Leo And Lillian Shargel Knew They'd Be Spending Life Together After They Met.
They dated for just three months and on July 12, 2012 one Long Island couple celebrated 70 years of marriage. Leo and Lillian Shargel’s love story started with a blind date back on April 5, 1942, and a few months later, they rushed down the aisle due to Leo’s three-year U.S. Army deployment. Lillian’s cousin invited the both of them to meet her at her home in Middle Village, Queens.
That’s when Leo, now 95, said he knew instantly that he and Lillian, 91, would spend the rest of their lives together.
So what is their secret? Well, there really isn’t one, according to Leo. “You don’t plan it. You don’t know if it’s going to be 70 years or seven days. Thank God we fell in love with each other and as lovers remained ever since,” he told 1010 WINS. The couple said the key to a long marriage starts with never thinking of leaving as an option and never carrying a grudge, CBS 2′s Emily Smith reported. “You can’t plan a life — it just can’t be done. Things happen — up and down whatever — the troubles we’ve been in, financial trouble, but we overcame them together. We had no intention of not sticking together. We never gave it a thought of being separated — never,” Leo said.
The Shargels have two children — Jerry and Judy — along with five grandchildren, ranging in age from 25 to 40, and nine great grandchildren, the youngest of which is just 8 months while the oldest is 9 years old. Lillian called her “wonderful, wonderful family” the “highlights” of her marriage to Leo. The couple currently lives in the Bristal Assisted Living Center, where they celebrated their special day Thursday surrounded by family, friends and fellow residents.
Seventy years after getting married at the Hotel St. George in Brooklyn, at a time when Lillian said rooms were $5 per night, the couple tries to stay young by thinking young. Lillian even goes on Facebook every day and has 17 friends. While the couple talked about renewing vows, they settled on a party. Hopefully we’ll be able to continue with good health and happiness in the future,” Lillian said. Read the original article from CBS
2011 Life Stories Video From The Bristal at East Meadow
Sam & Essie - Friendship Found
Life presents turns that bring us full circle. Say hello to Sam and Essie. Each having lived full lives of their own, they met one day at The Bristal. Essie has been here many years, and was recently saddened by her husband’s passing. A widower himself, Sam is new to The Bristal. What they found in each other’s unexpected camaraderie is a companionship built on common ground – comparable interests, similar backgrounds and a shared zest for life. Friendship came easy for Sam and Essie. With familial connections to Russia, and such accomplished children and grandchildren, they rarely run out of things to chat about. They enjoy dining together and taking in lectures, laughing often, debating politics and discussing world events. Sam and Essie enrich each other’s lives in many ways... and this, of course, is just what The Bristal is all about.
Charlotte & Deborah - Sisters Together
Deborah came to live at The Bristal first. While Charlotte visited often, and shared in the many amenities and activities, she still preferred to live at home. But after a fall, she moved into an apartment with her sister Deborah at The Bristal. Now they do everything together. Deborah was an apartment manager and volunteered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She has traveled everywhere, from Russia to the Grand Canyon, and loves to share wonderful stories of her journeys. She would often head out to visit Charlotte and her family in San Francisco. These days, while living at The Bristal, Charlotte volunteers for the Helen Keller Institute for the Blind. Extremely rewarding work. That’s Charlotte and Deborah’s story. Two loving sisters from Crown Heights, Brooklyn... together again at The Bristal.
Gertrude, Roz & Sylvia - Three Grande Dames
The friendship began with Gert and Roz, who have known each other over 50 years. From belonging to Hadassah and B’nai Brith at Temple Beth Sholom to throwing strikes together on the same bowling league in Roslyn, Long Island, these two had always
been peas in a pod. Sylvia, from Manhasset Hills, lived at The Bristal with her husband, Sid. When he passed, Gert and Roz
knew exactly what to do. They invited Sylvia to lunch with them, and the three have been inseparable and unstoppable ever
since. Having lost their husbands themselves, they helped Sylvia grieve and get back on her feet. Today, all three run The Bristal
Store, stocking and selling sundries to residents. If you don’t find them there, they’re out shopping or lunching or back on
The Bristal Bus, wherever it’s headed. Just another beautiful and lasting bond that The Bristal help build.
Robert G. See
Oh, I had a fantastic life…. a wonderful father… and I loved airplanes. In fact my nickname was "Little Airplane" when I was growing up. My father couldn't afford to have me trained to fly. So I took an examination when I was a young man during the war and I became one of the thousands and thousands of pilots trained to defend our country in Europe. I spent 16 months in various schools throughout the U.S. in academic and flight training. The day I graduated I married my wife. She was with me for the next 4 years of war, during which time I instructed other pilots. I was promoted after a year or so to an instructor of instrument pilots. And I flew thousands of miles in defense of our country in the Air Force.
When I left the service I returned home to Long Island. I went to work for the Great Atlantic and Pacific Company… A&P, the largest retail food company in the world at the time. They asked me if I'd develop a training program for them and that's how I spent the rest of my working life.
When I was able to retire we had a fund of money to travel the world. My wife and I began our travels in the Caribbean Islands, then we traveled north to the Canadian Provinces and traveled throughout the Northern Hemisphere to 27 different countries… to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland… within 100 miles of the North Pole. Then we traveled south to the Mediterranean to tour Greece, Turkey and Italy. That's when I noticed something was wrong with my wife.
We returned home, I sold my house and settled into a slower life so I could take care of my wife. The doctor told me that I needed a hobby to relax and distract me while I cared for her. So I took up painting which I did when I was a young man. This one here is the Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer. All together I've painted copies of 16 masters. I am also an avid book reader. They have wonderful libraries here on every floor.
This life suits me perfectly. I love living at The Bristal and I thoroughly enjoy it here. I like living life. And I am grateful to be so comfortable among such nice people.
Lillian Clara Kaich
I was married almost 70 years. I had a wonderful marriage and I have two sons, a granddaughter and a little great grandson. They visit when they can. My family is a boating and fishing family. All of us enjoy being on the water. My oldest son is running our power tool business and has a boat out in Montauk.
I've lived in Astoria my whole young life. I loved it. The schools were great. It's one of New York's great neighborhoods. I was a girl scout and I loved jumping rope. Then I married and lived there as an adult and mother. When we were young and raising our family my husband worked for American Airlines. It was tough while the kids were small. He was sometimes gone for months at a time. We lived near La Guardia because my husband flew the "flying boats". It was dangerous and every time I heard a pilot died somewhere in a plane crash I would get very anxious.
Now I have a calm life. Peace and quiet. Good friends. And lots to do if I want too. I like to read. I'm very social and the people here are so warm. The wait staff, the girls that clean for us are so great…. and there is a lot to do here. We go on trips to the movies, lunches and dinners. Everyone is very good to us.
I love living at The Bristal. I've earned this quiet and peaceful life among good friends and near my son and his family. I'm very happy here. I feel I've earned living nicely and being taken care of. I'm really enjoying The Bristal life.
I felt insecure in my house in Bay Terrace, actually not safe, living alone. My daughter lives very near The Bristal North Hills, but we looked at other communities too. Now I'm not alone anymore. I have company at meals. I've met a lot of people of different backgrounds. I have a neighbor who also drives and we sometimes go to concerts and lectures together.
Music and dance are the center of my life to this day. I drive to my dance studio a couple of times a week where I continue to teach advanced ballet students. We have developed so many professionals over the years, more than any other Long Island dance studio.
I founded my school, Hannah Kroner's School of Dance 60 years ago. Today we're in Albertson and a former student of mine who was a Rockette runs the school! I currently teach exercise classes at The Bristal, where I live, once a week.
The people who look after us here are so warm and supportive. I had a family tragedy last year and I couldn't have gotten along without them and my dear friends.
Our friend Murray Klein was a lawyer for 53 years. He and his wife Joyce came to live at The Bristal at North Hills in 2009 with the encouragement of their children. Joyce had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and they both needed support to live safely and well.
Now Murray spends time with Joyce everyday. They
attend performances and activities together every chance
they get, although Joyce lives in Reflections where she
receives occupational therapy, the help and expert care of
our wonderful staff.
You'll find Murray in The Bristal at North Hills' reception area at our beautiful grand piano entertaining his friends, visitors and staff with standards, show tunes and classical music. Murray's family had a piano in the house when he was growing up. His sister took lessons, and Murray followed along. They lived in New Jersey and traveled all the way to Bushwick for lessons. Their teacher was from Julliard and was very strict. Murray was classical trained, and, to this day, his technique and mastery shines through when ever he sits down to his favorite pastime.
He performs when he's "in the mood" and people gather around to sing along or just enjoy the music. Murray says he loves Chopin Nocturnes and Mazurkas although he plays popular music on request. He is a wonderful conversationalist and always has a smile and a helping hand
for everyone he sees each day. Music reminds him of the years gone by and the best of memories with Joyce and the kids.
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