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2008-05-21 08:44
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

During and immediately after the War there was precious little work to be found in Belgium, so my mother's father, a man's man in the Ted Williams mold (although far more reserved), who had a considerable amount of wanderlust, moved his young family to the Congo, where my ma lived from the time she was three (1947) until she was a teenager.  I learned about my father's family, from Russia and Poland respectively, mostly through the oral tradition, endless stories, and even some writings.  But I learned about my mother's family chiefly through photographs and 8 mm home movies, a) because of the language barrier (they speak broken English, I speak broken French), and b) because they took an extraordinary amount of pictures.  You can imagine how exotic it was to me as a kid to see photographs of my mom in Africa.  "You grew up there and you wound up in the suburbs?" I used to kid her when I was a wise-ass teenager.  

As it turns out, my mom and dad met in Addis Ababa, of all places.  1966.  My father was there working as a production manager on a National Geographic Special on Africa.  My mother was there with a group of friends, making a short documentary for graduate school about their trip from Northern Africa down to Ethipia. 

Dig this.  Which one you think is Ma Dooke?

And here's the old man, in full Elliott Gould mode:

 

So, where did your folks meet?

Comments
2008-05-21 09:17:01
1.   Bob Timmermann
Mom and Dad met a wedding in St. Louis in 1953 I believe.

My mom's mom met her husband at a yeast factory in St. Louis in 1924.

My dad's mom and dad were likely fixed up in their small town in Illinois.

2008-05-21 09:25:16
2.   murphy
ca. 1963, CYO dance, Rahway, NJ.

doomed from the start. : )

2008-05-21 09:28:14
3.   Raf
My folks knew each other in the same village in Honduras; Triunfo de la Cruz
2008-05-21 09:37:57
4.   standuptriple
Mom and Pop were both Army brats. My dad's younger sis and my mom were best friends growing up, but he never paid much attention to her until he returned from Vietnam.
2008-05-21 09:46:10
5.   Shaun P
My parents met at a bowling alley in Rochester, NY, on May 17, 1973. My dad was there to bowl in a tournament. My mom was there to watch a friend bowl in the same tournament. You know, for all times I've heard that story, I've never asked what the name of the place was, or if it still exists.

By pure chance, my wife and I ended up having our first date on May 17th in 2001. A bowling alley was not involved, however, and we had known each other going back to our college days.

2008-05-21 09:53:25
6.   ms october
my mom and dad met in iowa city at the university
the sort of unusual part is my mom is indian - from india and my dad grew up in detroit in a working class, mostly irish neighborhood - so that they met in iowa of all places is sort of funny (to us at least)
2008-05-21 10:06:10
7.   Josh Wilker
My dad busted a move after a Cooper Union lecture on art and psychology.
2008-05-21 10:29:18
8.   e double trouble
on a bus between New York and Boston (1968?)
2008-05-21 10:35:37
9.   unmoderated
dad was a new jersey city boy looking for the country.

mom was a tiny upstate NY girl looking for the city.

hilarity ensued.

2008-05-21 10:44:16
10.   Alex Belth
Cooper Union? Jersey City? Rahway? Iowa city? This is too much fun. Thanks for the comments.
2008-05-21 11:13:52
11.   bobtaco
Blind date, Brooklyn, NY - New Year's Eve, 1966.

Engaged the day Robert Kennedy was shoot.

Honeymoon during the Moon Landing.

2008-05-21 11:14:38
12.   SXMYanksfan
My folks met in Tortola (one of the British virgin Islands). My dad was on a sales call training that day. It was through the persuasion of his trainee in the field who pushed him to visit one more house to sell insurance to her parents (my dad was tired and wanted to go home for the day). After agreeing to go; my dad saw my mom at the house and "closed the deal". Oh, and he did also sell the insurance policy to my grandparents as well.
2008-05-21 11:17:14
13.   ny2ca2dc
Me Ma met me Pa in college, at Fordham. Michael Kay was not a classmate. She met me current Pa in San Francisco, I think it was a blind date. When she first brought him around, he tried to impress my twin brother and me (about 8-9 years old at the time) by showing us electronics - resistors, diodes, lights and switches, etc. It totally worked.
2008-05-21 11:18:28
14.   Start Spreading the News
My folks were an arranged marriage. They met in Delhi, talked for 30 minutes and agreed to marry. Engagement was 3 days later and the wedding a week later. This March was the 37 year anniversary.
2008-05-21 11:30:48
15.   Repoz
Dad...Westies alcoholic turned Jersey fireman meets half-eyetalian babe in Hudson.

Grandparents better...Hell's kitchen prostitute gets pregnicized by drunky sailor, then marries top mob honchi...moves to Scranton to run gambling/prosti ops.

2008-05-21 11:38:47
16.   JL25and3
14 Wow - they managed to arrange an Indian wedding in a week?
2008-05-21 11:40:35
17.   AbbyNormal821
Barry & Phyllis met at a fraternity party 1960. It was a party that she almost didn't go to as she'd already been out 3 nights in a row as it was during the Christmas break. Her dad was somewhat annoyed with her for going, but that's what 16 year olds do, right?

Mom's best friend, Betsy met up with here and they were taking the bus to the party along with a few other friends. When she got to neighborhood where the party was, it was quiet, and dark (she told me it was Christmas Day evening, so all the stores were closed,e etc.)

Since she and her friends were not familiar with the area that the party was in they were about to turn around and head back to their neighborhood when a young man approached them and asked if they were looking for the fraternity party and they said yes. He was kind enough to escort them to the party as he was going there too.

While at the party, mom's best friend is talking with this young man, who was hitting his head with a toy hammer (what a card!)

The record changed to a slow dance (it was a Paul Anka song, although mom can't remember the name, but it was very romantic. The man talking with mom's friend walked over to my mother and asked her to dance.

...as they say - the rest is history. They married December 26th, 1964 - ironically, four years and one day after the anniversary of when they met....aaaaaw!) Big brother Glenn born in '66 and my twin sister & I born in '68. They'll be married 44 years this year.

2008-05-21 11:55:57
18.   AbbyNormal821
Barry & Phyllis met at a fraternity party 1960. It was a party that she almost didn't go to as she'd already been out 3 nights in a row as it was during the Christmas break. Her dad was somewhat annoyed with her for going, but that's what 16 year olds do, right?

Mom's best friend, Betsy met up with here and they were taking the bus to the party along with a few other friends. When she got to neighborhood where the party was, it was quiet, and dark (she told me it was Christmas Day evening, so all the stores were closed, etc.)

Since she and her friends were not familiar with the area that the party was in they were about to turn around and head back to their neighborhood when a young man approached them and asked if they were looking for the fraternity party and they said yes. He was kind enough to escort them to the party as he was going there too.

While at the party, mom's best friend is talking with this young man, who was hitting his head with a toy hammer (what a card!)

The record changed to a slow dance (it was a Paul Anka song, although mom can't remember the name, but it was very romantic.) The man talking with mom's friend walked over to my mother and asked her to dance. The dude was my dad....

...as they say - the rest is history. They married December 26th, 1964 - ironically, four years and one day after the anniversary of when they met....aaaaaw!) Big brother Glenn born in '66 and my twin sister & I born in '68. They'll be married 44 years this year.

2008-05-21 11:56:22
19.   AbbyNormal821
...CRAP! Y'all didn't need to read this twice!
2008-05-21 12:13:42
20.   Simone
My mother and biological father met during carnival in Trinidad, West Indies. Wild dancing and lots of alcohol were involved. I was born nine months later.
2008-05-21 12:13:58
21.   Raf
13 Having dated women with children, I have found that if the kids like you, she will as well :)
2008-05-21 12:20:24
22.   Schteeve
French class at Fordham.
2008-05-21 12:21:47
23.   Schteeve
oh and they got married on the Day of Woodstock at st. pats cathedral.
2008-05-21 12:28:06
24.   JL25and3
To get back to baseball for a second...I liked this quote from Jeter, reported at LoHud by Brian Heyman: Derek Jeter was asked after the game about the reeling Yankees possibly needing a team meeting. "We have meetings," the captain said. "People say things. Things have been said."

Good old Derek. Wouldn't say shit if he had a mouthful.

2008-05-21 12:34:00
25.   Knuckles
Mine started dating in sophomore or junior year of high school. Class president and class secretary, wide receiver and art director for the yearbook, most likely to succeed and nicest smile/disposition/somesuch. Like a Mellencamp song or something.

They then proceeded to be very happy and successful, and produced some very good looking kids.

2008-05-21 12:42:41
26.   joe in boston
Great topic Alex, as usual. Anything to get our minds off of this team of ours !

My folks met at GE - Schenectady, NY. (As my dad used to call it "Generous Electric").

Dad started in the mail room at 16, worked his way up to management. Met my mom (secretary) when they were both in their late 20s. Late, in those days, for marriage .... but it worked !

2008-05-21 12:49:28
27.   randym77
My parents met in kindergarten at age 5. They still have the class photo in our family album.

They didn't actually start dating until they were 15, and sophomores in high school. My mom's father was kind of a jerk, and though my mother was very pretty, few guys dared to call her because of her father. My dad was the only who persisted. (He claims he chased her until he got caught.)

2008-05-21 13:51:29
28.   Franl Leja
Where did Kei Igawa's parents meet? Why did they risk having offspring?
2008-05-21 14:34:30
29.   Cliff Corcoran
I'm late to the party here, but my folks met as camp councilors during college. My mom was a suburban NJ girl who always loved nature, and my dad was a kid from the Staten Island projects who was looking to escape the city. Mom went to Montclair State. Dad went to Cooper Union. The camp was in Sussex County, NJ.

My dad met his second wife at a divorced-singles-type mixer. Ironically, they both hated the event. I think they actually met because they both left early and bumped into each other on the way out.

2008-05-21 17:42:47
30.   Ken Arneson
My dad had just gotten out of the US military in the early 60s, and was visiting his sister in Kumla, Sweden. He went to a dance one night and met my mom. Because my dad spoke perfect Swedish but was wearing American clothes and shoes and eyeglasses, my mom thought he was a spy.
2008-05-21 17:44:40
31.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Way late as well but here goes. My Dad left the sticks of Addison,NY (near Corning) for the big bad NYC when he was 20. My Mom (whose parents were immigrants from India) left the Carbbean island paradise of Trinidad&Tobago for NYC when she was 22, the year was 1963. She took a job babysitting for a single mother (my dad's older sister, who was a Communist..long story..) My pop took one look at this "exotic, dark beauty" and thought "I've never seen a woman like that in Addison"...they married a year later.

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