the other counselors would set up a record player on the handball court and dance or we’d walk to town for ice cream sodas. Both his parents and mine were happy with our relationship.

When we returned home, Aaron called me every Wednesday and we saw each other on the weekends.

In 1946, Aaron was drafted into the Army. After basic training, he served in the 7th Division as a military police patrol dispatcher in Korea. Many Friday nights I would enjoy Shabbat dinners with Aaron’s parents while he was away.

When Aaron came home in 1947 and finished his military service, he gave me an engagement ring at a Shabbat dinner with his parents and his entire family. We then went to my house to show my parents the ring.

I graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1948. Aaron’s parents and my parents were proud to attend the ceremony.

We were married Nov. 20, 1948, at the Mount Eden Center in the Bronx and honeymooned in Atlantic City. The wedding was joyful because most of the guests were mutual friends of our parents, many from the summer camp.

We lived in the Bronx and in Brooklyn until 1964, when we bought our house in Deer Park.

Looking forward to traveling, we took early retirement in 1989. I had been an early childhood teacher in the Elwood school district. Aaron had been a production manager in the garment center in Manhattan.

We were both active in the Suffolk Jewish Center in Deer Park. I was Sisterhood president and Aaron was a board member. We are now members of the Suffolk Y Jewish Community Center in Commack where we work out and swim together.

We share our love of traveling and have gone on cross-country motor trips, 16 Elderhostel (now Roads Scholar) educational travel programs and volunteered with the Sar-El program in Israel, working on Army bases.

Last year we celebrated our 90th birthdays and our 70th anniversary at the Verde Wine Bar and Ristorante in Deer Park with our extended family and friends.

We have three successful children with spouses, six wonderful grandchildren with spouses and eight beautiful great-grandchildren.

We are so fortunate to have a happy marriage, and to be surrounded by a large loving family is indeed a blessing.

— With Virginia Dunleavy

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, 235 Pinelawn Rd., Melville, NY 11747-4250; 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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