Audrey Goldsmith of Lindenhurst recalls her first date with her husband, Bob.
Our romance began in my neighborhood of Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. My name was Audrey Callaghan then. I was working as a receptionist at The Williamsburgh Savings Bank in Downtown Brooklyn.
In 1951, Bob found work as manager at Bay Ridge Service Station, a gas station on the corner of my block. My friends and I got to know Bob, and he soon became part of our group. He had served in the Army Air Forces from 1946 to 1947 as a radio operator based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He lived in Mill Basin.
A year later, Bob mentioned that his buddy had invited him to a yacht club dance in Mill Basin. Bob needed a date for the dance. To my surprise, my boyfriend at the time volunteered me. I thought it would be fun, and I agreed to go. I was 17, and Bob was 23.
I was dressed to the nines when Bob picked me up in his 1940 Cadillac. The car had Venetian blinds on the rear window!
He was a gentleman, and I was very impressed. We danced to the live band and later walked out to the dock and talked. During that conversation, we both fell in love. We became inseparable after that date. Needless to say, my boyfriend was now the one who was surprised.
Bob was welcomed by my family. He had one sister, and I had seven siblings. My mother, who had a beautiful singing voice, died in 1951 but my family had continued its tradition of singing together at home. Bob enjoyed listening to my dad play the piano while we sang and carried on.
Bob and I tied the knot on Nov. 22, 1953, at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Bay Ridge. His sister designed my wedding gown. Everyone in the neighborhood was invited to the wedding and the “football” reception, an informal party where guests passed sandwiches to one another. It was a memorable evening filled with love, music and song.
We lived in Flatbush until 1959, when we bought our home in Lindenhurst. We have three children.
They, along with our two sons-in-law, daughter-in-law, six grandchildren and their girlfriends and boyfriends, visit us every Sunday for dinner. I still cook. We tell stories, laugh and make new memories. There is no generation gap. We look forward to the arrival of our first great-grandchild in January 2020.
Bob is now 91, and I am 85. After leaving Bay Ridge Service Station, he was in sales and management at L&B Lincoln Mercury in Babylon from 1967 to1978, then for Hempstead Cadillac and Great Neck Cadillac until he retired in 1995. He is a true car guy and enjoyed driving a new demo vehicle every year.
I worked in the Lindenhurst High School cafeteria from 1980 until I retired in 2006. Bob and I had a second home in Florida for many years and enjoyed spending time there with the family.
We celebrated our 65th anniversary in 2018 at home with our family. My husband always has a positive attitude. No matter what we’ve been through in our life he always looks at the glass as half full. Bob tells me I am the glue that keeps our family together. I have a good sense of humor and can make people laugh easily. I feel we balance the other, and we have never lost the love and respect for each other that keeps a marriage strong.
Life is wonderful, and love is forever.
— With Virginia Dunleavy
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