BONNIE

After being in the National Guard and working at Bigelow Motors, I met a fellow named Eddie Palansar. He also liked automotive and we talked about going into business. I said that would be a good idea. But I kept working at Bigelow Motors. Then one day a friend of mine said that they were going to go on a hayride and he knew this girl, a friend of his girlfriend Jerry, that would go on a hayride with me and I’d go on a blind date. I said that would be fine and I had bought a straw cowboy hat. Picked up this young lady named Bonnie Strouse and took her on a hayride. Well she made a lasting impression and after the hayride I asked her out. We start going together and she lives on Fabian Place in Newark and I lived on Wainwright Street. Then one day I said to my mother, “I really like this girl. I’d like to get engaged to her and ask her to marry me.” My mother said, “Okay I’ll take you to this jewelry store that we have friends in.” That friend had a store on Broadway in Bloomfield. And we went there and we bought a ring and I proposed to Bonnie. We consequently got married. 

When Bonnie and I were married in the Clinton Manor in Newark, the rabbi that bar mitzvah’d me, I had called upon to marry us. Well, we were all gathered at the Clinton Manor, and we were waiting for the rabbi to arrive. And as time passed, no rabbi. We called, and we couldn’t make contact. So, a cousin of mine who was invited to the wedding, Rabbi Klein, was there. And I told him all of our predicament, and he graciously said that he had a license to marry us in New Jersey. So, he went ahead and married us, and our rabbi never showed up. He had gone to a party, and forgot all about coming to our wedding. And for years, I always kid my wife, and told my children that we weren’t really legally married, because Rabbi Klein wasn’t licensed to marry in New Jersey. But that was just a big joke that I used to play on Bonnie to get her goat.

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