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May 3, 2004



Since everyone who wasn't already married apparently got married this weekend (except ole ADM, of course), it seems timely to discuss one of the parts of the NYT that just isn't as good online as it is in person: the Vows section, which summarizes the nuptials of various notable and unnotable people. It's usually investment bankers marrying legal assistants, but the editorial staff has the good sense to sprinkle in one or two oddball marriages each week.

Although this week the Times longest "Vows" article covers a couple who met in Antarctica (he's Roxy Music's manager, she's a lawyer), the true highlight of the section is, without a doubt, the story of Marsha Wolfman and Henry Druckerman, aged 66 and 67, respectively. Believe me, it's worth reading to the end:

Marsha Mae Wolfman and Henry George Druckerman are to be married today in Laurel Hollow, N.Y., at the home of Jacqueline Shapiro and Dr. Michael Shapiro, the bride's daughter and son-in-law.

The bride and bridegroom became friends as children in the early 1940's in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, where they lived...The youngsters graduated from Erasmus Hall High School, where they remained friends but never dated.

Mr. Druckerman was a guest at Ms. Wolfman's wedding two years after graduation. But then they lost touch. "She was a married lady starting to raise a family in Queens, and I was a young kid in Brooklyn," he remembered. In the four decades that followed, they did not meet or talk, he said. In 1968, he married, later moving with his wife and children to Miami.

Both marriages ended in divorce only weeks apart in 1996. Mr. Druckerman recalled that one day in spring 1999, after he had relocated to New York, a Web advertisement popped onto his computer screen, claiming that it could "find almost anyone."

"On a lark, I decided to see if I could find my old Brooklyn pal Marsha," he said.

He knew only the address where she had once lived and her husband's first and last names. The site yielded the telephone number and address of her former husband, who, after receiving assurances that Mr. Druckerman was indeed an old friend, gave him Ms. Wolfman's new phone number. "I called Marsha immediately" and left a message, Mr. Druckerman said.

She did not respond right away. "I was in Boston at the time," she said. "When I heard his name, I thought, 'This is going to change my life.' I waited a day or two to get home and catch my breath."

The relationship that followed was punctuated repeatedly by proposals of marriage by Mr. Druckerman over the next five years. But all were rebuffed. [OK, now, pay attention...here it comes! -adm] "I was inclined to accept Hank's proposals," Ms. Wolfman said, but she believed she would lose her Social Security benefits.

Finally, this February, Mr. Druckerman called Social Security to complain that its rules were interfering with his marriage plans. But the agent told him that he and Ms. Wolfman were mistaken: she could continue collecting benefits.

He hung up the phone, then proposed yet again, and -- no longer fearing the cessation of her Social Security payments -- she said yes.

This is exactly the kind of anecodote about true love that everyone loves to hear during the best man's toast.

categories: NYC
posted by adm at 2:00 AM | #