Love Story: New York City, 1955, Happenstance

Orig, Madison Square Garden/Library of Congress (loc.gov)

Orig, Madison Square Garden/Library of Congress (loc.gov)

He wore jeans and a black sweater over a red-and-white checked shirt. She wore a navy blue accordion-pleated skirt, full, that swung as she walked, and a pale pink wool button-down sweater.

She came down the steps alone, deserted minutes earlier by a friend who used her as an excuse to leave the house. She was nervous, alone in the skating rink, and wondering what to do. Then she saw him sitting, busy with something, an unlit cigar in his mouth. He looked up and went back to his Times crossword puzzle.

Then he looked up again, this time twirling his hand around and asking with his expression. She questioned and pointed to herself. “Me?” He nodded. Onto the ice they went.

That was March 1, 1955, during singles’ skate night at the “old” Madison Square Garden. They celebrated their first Valentine’s Day 50 weeks later as husband and wife.

Mom and dad were married on October 23, 1955, and were blessed with 59 years together. Directions to Lake Placid — where they honeymooned — from New York and New Jersey begin with “Take the NY State Thruway (I-87) north . . .” The new bridge was to open in two months; the Taconic State Parkway was “it” back then, mom said.

heart

Valentine’s Day was special for them. After dad stopped driving, I’d take him to buy cards and flowers for mom. She bought him cards and made a special dinner for them, or they’d have a date night. When his health began to decline, and he could no longer move around easily, he’d ask me to please choose cards. I think mom knew; she told me later and thanked me for keeping this from him.

Dad passed away last year on February 27, two days short of the day they met. It was 24 hours before the final transit task force meeting. Two unrelated events were suddenly joined in my world; talking of one reminded me of the other.

Mom told me they were best friends and soul mates, said “I love you” often and meant it, and never went to sleep angry with each other. They laughed a lot together. Dad had a wicked sense of humor, she told me; I know she does.

The other day she and I were looking at pictures, remembering, smiling, laughing, crying at the memories, some in black and white, others in color, all captured in still life.

We both miss him terribly. Mom loves to tell the story of how they met: had she not accompanied a friend, had he not gone to the ice skating rink . . .

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2015

6 comments so far

  1. MGM on

    Beautiful. This is what we all want, I think. They were very fortunate that fate and their combined free will led to a lifetime of love and happiness. May your memories continue to comfort and hold you, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nykeypad on

      Thank you, MGM. My parents loved each other no matter what and taught me to look into people’s hearts and minds to see truth.

      Like

  2. dwiedy58 on

    This was about the same time that my parents met. Their first date was at Madison Square Garden too. It was a Rangers game. My mom loved hockey. So my dad went and love affair started. They got married 18 months later. My dad always made Valentine’s Day a very special day for Mom. Just like your parents they went through a lot and stuck together until very end. I miss them everyday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • nykeypad on

      Thank you, Don. Mom tells me this story often, more now that dad left us (two years at the end of this month). She tells me about their first dates, and although they came from different walks of life she saw his sweetness and goodness. Valentine’s Day was special to dad, too, and when he became ill he’d ask me to buy a card for mom so he could sign it. Every time I read that last card I cry.

      Liked by 1 person

      • dwiedy58 on

        Your dad and mom getting together is a wonderful story. It is those memories that get us through these days. I know your dad is looking down at you and smiling when he read that too. I know my mom and dad are watching over me from a more privileged seat.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. nykeypad on

    Maybe they’re talking about us right now. 🙂 I like to think my relatives met my friends’ relatives and are getting along great. Once dad learned your parents’ first date was at the Garden he’d want to hear their wonderful stories and share some of his own.

    Like


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