When I came home that night, I told my roommate that he was “the one.” We have been together since that day, and 37 years later he is still The One. Fate brought us together, and love has kept us together.
Marcia K. Cypen,
I met my wife Ginger 44 years ago while she was a cashier at the Stevens Supermarket on Red Road. I always went to her register and made extra trips to the supermarket, trying to get her attention.
While in her checkout lane a customer ahead of me bought items totaling $11.11. As she totaled my items they also came to $11.11. I asked her if the same amount ever occurred back to back. Smiling, she said ‘no.’
Being a horse racing fan, I felt this was my lucky day. I asked her if she would like to see the races at Hialeah Park. She accepted my invitation and to everyone’s surprise we were married three weeks later on April Fool’s Day 1969.
Ever since that lucky combo our lives became one beautiful daily double. But bittersweet. Ginger passed away on 11-11-2004, Veteran’s Day.
On April 16, 2007, she had the honor of being the first dependent of an Army veteran to have her ashes buried in the new South Florida V.A. National Cemetery in Lake Worth during the opening day ceremony.
Jack Iacone, Hialeah
Sorry to leave you
I met him three times before that special day.
I met him when I was seven years old, when my aunt and uncle took me to St. Miguel de los Baños to visit a friend.
Then at the age of fifteen when arranging some documents at the Department of Statistics, when I was eyeing the neighborhood, he was reclined on the veranda of his house porch.
The third time was when I was invited by a friend to go with her to her father’s doctor’s office to see two good-looking young men who took singing classes at the academy in the same building. We saw them, but they didn’t notice us.
Finally, when I was chaperoning my older sister and we went to the theater. He started a conversation that lasted the whole show and at the end we exchanged telephone numbers.
A week later he came to visit and we became boyfriend-girlfriend. We were young and studying. He was permitted to visit me twice a week and speak to me for 15 minutes a day.
We were married four years later at Our Lady of Montserrat Catholic Church and married 47 happy years.
His last words before going to our Lord were, “I am sorry to leave you alone!”
But he is still hanging around.
Josephine A. Castellanos, Miami
Love in the beverage aisle
It was in February 2012, just after Valentine’s Day. I was shopping at my local Walgreens.
I first saw her at the beverage coolers. She had selected her beverage of choice and turned away. I in turn made my selection and turned to continue my shopping.
As I entered the cross-section of the store, I saw her with a beautiful little girl seated in the cart.
I approached them and commented on how beautiful the little girl was.
As a second thought I stated, “By the way I think you’re beautiful too.”
Small talk followed and when we exchanged phone numbers.
That weekend we had our first date, a simple lunch at the Aventura Mall food court. After lunch we walked around and talked for three hours.
We’ve been dating ever since and recently became engaged.
John Deane, North Miami
In 2004 the (now) love of my life and I used to attend a yoga class. Not only we were both married, the yoga teacher was his wife. There was no mutual attraction. Move forward to 2011. I was divorced and he was in the process of divorcing, when a friend of mine’s boyfriend told me he knew this guy who was “very serious and handsome”. He wanted to set us up. When a man says that another guy is handsome it makes me wonder. But I said yes.
We have been together ever since and we both hope that it lasts for the rest of our lives.
Lana M. Narosky, Key Biscayne
From swimming to marriage
I was on vacation from New York and I decided to leave my hotel to check out the public beach. I put down my towel, applied suntan lotion and closed my eyes to work on my tan.
Minutes later a man with an accent said, “Would you like to go for a swim?” I said yes!
Later he invited me to Joe’s after a week of swimming, talking and dining. He showed me a shoebox with his family photos. I bought him a photo album and told him I would return soon to set up his photos.
With tears in his eyes he said, “Will you marry me?”
I said yes, and off we went to city hall. The date was November 6, 1959. We are married 54 years. We don’t swim but we still love walking on the beach.
Rhoda Oppenheimer, Miami Beach
I met Erica at an outdoor concert by Orchestra Miami two years ago. We were part of a Meetup group. I saw her as “attending” on the group site. I arrived early with my bicycle as people started to gather. She couldn’t find us so I stood up and waved at her. I was not going to let her get lost!
However, as she recalls (women always remember details), I didn’t even say Hello!, but “I am Eduardo” in Spanish — “Soy Eduardo” — and extended my hand. I was nervous. I guess she won’t be able to say ,“You got me at ‘Hello.’
We watched the concert, Mozart and Beethoven. She offered me to sit on her blanket. We started talking and found lots of things in common, starting for our love of music and our Argentinian past. I walked Erica to her car afterward and called her the next evening. Just hearing her voice again, so sweet and happy, and closing my eyes to see her printed image from the day before, warmed and filled my heart. Loved her. We are married now and continue to enjoy our music together and all the beautiful things life has to offer.
Eduardo Lis, North Miami
Reading and loving
Fifty years. Seems like yesterday. Gables High School. Band Room. “Uncle” Willie Ledue, Director — beloved leader, trusted friend of music students. “Robin, see Louie over there? Tell him his white marching shoes are perfect or he gets a demerit.”
Off I went and delivered the message. After much discussion, the lifelong commitment between a bassoon and a clarinet — a handsome second-generation Greek boy and a rather plain Anglo girl — was ignited.
Louie and I shared a wonderful friendship through high school. I went off to the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and he to UM. We phoned weekly and I read his letters daily in my 1964 Cavaleon yearbook professing his love. So many fond memories and experiences together in “Old Miami.”
Our marriage endures because we accept each other. Our strengths and weaknesses complement and continue to build a solid union. We joined hands in 1968 to experience life as a couple. Patience and understanding. Joy and sadness. Reaching out and helping others. Literature, music and travel. Studying. Reading each morning and discussing it — from the Miami Herald articles to the Wall Street Journal. Our love continues. Aging as partners.
Robin Sarantos, Palmetto Bay
Compiled by Howard Cohen and Jessica de Leon.