School Daze

Lisa & Ross  Nochumowitz First Date:  April 1, 2013,  Hersh’s Wedding Date:  July 11, 2015 Venue:  Peabody Library Residence:  Cross Keys Favorite Activity:  Trying new restaurants and  cooking together

Lisa & Ross Nochumowitz
First Date:
April 1, 2013,
Hersh’s
Wedding Date:
July 11, 2015
Venue:
Peabody Library
Residence:
Cross Keys
Favorite Activity:
Trying new restaurants and cooking together

On June 10, 2014, Mary Lee and Richard Dannenberg brought cupcakes to their daughter’s kindergarten classroom, just as they did each year.

Ross Nochumowitz joined them at Southwest Baltimore Charter School that day, to help celebrate teacher Lisa’s 30th birthday.

Ross was a familiar visitor to the school, and the students knew him
by name.

During recess, Ross stuck by the side of a little boy named Ian at the public city playground. Lisa noticed, but thought nothing of it.

Upon their return to the classroom, Ross started an activity with the students. They made a birthday card for Miss Dannenberg on a white board.

“Miss Dannenberg is sweet,” he wrote. “What else is sweet?”

They discussed their answers.

Ross wrote a few other comments on the board, leading to more discussion. Then he told them he had another question to write for the end of the birthday card. The students read the question aloud when he turned the board around.

“Will you marry me?” they read.

The students clapped and cheered as Ross dropped to his knee. But he told the class he didn’t have a ring and asked if any of the students did.

Ian, of course, came forward. Ross reached into the boy’s small pocket and pulled out a ring.

Then Paul and Amie Sue Nochumowitz entered the classroom after waiting in the hallway.

“The kids were so excited,” said Lisa, now 31. “They were telling everyone Miss Dannenberg got married in the classroom.”

They did marry a little over a year later, on July 11, 2015, at the Peabody Library in Mount Vernon. Rabbi Floyd Herman of Har Sinai Congregation officiated the traditional ceremony witnessed by 155 friends and family members.

Ross’ hair stylist was credited with setting them up on a blind date on April 1, 2013. After three hours at Hersh’s in Federal Hill, they realized they hadn’t ordered anything to eat.

“It seemed so natural,” said Lisa of their conversation. “It felt like I had known him forever.”

Two days later, they were dining out again, and unexpectedly Lisa met Ross’ parents. Regardless, the conversation flowed, unlike usual early dates with uncomfortable silences.

“I didn’t want to leave, it was that wonderful,” recalled Lisa.

They hung out the next night and went to an Orioles game the next. At the game, Ross asked Lisa to be his girlfriend. From then on, they were inseparable.

“I kept telling myself that this girl was too good for me,” said Ross, 30, owner of Baltimore in a Box, a Baltimore-themed care package company. “I wanted to lock it up while I had the chance.”

After their first date, Ross drove Lisa the 300 yards to her home. They hugged and she rushed out of the car. He thought that was a bad sign.

“I was nervous because I liked him,” Lisa said, who told her mother a week after their first meeting that there was “something different about him; I think I’m going to marry him”.

A Roller Coaster

Karen & Aaron  Becker First Meeting:  Camp Kanata (N.C.),  December 1987 Wedding Date:  Jan. 5, 1997 Venue:  Beth El Synagogue,  Durham, N.C. Current Residence:  Brookeville, Md. Favorite Activity:  Visiting museums

Karen & AaronBecker
First Meeting:
Camp Kanata (N.C.),
December 1987
Wedding Date:
Jan. 5, 1997
Venue:
Beth El Synagogue,
Durham, N.C.
Current Residence:
Brookeville, Md.
Favorite Activity:
Visiting museums

At a December 1987 Young Judea convention at Camp Kanata in Wake Forest, N.C., 16-year-old Aaron Becker noticed a cute, smiley girl.

“I remember her walking in the room, and I remember I was done. It was love at first sight,” said Aaron, about Karen Hurwitz.

They spent the weekend hanging out late into the night, listening to Billy Joel and talking.

With Aaron living in Upper Marlboro, Md., and Karen from Durham, N.C., they resorted to writing letters. Today, they boast a boxful.

At a convention the following March, they were inseparable. That’s when they shared their first kiss.

Each year, they attended three or four common events. A few times, they met at Kings Dominion in Doswell, Va. Both also attended Camp Tel Yehuda in Barryville, N.Y., in 1988 for four weeks.

But Aaron went to Rutgers University, they broke up. The next year, Karen headed to Washington University in St. Louis. By spring, they reunited. The next year, Aaron drove 17 hours to surprise her with a single red rose.

“I was young and in love,” said Aaron, now 43 and director of IT for Data Search.

During college, Aaron worked in the computer lab; he and Karen communicated every few days through a text-based messaging system.

Aaron graduated in 1994, and after a year in New York City enrolled at the University of Maryland for graduate school. Karen graduated in 1995 and took a job in Baltimore. It was the first time they were just 30 minutes apart, and their relationship intensified quickly.

“I never worried [about finally being together]. I expected it to be great,” Karen said. “We were best friends.”Aaron proposed in February 1996 during a weekend in Washington, D.C. He presented Karen with a few wedding planning books instead of a ring, which she would choose herself. They immediately drove to Nancy and Marty Becker’s home to tell them but resorted to leaving a note on the garage door. They also called Jean and Barrie Hurwitz in Durham.

They married Jan. 5, 1997 at Beth El Synagogue in Durham with Rabbi Steve Sager officiating.

Their three children all were born on holidays — Rachel on Veterans Day in 2000, Sam on Thanksgiving in 2002 and Noah on New Year’s Day in 2006.

Today, they reflect on the hectic schedule of activities and Hebrew School before life came to a halt in September 2013, when Sam, then 10, was diagnosed with bone cancer.

082115_beshert2After chemotherapy and surgeries, he is considered NED (no evidence of disease), and, aside from physical therapy and crutches, he enjoys a normal life.

Unlike families that become divided following cancer, the Beckers remain tightknit.

“We’ve always had a very strong relationship,” said Karen, 41, an English teacher at Rockville’s Magruder High School. “The three [children] enjoy each other more now and appreciate having each other around.”

The family summered at Camps Airy & Louise. Karen worked as a food services coordinator, and Aaron volunteered during the final three-week session while the kids were campers.

“I feel like our lives [have been] a roller coaster,” said Karen. “We are right there together, going through it all together.”

The Same for Everything

Barbara Chait &  Scott Jerome First Date:  December 1987 Owings Mills Mall Wedding Date:  Aug. 4, 1990 Venue:  Chestnut Ridge Country Club Residence:  Westminster, Md. Favorite Activity:  Relaxing and watching movies

Barbara Chait &
Scott Jerome
First Date:
December 1987
Owings Mills Mall
Wedding Date:
Aug. 4, 1990
Venue:
Chestnut Ridge Country Club
Residence:
Westminster, Md.
Favorite Activity:
Relaxing and watching movies

After four years as a physician’s assistant, Scott Jerome found himself back in Baltimore in December 1987 for a two-month medical residency. While running a 10K race, his brother’s friend told Scott that he had the perfect girl in mind for him.

So, Scott called Barbara Chait and left multiple messages.

Barbara was impressed by his diligence but failed to return his calls.

“I wasn’t interested in dating,” said Barbara, who had experienced a failed marriage. She had left a career as a child life specialist and turned to sales to earn enough money to support a family, whether or not she married again.

With the sixth call, Scott finally reached Barbara, who was heading to the mall. She suggested he meet her there, hoping to provide herself with an out if she didn’t like him.

Instead, he picked her up.

Scott paid for Barbara’s turkey sandwich. They had a playful afternoon, which included him trying on boas and jewelry.

They went out a few times, and Scott called early each week to schedule the next date, insisting she commit to a date before her schedule filled.

Scott failed to reveal he was a medical student, and today, Barbara insists if she knew she would not have dated him. She had worked in a hospital and dated her share of doctors. The long work hours didn’t fit for what she wanted for a husband.

Scott believed they were “clicking,” and after a rotation in Boston, he scheduled himself in Baltimore and York, P.A., to be near Barbara. After his graduation, he signed a contract for an internship in Dayton, Ohio. Barbara refused to join him, but she did visit every few weeks.

After a year, he readied for another year in Ohio. Barbara again refused to join him, so he opted out of his match and chose Sinai Hospital. After that year, he accepted the Ohio position.

He proposed during a trip to West Virginia, and they married Aug. 4, 1990 at Chestnut Ridge Country Club with Rabbi Jacob Max officiating. After a one-night honeymoon to the Inn at Perry Cabin in St. Michaels, Scott
returned to work at Sinai.

Scott’s cardiology fellowship took them to Detroit, where Hailey was born in 1995. Eric joined them in 1999.

As Scott’s medical career blossomed, Barbara served as domestic engineer, managing all aspects of the family and their Westminster home.

“One of the reasons he married me was because he knew I didn’t need him,” says Barbara, 60. “I could take care of things on my own.”

072415_beshert2Scott calls the driveway-and-in Barbara’s domain; the driveway-and-out is his.

“We fell into traditional roles even though it’s not the way we think,” said Scott, 57. “It’s more of a partnership. We never fight, and our belief systems are the same.”

They reflect on their 25 years together, which Barbara considers “unbelievable.”

“He’s a good guy. We respect each other, we trust each other.”

And Scott still elicits laughter 25 years later.

“I wouldn’t put it past him to put on a boa to make someone laugh.”

Best-Friend Quality

Britney & Yanni Niebuhr First Date:  September 2008 Where:  Texas Roadhouse  in Westminster Wedding Date:  May 24, 2015 Venue:  Valley Mansion  in Cockeysville Residence:  Mount Washington Favorite Activity:  Being active outdoors

Britney & Yanni Niebuhr
First Date:
September 2008
Where:
Texas Roadhouse
in Westminster
Wedding Date:
May 24, 2015
Venue:
Valley Mansion
in Cockeysville
Residence:
Mount Washington
Favorite Activity:
Being active outdoors

Britney Cohen and Yanni Niebuhr met in September 2008 on a blind date at the Texas Roadhouse restaurant in Westminster.

Britney was running late that night, but Yanni still waited the 45 minutes for her to fight traffic. Once together, the conversation flowed naturally, and before they knew it, nearly five hours had passed. They kept chatting though the table was cleared and the lights were turned off, and ultimately they were asked to leave the restaurant.

The next date, just as successful as the first, was at an Olive Garden and Yanni brought her a specially created CD of some favorite songs. They listened together in the car, but after about 90 minutes, the battery drained and Britney’s car failed to start.

The third date proved just as memorable and culminated with their first kiss in the pouring rain, just moments after Yanni asked Britney to be his girlfriend.

They became serious and professed their love that February. But at only 20 and 21 years old, they declared it best to finish college and start their careers; Yanni works in financial planning, and Britney is a regional technical recruiter.

In July 2013, the couple shared a week in Aruba. During their final night at a romantic beachside dinner complete with toes in the sand, they discussed marriage. Britney anticipated a thrilling proposal, but just the opposite happened.

Yanni explained his intention to propose, but financial constraints interfered. He told her a November or December wedding date was more realistic.

Disappointed, Britney put on a happy face and they returned home. Just a week later, on Yanni’s 25th birthday, the couple shared a special Rusty Scupper dinner with Britney’s siblings, Allison and Ryan, and Yanni’s sister, Kiki, and several other friends. The manager approached, wished Yanni a happy birthday
and suggested they go upstairs for champagne on the balcony and to take in the breathtaking sunset over Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

While Britney leaned over to adjust a shoe strap that Yanni swore was askew, she stood up to find Yanni on one knee holding an open ring box.

Britney was stunned. Tears streamed down her face and she couldn’t speak, but finally after a few minutes, she mustered, “Yes.”

The couple was married May 24, 2015 at the Valley Mansion in Cockeysville. The ceremony took place under a chuppah with ketubbah and glass breaking, and since Yanni is Greek Orthodox, Rabbi Gloria  Milner incorporated his family’s traditions into the ceremony, such as crowning and candle lighting. The reception was enjoyed by 150 guests and included a memorial table to Britney’s late father and Yanni’s late grandfather. Britney’s brother, Ryan, stood in for the father-daughter dance.

“Every single thing in this world is made better when I’m with her,” said Yanni, 27. “Ravens games, Oriole games, concerts and skiing are all more enjoyable when I’m with her. That’s absolutely essential for who you marry, spend the rest of your life with. They have to have the best-friend quality.”

Smash Hit

052215_beshert_nowIn March 1956 at the Y in Passaic, N.J., Sheila Aronowitz spotted a competitive pingpong match between “tall, dark and handsome” Danny Stern and another boy.

Sheila called for a match with the winner, then “destroyed” Danny.

Losing did not discourage Danny, who walked the “beautiful young” girl home, despite passing his house along the way.

Danny was a New York yeshiva student home only on weekends. Soon after, he found himself at a party, arranged just for him to attend with Sheila. They danced along with the others and sat down to rest. The lights went dark, and Danny planted a kiss on Sheila’s 14-year-old lips.

“I was so embarrassed,” she recalled.

Not yet 17, Danny needed his father, Aaron Stern, to drive them on dates. At evening’s end, he’d walk her to the porch and kiss her goodnight. Once, Sheila’s father, Herman Aronowitz, popped out to chat. After a long delay, Danny kissed Sheila in front of her father, who quickly retreated inside.

Danny and Sheila shared mutual friends and often attended fraternity, sorority and B’nai B’rith functions. They attended Yom Kippur evening dances, and Sheila’s friends knew she would not depart with them if Danny was there.

Both majored in English in college and dated others while apart. Whenever Danny returned home and saw Sheila with other guys, he would call and ask her out.

After six months in the National Guard, Danny drove by Sheila’s home in his new convertible only to find her with a date.

Again, he called.

“I knew he was going to call,” remarked Sheila. “He saw me with someone else. After that, he was very attentive.”

Neither remembers a proposal but do recall sitting in Danny’s car discussing the future. In spring 1963, Danny went to the diamond district; the ring was on Sheila’s finger by mid-April.

They married Dec. 22, 1963 at Ahavas Israel in Passaic with Rabbi Israel Gerstein officiating. They honeymooned in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Sheila & Danny Stern First Date:  A party, April 1956 Wedding Date:  Dec. 22, 1963  Venue:  Ahavas Israel, Passaic, N.J. Residence:  New Town, Owings Mills Favorite activity:  Volunteering, traveling

Sheila & Danny Stern
First Date:
A party, April 1956
Wedding Date:
Dec. 22, 1963
Venue:
Ahavas Israel, Passaic, N.J.
Residence:
New Town, Owings Mills
Favorite activity:
Volunteering, traveling

Sheila was a teacher and Danny worked for the Social Security Administration in New York. Children Jamie and Bobby arrived during their first few years of marriage, and Melissa was born in Baltimore after Danny’s transfer to Woodlawn.

They moved to Randallstown in 1971 and joined Beth Israel Congregation in 1976, marking the start of their extensive volunteer involvement. Today, Danny leads shiva and shul minyanim, and together they have served the synagogue and Jewish organizations locally, regionally and nationally.

“I’m busier now than when I worked full time, and I enjoy it more,” said Sheila, 73, referencing 25 years in the hotel carpet industry.

Aside from their volunteerism, they enjoy exercising, dining out and attending movies and theater. They also cherish time with their eight grandchildren, “the loves of our lives.”

This December will mark 52 years of marriage. Danny, 75, still kisses his wife goodbye each morning. Despite their hectic volunteer schedules, they look forward to evenings at home. And they always kiss goodnight and proclaim their love.

Forever Together

In November 2014, the former Esther Pines and her husband of 67 years, Louis Miller, moved to North Oaks in Pikesville. And they are having the time of their lives.

They attend lectures on contemporary Jewish issues, participate in exercise classes and use the fitness center. They love to walk, both inside and outside, and enjoy movies. They still hold hands while watching, just like during their courtship in 1947.

“We are certainly having a good life,” said Esther, 88.

Louis, 91, admits they still do everything together, from eating to lectures to going to bed. And they always kiss goodnight.

“It feels like it was yesterday,” said Louis about their meeting at a party in early 1947.

Louis took a liking to the attractive girl from East Baltimore. Esther, too, noted the good looks, tall height
and nice manners of the man from Northwest Baltimore.

After their first date to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus downtown, they went out to eat.

Their hand holding began that night at the circus, Esther’s first time at the spectacle. There was no kiss
on their first date, but Louis called immediately for a second date. He fondly recalls many hours talking away the night with Esther in her family’s living room after going to the movies, college parties or out to eat.

At a downtown restaurant one Saturday evening in late 1947, Louis asked Esther to marry him.

They wed on Sept. 26, 1948 at the Lord Baltimore Hotel. Rabbi Samuel Rosenblatt officiated, as 200 friends and family members looked on. Esther wore a long satin gown with cap sleeves and a long train along with full-length gloves and a full-length veil. She carried a family Bible with flowers. Louis looked dapper in fancy black tails.

After a week-long honeymoon in Niagara Falls, they returned to Esther’s parents’ home. In 1950, Ira was born. In 1951, they moved to their own Pikesville home, and in 1952, Susan joined them. Barbara rounded out the family in 1956.

Life was busy. Esther cared for the children and Louis worked selling waxes and mops to wholesalers for
Solarine. When Barbara turned 6, Esther began a teaching career that would span 25 years. In the meantime, Louis was a community activist, helping to get Wellwood Elementary School built. Eventually, he went to work for the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene until he retired at 72.

Summers were spent at the Silver Burch Swimming Club and traveling to Williamsburg, Va., Atlantic
City and Western Maryland. They enjoyed family dinners after the “Miller whistle” called them inside. Shabbos dinners were spent with the extended family and still are today.

They also had a tight group of friends, many of whom are still in touch today. Their inner circle joined them for dance lessons.

After 22 years at Seven Slade, they moved to North Oaks, where they happily attend Shabbos services.

The secret to a successful marriage is sticking together, according to Esther.

“Be nice to each other, and try to do things together,” said Louis. “I always say, ‘Take good care of each other.’”

A Kiss on My List

Genna & Josh Bross First Date:  March 2, 2013  Where:  Vino Volo in Bethesda Wedding Date:  Nov. 1, 2014 Venue:  Hotel Monaco in Baltimore Residence:  Columbia Favorite Activity:  Working out

Genna & Josh Bross
First Date:
March 2, 2013
Where:
Vino Volo in Bethesda
Wedding Date:
Nov. 1, 2014
Venue:
Hotel Monaco in Baltimore
Residence:
Columbia
Favorite Activity:
Working out

In February 2013, on a plane to Florida, Josh Bross sat next to a young engaged couple.

Josh, a Columbia native who had just moved to Baltimore after studying at the University of Maryland and in Southern California, confirmed he was Jewish, single and interested in meeting new people. The woman offered to set him up with one of her cute Jewish girlfriends.

She scrolled through photos and gave him Genna Bashoff’s phone number.

“I didn’t think anything would come of it,” admitted Genna, who viewed his Facebook profile but then forgot about it.

A week later, Josh left a voicemail, but she didn’t call back. Another week later, he texted. If she wanted, she could give him a call.

After visiting family in Baltimore, Genna called. They spoke for two hours. The next night, they spoke for four hours.

On March 2, Josh met Genna at Vino Volo, a small wine lounge in Bethesda. They chatted comfortably as nearby tables turned over. Then, they detoured to a neighboring restaurant. Before Josh caught a cab to his brother’s home in Washington, he delivered a quick kiss to Genna.

The next night, they watched “Undercover Boss” at Genna’s. They spoke nearly every day from then on and felt like they had known each other for years.

After the second date, Josh hugged Genna for what seemed like five minutes.

“At that point, I knew there was something different about her,” said Josh, 37, a chiropractor and owner of a Columbia sports chiropractic practice.

“We had a connection immediately,” agreed Genna, 30, a recruiting operations lead for a government contracting company.

They enjoyed spending time with their families and meeting each other’s friends. In August, they
professed their love during a trip along the California coast, and in December, they moved in together.

They returned to Los Angeles the next May and, after a sushi lunch, headed to the Griffith Park Observatory. As Genna photographed the breathtaking rooftop view, Josh knelt down behind her.

Genna was so stunned that she doesn’t remember Josh proposing. Her heart was racing, and she recalls seeing a flash and hugging him but nothing else. A few days later, Josh knelt down again to provide a memory.

They married six months later at the Hotel Monaco in Baltimore with 140 friends and family members attending. Before the traditional ceremony, Cantor Jan Morrison officiated the emotional ketubbah signing along with Eve and Saul Bashoff, Audrey and Joe Bross, the bridal party attendants and other family members.

Guests were gifted with bags of Southwest Airlines peanuts in honor of the couple’s connection.

Before they met, Genna had written a list of all of the qualities required for the perfect mate. The morning of their wedding, she shared her list with Josh.

“He is everything I wrote on the list,” she said. “People made fun of me, but I was holding out hope. He was everything I was looking for.”

Love Grows

1954

1954

Hy was part of a group of Jewish singles who planned monthly dances at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. He and a friend formed a planning committee, and Eileen became secretary.

The first dance was held just after the High Holidays in fall 1953, and Hy encouraged his friends to date the attractive and pleasant girl. Hy was intrigued to hear about the impressive portrait of Eileen hanging over the piano in her carpeted living room.

Eileen agreed to a triple date with Hy and two other couples in December 1953. The group saw “Melba” at the Little Theater on Howard Street and then grabbed a bite to eat.

Upon returning to her Pimlico home, Hy walked Eileen to the door and kissed her. She laughed, thinking of the irony of him giving her number to so many others first.

“She laughed in my face,” recalled Hy, now 89, with a smile. “She’s still laughing today!”

As they dated, they spent many evenings together in that Pimlico living room. Hy worked full time as a law firm clerk, attended law school at night and participated in study s
essions after class. Some nights, he didn’t appear at Eileen’s door until the 11 o’clock news began.

Eileen’s mom chastised them, reminding Eileen of her secretarial job that awaited in the morning. Then, the nocturnal Hy headed out to the diner.

“I liked him; he was easy to talk to,” said Eileen, now 83.

At Eileen’s 23rd birthday on June 3, 1954, Hy gave her a Percy Faith Orchestra record. Then he escorted her outside. He looked into her eyes and handed her a diamond ring.

“Hy, you’re crazy!” Eileen exclaimed before the tears came.

They waited to marry until after Hy passed the bar exam, which he took that July. He later served as a general election judge.

Rabbi Morris Lieberman and Cantor Joseph Rosenfeld performed the ceremony on Nov. 7, 1954. The couple honeymooned in California with first-class airfare and other expenses “comped” through connections from Eileen’s job with United Airlines. They even toured Disneyland’s pre-opening.

2015

2015

Daughter Jill was born in December 1957. By then, Hy was in full swing with his own law practice. Eileen stayed home with Jill and son Brent, born in 1961.

Eileen returned to work part time, then full-time, before retiring from Roland Park Place in 2008 after 22 years. Hy continued to practice law until two years ago, although his license remains current. They moved to North Oaks, an independent community, a few years ago. Hy is active as vice president of the Residents’ Association, and the former Navy officer volunteers at the North Oaks Health Center, keeping residents company. Eileen is content with reading and her book club.

Today, they reflect on the ups and downs of their 60-year marriage, including the loss of Brent to childhood leukemia at just 6 years old.

“The best thing that ever happened to me was meeting and marrying Eileen,” said Hy. “I love her more now than I did when we married.”

At First Ping

Shelby & Mike Albo First Date:  August 2008, New York City Wedding Date:  Oct. 25, 2014 Venue:  Temple Oheb Shalom Residence:  New York City Favorite Activity:  Traveling

Shelby & Mike Albo
First Date:
August 2008, New York City
Wedding Date:
Oct. 25, 2014
Venue:
Temple Oheb Shalom
Residence:
New York City
Favorite Activity:
Traveling

In summer 2008, Shelby Leigh Streimer and Mike Albo found themselves on a group chat with a mutual friend through BlackBerry Messenger.

Mike was traveling through Europe and Shelby was preparing to do the same. As they chatted over the next few months, Mike suggested hostels and museums. The chats became more playful. Shelby was in Italy and looked Mike up on Facebook. She “liked what she saw.”

At summer’s end, they met in New York, along with their mutual friend.

“The moment I saw him, my heart skipped a beat,” said Shelby, 28.

The following night, they dined alone at a Mexican restaurant. Over the next six weeks, they traveled back and forth from her native Baltimore and his Marlboro, N.J. They met each other’s parents and enjoyed their time together.

In September, Shelby moved to Australia to pursue a dance career. Before she departed, Mike professed his love. Shelby held back, not wanting to make it harder to leave.

“I felt it but didn’t say it,” she admitted.

They spoke through Skype daily. Mike suggested meeting over the winter holidays, and they chose Fiji.

There, Shelby told Mike she loved him.

A continent apart, they tried to remain realistic, not speaking about the future and not discussing other people in their lives.

“It was hard,” noted Mike, 28, now in ad sales for Amazon. “It wasn’t 100 percent that she was coming home. I didn’t want to put myself through the mental roller coaster if she wasn’t staying.”

They concentrated on what they could look forward to, like Mike’s spring visit to Australia.

In June, Shelby returned home to renew her visa. Her parents were at the airport and so was Mike.

“It was then that I realized this was real, something stronger than love and something worth trying,” she said.

Shelby moved back and took a job in New York with a teen tour company. (She’s now a South Pacific travel specialist.) Mike was working for Ralph Lauren. They lived 20 blocks apart and for the first time pursued a traditional relationship.

They enjoyed shows, dinners, football and hockey, no longer needing to Skype.

In September 2013, after a morning spin class, they met at a rooftop park across the street. Alongside a set table with sunflowers, their favorite bagel sandwiches and a bottle of champagne, Mike knelt down and asked Shelby to marry him. They called their parents, all of whom seemed surprised. When they returned home, all were waiting to celebrate.

They were married at Temple Oheb Shalom on Oct. 25, 2014 in a ceremony officiated by Rabbi Steven Fink. About 230 guests witnessed their personally written vows and enjoyed special touches like a live painter and a cookie truck.

For the night’s last song, “Love Runs Out,” Mike and Shelby hopped onstage, belted out the lyrics and took in the sight of those closest to them dancing in celebration.

They reflect on their meeting by BlackBerry.

“It was love at first ping,” said Shelby.

Just Blessed

Sue & Herb  Garten First Date:  June 1947, to the Summit Club Wedding Date:  Dec. 25, 1949 Venue:  The Fedder Home, Baltimore Residence:  The Colonnade, Baltimore Favorite Activity:  Spending time with family

Sue & Herb
Garten
First Date:
June 1947, to the Summit Club
Wedding Date:
Dec. 25, 1949
Venue:
The Fedder Home, Baltimore
Residence:
The Colonnade, Baltimore
Favorite Activity:
Spending time with family

When Susan Fedder met Herb Garten in June 1947, she was taken aback. He was bright and ahead of himself in his thinking, and he had a nice build and a wonderful personality.

But “nice Jewish girls didn’t go out with soldiers,” she recalled.

Herb, too, was impressed with the nice looking, charming Southern lady from Baltimore.

After dinner and dancing at the Summit Club, Herb tried to kiss Sue. But she turned away, joking today that she felt he was “an aggressive New Yorker.”

On their second date, while in the driveway at Suburban Country Club, someone drove into the side of Herb’s car. He took Sue to an emergency physician across the street, and when he took her home, he parked the car on the opposite side of the street so her parents would not see the damage. Instead of “balling him out,” Bess Fedder served him something to eat.

They saw each other weekends all summer, while Herb was stationed at Fort Meade for a seven-week advanced ROTC training program before he returned north for his senior year at Syracuse University. They professed their love early and took turns visiting each other.

Herb enrolled in law school in New York but transferred to the University of Maryland after one year to be near Sue. They decided to marry and did so on Dec. 25, 1949 at the Fedder home. Rabbi Samuel Rosenblatt officiated the Orthodox ceremony, witnessed by 70 friends and family members.

The young couple lived with her parents for five years, except for their summer at the University of Michigan, where Herb took law classes to accelerate his graduation prior to reporting for Army duty in January 1951. He was assigned to teach military justice to new recruits in Pennsylvania; Sue stayed in Baltimore.

In the meantime, Sue commuted to Towson State Teacher’s College (now Towson University) via three streetcars and a bus. She was set to graduate that spring but was unwelcome as her “pregnancy was unsightly.” She would finally graduate onstage in 2010 and was written about in the “Chronicle of Higher Education.”

Lynne was born in 1951 and Larry in 1952. Alan followed in 1955, and then came Ilene in 1960 and Maury in 1967. The large family sustained its ups and downs, including the loss of Lynne to congenital heart problems at 14, and Larry to cancer nine years ago.

010915_beshert2After one year of military teaching, Herb returned to Baltimore and joined the family law firm, now Fedder & Garten Professional Association. At 85, he continues to work full time, alongside three of their children and one of their six grandchildren.

As Herb’s law career blossomed, so did Sue’s work in antique jewelry sales. After selling on consignment for years, she became the owner of Heirloom Jewels, which operated until her retirement eight years ago. She enjoyed buying trips and was featured on “Antique Road Show.”

As a family, they enjoyed vacations to Disney World and ski trips to Aspen, Colo.

Looking over at her husband of 65 years, Sue still calls him her sweetheart.

“We’ve been just very blessed,” said Sue, 84.