Lorraine Rosenthal’s best friend set her up with Bernie Schlossberg in 1946. But when it came time for their first date, he called and told her his uncle had died.
“I didn’t believe him,” said Lorraine, 85, more than 68 years later. “I thought he didn’t want to go.”
That couldn’t have been further from the truth.
“It was the truth,” said Bernie, also 85. “I have never lied to her.”
A few weeks later, they went to the movies.
That was after Bernie came to the Rosenthals’ Northwest Baltimore home, walked into the kitchen and introduced himself to Dora and Reuben Rosenthal. He was friendly, and Dora took to him immediately.
Lorraine did as well. After all, he was very kind and “one in a million.” He remembers her as “adorable.”
As they spent more and more time together, they enjoyed going dancing and dining out. They were 17 and fell in love. They attended each other’s proms; that’s when Lorraine met Morris and Fannie Schlossberg. Soon after, Bernie gave Lorraine his high school ring during a double date. While the other couple was in the front seat of the car breaking up, Lorraine and Bernie were in the back seat committing to each other.
That’s also when Bernie told Lorraine he loved her.
From then on, they were inseparable. Each day, Bernie either called or visited.
They talked marriage, and in early 1948 went ring shopping.
They were wed in an Orthodox ceremony on June 27, 1948. Rabbi Jacob Green officiated, and 50 friends and family members attended. Lorraine wore a pink dress with gold accessories. Bernie wore a blue suit with a fancy tie.
After a weeklong honeymoon in New York City and Atlantic City, they lived with the Rosenthals for about a year. They were just two kids out of high school, both just 19.
Lorraine worked as a secretary, and Bernie handled office jobs before joining the government and later Sears, where he spent 25 years as a furniture department manager and an appliance salesman. They lived in a few apartments before moving to a row house in 1951 on Flannery Lane.
Mark was born in 1955, and David joined the family in 1958. Eventually, they moved to Scotts Level Road, where they stayed for 33 years. Today, Bernie and Lorraine dote on their grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Fourteen years ago, they downsized to a Park Heights apartment. Lorraine plays mah-jongg, and Bernie volunteers at Sinai Hospital’s cardiac unit and plays computer games. They’ve done their share of traveling, including a cruise for their 60th anniversary, but most of all they enjoy dining out and spending time together.
The secret, Bernie said, to a long married life together is to listen.
“She tells me what to do, and I do it,” he said.
Linda L. Esterson is an Owings Mills-based freelance writer. For “Beshert,” call 410-902-2305 or email Linda.Esterson@verizon.net.