First Date: Fall 1953, movie and dinner
Wedding Date: Oct. 6, 1956
Venue: The Broadway Central Hotel, Manhattan
Favorite Activity: Traveling the East Coast and taking walks together
Arthur Shefrin would have had to answer to his parents if he hadn’t married Muriel Richelson, but it didn’t matter. His heart belonged to her in 1955, and it still does today, in 2016, after 60 years of marriage.
They met on a blind date in 1953, after a friend insisted Muriel come along.
“If I’m going to be your body guard, then I get to choose,” Muriel said about the two men. “And I choose the tall guy.”
Art’s sense of humor also attracted Muriel.
After two dates, the other couple’s relationship fizzled, and unfortunately, that left Art without a car. So he made the 90-minute trek from the Bronx to Brooklyn twice via subway but then did not call.
A year later, a letter arrived from Art, who was in Korea with the Army. Muriel replied, “raking him over the coals” for not calling but inviting him to continue writing.
After Art’s transfer to Hawaii, the writing continued. During a 30-day furlough, he used his father’s van to see Muriel.
“I realized how much I had missed him when I saw him again,” said Muriel, 82. “They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. It’s true.”
At month’s end, after professing their love, they agreed to marry. Art told his parents before returning west.
His sister worked near Muriel, who served as a secretary for a textile company. She invited her to lunch, loved her and then invited her for the weekend with her parents. They too fell in love with Muriel.
After his discharge in December 1955, Art went to work as a salesman for Gerber Baby Foods.
On Oct. 6, 1956, about 100 family members and friends attended their nuptials at the Broadway Central Hotel in Manhattan.
“The first time I saw her [at the wedding] was coming down the aisle. I was stunned,” recalled Art, now 83. She was beautiful. She still is.”
Muriel too was elated. She had found “Mr. Right,” compassionate, considerate and everything she wanted.
While in Brooklyn, they welcomed Andrea in 1958. Melissa was born in 1970 in Baltimore after a transfer through Art’s employer, Custom Shirt Shop.
They raised the family in Randallstown and 10 years ago moved to Pomona Square. Muriel spent 25 years in department store sales before retiring in 2007, then worked in the library system part time for eight years. Art left Custom and joined Jos. A. Bank, where he still works part time after three retirements.
Today, they enjoy a community college current events class and spending time with their teenage grandsons. Wednesday is Art’s night to cook.
They still love each other as demonstrated by their nightly cuddles, kisses goodbye and hand-holding during walks together.
“It’s like having a comfortable shoe you feel terrific in,” said Muriel. “You never want to take it off the rest of your life.”
Linda L. Esterson is an Owings Mills-based freelance writer. For “Beshert,” call 410-902-2305 or email Linda.Esterson@verizon.net.