It was a warm July evening in 1960 when Hanoch called and asked if I wanted to go to a party. It was kind of a mopey day and I wasn’t really in the mood to party that night. Hanoch insisted that I go to a going away party for Eileen ( whom I had never heard of, much less met) and Stan, her boy friend wanted us to go with him. As a favor to him, would I please go and help make the evening a bit less dull. I acquiesced.
Stan picked me up and we arrived at a part of Queens that I had never been to. The house was in a modest development in a residential area. We knocked on the door and a tall red headed young woman opened it and greeted us warmly. It was Eileen, and she was about to go to Israel. Stan was happy to see her and we made our way into the home and introduced ourselves to the young men and women.
Music began and many of them got up to dance. I kind of eyed the crowd probably looking as bored as I felt. Hanoch was doing his usual shtick, entertaining a small group of seemingly interested people. There was a great deal of laughter and a great deal of Hanoch’s voice. He was in his milieu and I was at a point where I wanted nothing more than to get out of there.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a small group of young women conversing with each other. One of them kind of looked over my way. I took a full look at her and was instantly intrigued. She was unbelievably cute in a quiet way. She looked away just long enough for me to saunter over and ask her to dance. She agreed and we spend the next few hours just dancing and talking. She was so easy to talk to and had a refreshing way of asking questions that made me feel pretty important. Here was this young lady interested in my years in the service and what I was majoring in and more.
It wasn’t long after the party was winding down that Hanoch came over and said that he and Stan were leaving. They were my ride, but I did not want to leave. I wanted to continue to dance and talk to this young lady. Hanoch came over every few minutes until he lost his patience and told me that they were leaving without me. The young lady asked if I would walk her home. I readily agreed and told Hanoch and Stan to take off.
She told me that she did not live far away and she could tell me how to get home by bus. I was entranced and did not want to leave her. We left at about 11:30. We walked for a while and when we came to a large puddle in middle of the street, I picked her up ( as any gentleman would do) and carried her over. We probably walked about 4 miles to get to her house. We talked all the way there and the time just flew by.
We arrived at her house and sat on the porch for a while talking and smooching. I told her that I would call her over the weekend. What I forgot was that I was going away for a weekend with the Army Reserve. That is a story for another time. When I left, she directed me to the bus that would take me to Main St. in Flushing. From there I took a bus to Kissena Boulevard and boarded the Jewel Avenue bus and then walked about ¾ of a mile to my house.
It was about 2:30 when I got home. If I say that I knew that I was going to marry this young lady that night, you will tell me that I am crazy. However, it is absolutely true. I have Hanoch McCarty to thank for allowing me to meet Carol who has been my wife for the past forty seven years and my constant companion for the last fifty.