How did they meet?

Among the photos that Robin sent me last week are these pictures of her parents, Maurice and Lynn Goldschlager, taken in 1949.

Maurice and Lynn Goldschlager Camp Milford 1949

Maurice and Lynn Goldschlager Camp Milford 1949

It was labeled Camp Milford in Connecticut.  I asked Robin if

she knew what Camp Milford was, and she said she thought it was one of those camps for adults that existed back in those days.  I looked it up and found this advertisement and these postcards.

Camp_Milford_ad_1948On the Lake, Camp Milford Kent, CT

Maurice and Lynn did not meet at this camp, but met in New Jersey where my uncle was stationed for some time during World War II.  As Robin tells the story, “The story goes that my dad heard the clicking of her heels walking down the hall and he said to a buddy (before he even laid eyes on my mom) that’s the girl I’m going to marry. And they did.”  They were married soon after on June 10, 1945, with my uncle still in uniform.

My parents, however,  did meet at one of those camps, as did my aunt Elaine and her husband Phillip Lehrbaum. It was a popular way for young Jewish singles to meet back then—away from their parents, but under some kind of supervision.

My parents met at Log Tavern in Milford, Pennsylvania (not to be confused with Camp Milford in Connecticut).

Camp Log Tavern Milford, PA

Camp Log Tavern Milford, PA

log tavern from jodylog tavern softball postcard

My aunt and uncle met at Green Mansions in Warrensburg, New York, which became well-known for its theatrical and musical performances.

Ad for Green Mansions in a YMHA newsletter

Ad for Green Mansions in a YMHA newsletter

green mansions

Green Mansions

Green Mansions

Here’s an interview with someone discussing the history of Green Mansions:

It’s too bad these camps no longer exist; they seem like a great idea.  Maybe they were not as efficient as online dating, but at least you met someone face to face, not over bandwidth.  My husband Harvey and I did the next best thing: we met as camp counselors at a YM-YWHA day camp for kids when we were in college.

Thinking about this got me thinking about how my parents met, how my aunts and uncles met.  I am always intrigued by how couples meet.  The stories are usually sweet or funny or romantic or surprising.  They also take on a certain mythic quality.

Florence and John Cohen 1951

Florence and John Cohen 1951

Did my father really first see my mother across the dining room at Log Tavern where he was working as a waiter and immediately tell his friend that she was the girl he was going to marry?

According to another family legend, my Aunt Elaine met her husband when she mistook him for a different man she had met the day before at Green Mansions.  Apparently, my Uncle Phil was not scared off either by her unintentional forwardness or her mistake.  Here they are on their honeymoon visiting Fort Ticonderoga in 1941:

Elaine and Phil 1941

Elaine and Phil 1941

My grandfather Isadore supposedly saw my grandmother sitting in the window of her sister Tillie’s grocery store in Brooklyn and was taken by her beauty.

How did your parents meet? Your grandparents? How did you meet your significant other? If you are willing to share the stories, feel free to use the comment space below or email your stories to me, and I will add them to the blog.

Thank also to Jody for finding the pictures of her parents and the postcard of Log Tavern.  Here are some more of them at Green Mansions.

Elaine and Phil at Green Mansions

    Elaine and Phil at Green Mansions

 

lap photo green mansions
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20 thoughts on “How did they meet?

  1. Amy I spoke with Beth this morning and confirmed that my parents meet at the Amy base in NJ were my father was at the end of his time in the army air core The story goes that my dad heard the clicking of her heels walking down the hall and he said to a buddy (before he even laid eyes on my mom) that’s the girl I’m going to marry. And they did. And it seems they. got married very soon after they meet because my dad got married in his uniform. Also here’s another little tid bit. They hit married on my dad’s birthday June 10 1945. We have always wonder just how long they knew each other before they got married. Maybe your mom will remember.

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    • Wonderful story! I am going to add this into the body of the post itself. Jody just sent me some photos of your dad–I will send them to you also by email and post them in a subsequent post. Thanks!

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  2. Very cool. Reminds me of how my parents met. In Manhattan Beach (Brooklyn) there was a beach club, Manhatten Private. It had pools, handball courts, tennis and other sports. My parents were playing handball, my parents were both fine athletes, but not with each other. The ball from my mom’s court was accidently hit toward my dad’s court some distance away. My mom called to my dad saying “ball please”. Dad picked it up and threw it to mom. He then turned to his cousin, with whom he was playing and said “I’m going to marry that girl”. That was about 1940 or 41 I guess. He asked her out several times but she refused. On December 7 1941 my cousin Mel was born. Somehow my father found out and went to the hospital. (Mel was mom’s older brother Al’s first child). Mom asked dad what he was doing there – he said that he thought she might need some help, noting that Pearl Harbor had just been attacked. She apparently knew at that moment that she loved him. The rest is history.

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy S®4

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    • That’s a beautiful story, Bruce! Thanks so much for sharing. It seems there’s a consistent theme here: my uncle Maurice, your father and my father all knew from the moment they saw their future wives that they were going to marry them. How did they do that? Today people take about ten years it seems before they make a commitment: they have to live together, buy a house together, even have a child together, before they can get married!

      Part of my father’s story parallels yours in another way. My father pursued my mother at Log Tavern, but she was dating someone else (my father called him Murray the Hook). At the end of her stay, my father asked my mother for her phone number. She gave him the wrong number (intentionally) and less than her full last name (just Gold). Somehow he figured it out and tracked her down. She was so impressed that she agreed to go out with him. The rest, as they say, is history. Thank goodness for persistence!

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  3. I don’t know much about how my parents met, except that it was at a dance at the Hotel Preston in Swampscott MA when my mother was 18 in 1940 and my father, eight years older, was a recent law school graduate and just beginning his career.

    The Hotel Preston was a very typical New England Queen Anne, mansarded, wide-verandah concoction:

    I’d guess that there is probably a story behind the dance. Marblehead (the Preston was right on the Marblehead/Swampscott line) was quite a starchy WASP redoubt, and I suspect that there would not have been any Jews at a dance at the Hotel Rockmere out on Marblehead Neck:

    http://therockmere.com/

    My mother’s family kept a summer house (named ‘Fanhurst’ in honor of her grandmother Fanny Agoos) on Atlantic Ave in Marblehead, a few hundred yards from the Preston. I remember Fanhurst as dark, gloomy, huge, gray–but the elms are all long gone, and a quick google map tour tells me that now all is sunny and cheerful, the houses all neat and bright.

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    • Thanks for sharing your story, John. It’s amazing to me how random some of these meetings were; were people just greater risk-takers back then? Was there really more love at first sight? My parents have been married for over 60 years, despite marrying so young (and having a baby less than a year later). How did they know that it would last a lifetime? We weren’t much older ourselves (23 and 22), and I often think that we were just so young and innocent that we took a leap of faith and believed that it would work. Today people may be overthinking something which has nothing to do with reason!

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      • My parents’ courtship was not long, but their marriage was not particularly happy, and it ended in divorce in 1964.

        They had no experience of the vacation camps your family had, but they were quite enamored of places like the Preston, and I remember vacations at various New England hotels like this one (and the vivid memories of this hotel, where I learned to swim in 1950 and where I was first allowed to walk into town alone) are perhaps responsible for me eventually settling in Maine):

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      • Belgrade Lakes! Our close friends have a cabin up in that area (on Watson Pond), so we have been there. I don’t know where that hotel is, though. Where are you in Maine? I forget.

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  4. All those beautiful shingle-style 1900 hotels were both firetraps and constant temptations to insured owners who found that postwar tastes had changed and that their hotels were no longer desirable destinations. Whatever the cause, the Belgrade Lakes Hotel, like the Preston, burned down in the 50s.

    The Lake (Great Pond) is still there though, as is Bartlett’s Store (now called Day’s) in the village of Belgrade Lakes, the store I was allowed to walk to alone at age 6.

    I live 60 miles east of Belgrade, near the coast, in Swanville. And, dammit, if I want to walk to the store alone, I do!

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    • I have been to Day’s with our friends. Lots of candy for the kids when they were little.

      Coincidentally, there is also a Day’s in North Truro on the Cape that we frequented when we were kids.

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  5. We have all those near-links, Amy–my mother lived on the North Pamet Rd in Truro! And, yes, penny candy was the draw at Bartlett’s for me too.

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  6. Early in the Depression, her third or maybe fourth husband (there was an annulment in there somewhere) bought an old Cape saltbox on the Pamet River about 3/4s of a mile from Ballston Beach and once the REA had juiced the road, he added a wing, running water, electricity, indoor plumbing and so on. Thjs was while Ma was still in grade school, of course.

    She lived there about six months a year, the rest of the time in Cambridge and, later, Arlington. I visited occasionally and once had a Secret Service escort in when Al Gore was staying at Marty Peretz’s place on the beach–the palace guard was not impressed by a grungy, bearded motorcyclist wearing nothing but boots and ex-military coveralls. Once Ma had vouched for me, they relaxed a little but turned down her offer of lemonade because…you just never know!

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    • I assume you meant your grandmother’s third husband, not your mother’s if she was still in grade school. 🙂

      We lived in Arlington also. We just keep crossing paths but never meeting. We just correct that at Fenway some day.

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  7. I recongized that sentence was a little squinky while I was writing it but wasn’t sure how to hammer out the kinks.

    No, my mother and her last husband were of different generations, he more than 20 years her senior. He married and bought a house in Truro while little Patsy Agoos at Devotion School never dreamed of anything more stimulating than a trip to Coolidge Corner. Forty-five years later or so, Fate intervened, took them by the hands, and united those hands in holy matrimony.

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  8. And I recognize that ‘recongized’ in the previous comment too–proofread and do as I say, kiddies, not as I do. See how your standards disappear once retired!

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  9. Pingback: Brotmans, Resslers, Rosenzweigs, and Goldschlagers: All Roads Meet on Pacific Street in Brooklyn « Brotmanblog: A Family Journey

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