More than 10,000 years of love at Brooklyn Borough Hall
Celebrating some very special Valentines
A gaily decked-out Borough Hall was filled with close to 200 of Brooklyn’s “Golden Couples” on Friday, as Borough President Eric Adams celebrated romances that have lasted for 50 years or more.
“This is one of our favorite events,” said BP Adams. “This year we have a combined commitment of over 10,241 years of love.”
“The secret is you just stay in love,” said Sara Hill, who has been married to her sweetheart – who was sporting a smart red bow tie — for 68 years. “We do so many things together – we go to church together, we just enjoy each other,” she added.
Ms. Hill said she met Wm. Douglas (he uses the spelling of Wm. instead of William) in the Woolworth five and dime on Fulton Street between Bedford and Nostrand Avenues.
“I was buying a Valentine’s card,” she laughed. “For somebody else.”
The couple has lived in the Marcy Houses in Bedford Stuyvesant for 68 years. “We’re the longest there – we’re the longest everything,” she said.
Frank and Minnie Barnes have been married for 51 years. The secret is “being committed,” Frank said. “We work hard at it.”
He added, “She was a beautiful young lady – kind, honest. I respected her.”
Esther and Jerry Zeller are celebrating 50 years of marriage. The couple has eight children – all girls – and 13 grandchildren.
Esther said she told her mother after the couple’s first date, “This is the guy I’m going to marry.”
Jerry said he is retired from ABC, where he worked for 50 years.
“He won four Emmys,” Esther said. Jerry confirmed that he won his Emmys for “outstanding individual achievement in video techniques.”
“Now I do the wash, take out the garbage and make breakfast,” he cracked.
Joan and Sam Mazza have been married for 61 years, after meeting at a dance on Feb. 22, 1951. The secret, said Joan, is communication.
“And when you have a disagreement, making up is great!” she added.
The couple together for the longest was Edith and Martin Starr, with 72 years. Deputy BP Diana Reyna applauded them and asked them what their secret was.
“Patience,” said Edith.
Reyna, who has been married 13 years, said her mother gave advice to her the day she got married. “Tolerance, patience and passion for one another. How many of you are still passionate in your relationship?” she asked. After applause broke out, she said, “I don’t know, I see more women clapping than the men. What’s in that food?”
Couples had their portraits taken at the photo booth, danced to the sounds of the Cliff Lee Plus Three band, and ate delicious meals served by wait staff for Comfort Foods. Adams led a sparkling wine toast.
The number of Brooklynites over the age of 65 is expected to grow by almost 75,000 in the next four years, Adams said. He described several borough programs for seniors, including “Five at 55: Important Documents,” curbside cutouts near senior centers, and clinics teaching ways to avoid deed and credit fraud.
“People prey on our seniors – they ask for your credit card number, bank number.” To combat this abuse, Borough Hall provides an elder law clinic and a technology clinic for seniors, Adams said.
The event was sponsored by Health First, Target, Investors Bank and Fresh Direct.