It was the spring of 1946, Joe had just graduated from Horace Mann High school in Gary, Indiana. He was walking home when he saw his buddy Bill and a pretty young blonde girl.
“Hey Bill”, Joe called out, “what are you up to?” Bill and the blonde came across the street to meet Joe. Bill had graduated a year earlier and looked handsome in his Army greens. Bill said, “Hey Joe, I want you to meet Mary. She lives over on Rutledge Street.” Joe nodded and said, “I’m Joe.”
Bill said, “How about we go downtown to the Goldblatts and get a soda.” “Sure, that sounds great”, replied Joe. Joe couldn’t take his eyes off Mary, and it didn’t go unnoticed by her.
Joe was wearing his ROTC uniform, which had a few medals dangling from his left breast pocket. One was for being the best shot on the rifle team which won the state championship a year earlier. Joe was planning on entering the Air Force, but right now, he wanted to celebrate with his best buddy and this new gal.
Goldblatts was in the middle of downtown Gary at 3rd and Main street, so it wasn’t a long walk, but being spring there was a chill in the air. Joe asked, “Mary, are you cold? Here, let me put my jacket over you.” “Thank you, Joe,” said Mary, touching his hand.
When they arrived at the Goldblatts soda counter, Joe said “Since I just graduated, I’m buying”. The 3 sodas came to a total of 75 cents.
That was the first time they met, and they were married 3 years later.
It will be 65 years this May that Joe & Mary are still together with 4 children, 9 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. They’re moving a little slower these days, but still enjoy life and are grateful for all of life’s good fortune.
So the next time you see Joe and Mary, buy them a soda!