New York State of Mind

050214_beshert-nowFirst Date: January 1988, Greenwich Village, N.Y.
Wedding Date: April 9, 1989
Venue: Beth Jacob Synagogue, Baltimore
Residence: Owings Mills
Favorite Activity: Working out together

In late December 1987, Linda Bogash called her aunt, Marilyn Bennett, to wish her a mazel tov on her daughter’s engagement to Alan Cohen.

The first thing Marilyn told her single niece was that she had the perfect guy for her. Marilyn had met her future son-in-law’s cousin, Seth Cohen, and knew instantly that he was right for Linda.

Linda ventured to New York City for a weekend, and she joined the newly engaged couple and Seth for a double date on New Year’s Eve.

The foursome gathered at a Moroccan restaurant and headed to the South Street Seaport after dinner. At the seaport, the two couples were separated. Long before cell phones, they failed to reconnect. Marilyn had provided Linda with $20 in case she needed to call a cab.

Seth turned out to be a gentleman, and they walked around the seaport, enjoyed drinks and even kissed at midnight. At 2 a.m. they went back to Seth’s car and drove around New York, taking in Central Park and Times Square. By the time Linda reached the Bennett residence, it was 4 a.m.

That Saturday night, Seth took Linda out for their first official date, to a restaurant in the Village. Linda was impressed when Seth asked her to let him know when she arrived home in Randallstown safely after the weekend.

By that time, she was sure.

“I knew from the first kiss that I was going to marry him,” said Linda, 51, a Baltimore County physical education teacher. “Before the kiss (at the seaport) I felt safe. It felt like it was beshert. It felt right.”

They embarked on a long-distance relationship, with Seth arriving in Baltimore Friday evenings twice a month.

Commuting for dates was tough, Seth said, because they didn’t see each other often enough. When together, they did “touristy” stuff, and when apart, they sent each other cards, which Linda still has.

“We exhausted all of the ‘miss you’ cards we could find at Hallmark,” said Seth, who has worked in retail management for 30 years.

That summer, Seth took Linda to Paradise Island, after she decoded a message inviting her in invisible ink. After dinner the first night, they walked the beach. At sunset, Seth knelt down and proposed.

050214_beshert-thenLinda and Seth were married April 9, 1989 at Beth Jacob Synagogue with 130 guests in attendance.

Linda was escorted down the aisle by her sisters, Elana Cavalier and Caren Gresham. Rabbi Ronald Schwartz officiated.

The couple’s daughter, Melissa, was born in November 1991. Lauren joined the family in May 1993, and Julie arrived in November 1997.

They have taken vacations in Wildwood, N.J., the Bahamas, Bermuda and Disney World. Now they are planning a cruise alone to celebrate their 25th anniversary.

“Marriage takes compromise, patience,” said Linda. “It’s really about having the love for each other that keeps you going.”

Linda L. Esterson is an Owings Mills-based freelance writer. For “Beshert,” call 410-902-2305 or email

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