Opposites Attract

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(Photo provided)

Julian and Paulyne Hyman

First Date: April 1952
Wedding Date: Aug. 31, 1952
Venue: Lord Baltimore Hotel
Residence: Greenspring Valley
Favorite Activities: traveling, spending time with family, spending time at their shore house

The spark of opportunity almost blew out before it ignited Julian and Paulyne Hyman’s whirlwind romance.

On April 2, 1952, Julian brought a date to a Phoenix Club dance on Eutaw Place. His friend, however, had brought a girl named Paulyne to the dance that night, and he wanted Julian to meet her. Julian didn’t want to appear rude to his date, so he danced once with Paulyne.

As they danced, Paulyne told Julian about her home life, sailing and fishing on the Magothy River. Afterwards, Julian told his friend, “She’s a girl scout.” The friend insisted: “Call her. Ask her out.”

Under some duress, Julian called. Paulyne, for her part, says when Julian called she “didn’t remember who he was.”

That spring evening in 1952, neither Julian nor Paulyne would have guessed they’d marry each other in four months.

“We met in April, got engaged in May and married in August,” said Paulyne.

“We almost didn’t make it,” Julian said, remembering their first disagreement. “We were down the shore, swimming on a sand bar. I looked at her and said, ‘My gosh, you’ve got muscles on your arms!’ She said, ‘It’s off!’ She thought it was an insult.”

“In those days, girls didn’t have muscles,” Paulyne said. “Now it’s popular.”

Julian and Paulyne married at the Lord Baltimore Hotel on Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31, 1952. The room where they married is now The French Kitchen. “We ate there not long ago; they took our picture because we were married there.”

The couple honeymooned in Bermuda, staying at what Paulyne said was a gorgeous hotel. The marriage outlasted the honeymoon hotel: When the Hymans revisited Bermuda on a 65th anniversary cruise given to them by their daughter and son-in-law, “we went looking for the hotel,” said Julian, “and it wasn’t there.”

For years, Julian worked in his family’s importing business, National Fashions Corporation, and Paulyne raised their two children, Elisa and Steven.

When Julian was 70, “he liquidated the business but wasn’t ready to retire,” said his son, Steven Hyman, who at that point worked with his father in the family business. Julian told Steven, “Let’s look for an opportunity.” Julian wanted Paulyne to join them in the business. At an age when most people retire, Julian and Paulyne purchased a business, Global Messenger, with their son, and ran it for another quarter century.

“He had his niche and she had her niche,” Steven said. “She is good with customer relations and sales. He was good with the books and financial aspects.”

When Julian was diagnosed with cancer at 92, their children encouraged them to sell their house and move to a retirement community. They almost did, but Julian recovered fully. The retirement community recently called Paulyne to ask if they still wanted a spot. Paulyne told them, “We’re doing well.”

In fact, they were doing so well that Julian worked full days, five days a week, until he was 95, when he went into semi-retirement. Julian, now 98, devotes his time to writing and promoting his book, “U Can Save Our World,” which details his lifelong dream of making the world a better place for future generations. (See JT, Aug. 3, for more about the book.)

Paulyne, now 89, plays tennis and will wake up at 4 a.m. to go fishing with friends, pulling in 20-pound rockfish. For her 86th birthday, Paulyne’s son took her jet skiing across the Chesapeake Bay. “She was on her own jet ski, going up to 40 miles an hour,” said Steven. “We went to Rock Hall for lunch,” Paulyne remembered, smiling.

In the Hymans’ marriage, “I’ve got the brawn, he’s got the brains,” said Paulyne. “We complement each other, but I’m independent, he’s independent. We bounce off each other, and we each do what we enjoy.”

“We’re partners,” said Julian. “If something comes up, we know the other one will back us up.”

Julian and Paulyne have learned a few lessons in their 66-year marriage: “Don’t expect the other to be an angel, and give it your best,” Julian advised. Paulyne agreed and said a good partnership is “a lotta give and a lotta take.”

“We’ve been lucky with our children,” said Julian. “We have wonderful, supportive children.”

“We’re here for them, they’re here for us,” agreed Paulyne.

“I look at my parents and they’re the perfect example of opposites attract,” said Steven. “My mother is extroverted, bubbly and athletic. My father is the rock, the glue that holds us all together.”

His sister Elisa Hyman Schwartz agreed: “What I learned from them,” she said, “I’m passing on those values to my children.”

Those values include knowing that “life is unpredictable and does not always go as planned,” said Schwartz. “But our family has been most fortunate because we have each other and are always there to give a helping hand. That is truly what our family is all about.”

Erica Rimlinger is a local freelance writer.

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