Cecelia and I are approaching our 50th wedding anniversary. We were married on June 16,1963.
Our first date was on March 31,1959. March 31st has been a magical day for me.
I had my Bar Mitzvah on March 31st even though my birthday is March 17th.Cecelia and I became engaged on March 31st.
I all began with my Aunt Anna. My aunt Anna was a friend of Cecelia’s mother. Aunt Anna met Cecelia. She liked her. She told Cecelia’s mother she had the perfect boy for Cecelia.
Cecelia did not need to be introduced to any boys. At 161/2 years old she was already a beautiful woman.
Aunt Anna was a persistent woman. She bothered my brother Charlie at least 3 times a week for months to call Cecelia and take her out.
My brother was a senior in high school. He played on the high school’s basketball and baseball team. He was a big man on campus. In addition to all of that he had a steady girlfriend.
He had no time or interest in taking Cecelia out.
My family lived in a small three story attached two bedroom house. My brother and I shared a bedroom. One night he asked me to help him get Aunt Anna off his back.
He asked me to take Cecelia out.
I said sure. I made a date to take her out for pizza on a Wednesday night. I took her to the Pizza Parlor on Boston Post Road and Gun Hill Road in the Bronx. The Pizza Parlor is gone now.
Years later I found out that she was not impressed with the pizza. She was impressed with my father’s baby blue 1959 Pontiac Bonnieville convertible and its gigantic fins.
I fell in love with Cecelia at first sight.
She was beautiful in her blue button down shirt and jeans. She was very intelligent. She had many interests. She was a great conversationalist.
I dated many girls in high school and college. I was never as impressed as I was by the brightness of this woman. As my father would say, “I was smitten”.
Cecelia was going to High School of Music and Art. We had many of the same interests.
At Columbia College I was a pre-med with a concentrates in chemistry and fine art.
Columbia College was my first exposure to fine art and its history. At that point Cecelia knew as much or more about the arts than I did.
Her élan blew me away.
When I got home that night I told my brother I thought I would be marrying Cecelia.
He looked at me as though I was nuts. We then turned the light off and went to sleep.
The rest is history. Cecelia and I have had a wonderful trip through life together. We have always had mutual respect for each other. We have grown in life together by cultivating mutual interests. We have supported each other’s dreams.
Cecelia has always been my heroine. I know I have always been her hero.
We raised two sons, Daniel and Brad. When I think about it, they are a combination of both of us in different proportions.
As Cecelia and I approach our 50th wedding anniversary with a great family, I can only think of the corny phrase my mother used over and over again when she was alive and the family was together,
“My cup runneth over”.
It was a very lucky first date.
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