It’s that special time of year; Valentine’s Day. It’s a time of reflecting on the love you share with that special person, or even friends and family. And it’s also a time to appreciate the love around you.
The Syosset Jericho Tribune reached out to The Bristal Assisted Living at Jericho and the Seniors of Syosset program from Mid Island Y JCC looking for some longtime lovebirds who would be willing to share their love story. And luckily, many couples were willing to share. Here are their stories:
Shelley and Howard Malter
Length of marriage: 67 years.
How they met: They met at the movies on Pitkin Ave in Brownsville, NY. They were there separately but ended up sitting together and talking. After the movie, Shelley and her friend were visiting a portrait place when they decided to stop for egg creams nearby. By chance, Howard was working there making egg creams to save up for college. At that time Shelley had a boyfriend but when Howard asked her out, she decided to break up with him. Howard, although a few years older, took her to her high school prom. Shelley and Howard married while Howard was still in college, and they had their first child in time for his college graduation.
What married life has been like: While the world has changed over time, their relationship, love, and values have remained the same. They realized that everyone around you is important, especially your spouse.
Where life has taken them: After college, Shelly worked in the cardiologist office of Mt. Sinai hospital and Howard was in the footwear business. They eventually moved to Syosset where they lived for 18 years. After raising their family, they ended up buying a house in Amagansett where they had a wonderful time. Every August they had a huge party for 50 people with food, music, and dancing. They went on many trips all over the world but their favorite place to go was Italy. They have also traveled to Rio, London, Portugal, Brazil. Before they moved into The Bristal they lived in East Hampton.
Bobbie and Bob Weller
Length of marriage: 66 years
How they met: Before Bobbie met Bob, her family moved from Borough Park to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. She was at Hunter College getting her teaching license and involved in the art department. She needed dental care and was recommended to Dr. Ralph Carron and and his young associate Dr. Robert Weller. She used to dress nicely to her appointments because she liked Dr. Weller. After a few dental meetings with Dr. Weller, she realized that he might be the one, and he finally asked her out. He continued to be her dentist until he retired. Their first date was going to a local show. Their favorite dates were going to the movies, followed by getting pizza and ice. Almost a year later, they went to a cousin’s bar mitzvah, and the band stopped playing to make an announcement. To Bobbie’s surprise, she was engaged to. And that began a beautiful 66 years of marriage.
What married life has been like: Throughout their relationship, they have been there to support each other emotionally.
Where life has taken them: Bobbie was a teacher in Plainedge for six months until she landed a teaching job in New York City, and she taught in Manhattan on the edge of Chinatown. She would take the subway to work every day from Brooklyn and worked in Bob’s dental office at night a couple of days a week. They had three children. Bobbie and Bob went on many trips together and enjoyed going to a Caribbean island in the winter and another travel elsewhere in the summer. They especially loved snorkeling and sailing. They had three children and seven grandchildren. Before moving to The Bristal, they lived in their home in Woodmere New York for over sixty-four years. Bob and Bobbi decided to move to The Bristal at Jericho to be closer to family. Since they moved to The Bristal, you will also find Bob and Bobbie enjoying all the daily activities.
Carolyn and Joel Seiff
Length of marriage: Almost 66 years
How they met: They met at Abraham Lincoln High School in Brooklyn. Joel first asked out Carolyn’s older sister, but she refused him because, according to Joel, in those days girls did not date guys that were younger. But, she told him to wait a year because soon her younger sister, Carolyn, would be attending the school. Both Carolyn and Joel had used their free school period to volunteer in the supply squad office, and that’s where they first met. At Christmas, Joel, 16 at the time, asked Carolyn, 14 at the time, on her first date, and she wore a brown corduroy suit with her first pair of high heels. He took her to a hockey game, which Carolyn knew nothing about, at the old Madison Square Garden. Going there, one of Carolyn’s heels fell off in the subway stairs, and Joel had to go get it. Joel still watches hockey, and Carolyn never grew interest in it. They dated every school year, but took brief breaks during the summers because Carolyn worked at a sleepaway camp. The two went to Carolyn’s prom. After graduating high school, they both went to Brooklyn College. They married two weeks after Joel graduated college.
What married life has been like: They’ve had three children and two grandchildren. They both have a sense of humor, which gets them through the hard times. And they never hold grudges.
Where life has taken them: Joel studied phys-ed in college, and became a phys-ed teacher when he graduated, until the U.S. Army called. He served on the National Guard. After the National Guard, Joel went on to join a business that produced women’s nightwear for 39 years. When he retired, boredom set in and he started looking for something to do. In 1998, he began working for a greeting card company, and 25 years later he’s still working for them. He’s almost 88 and still working full time, but is able to work at his own pace. As the Seiff’s children were growing up, Carolyn did theater in the evening, and was unable to get a job as a teacher due to there not being enough work. She took an office job for 19 years, and when her company moved out of state, she was out of work. Carolyn emailed an actor friend, which led the friend to introducing Carolyn to his manager and she made herself a new career acting in off-Broadway shows, the television show Gotham and other movies and shows. She’s also done over 75 commercials. Carolyn is a member of the Screen Actors Guild.
—Information provided by The Bristal Assisted Living at Jericho