Sue and I were engaged a year to the day after moving to Atlanta on Feb. 22, 1972.
My incredibly supportive in-laws, Herman and Roz Auerbach, of whom I never told an in-law joke about, worked very hard to throw Sue and I a fabulous wedding and a great start in a new life.
They booked the Virginia Room at The Manor in West Orange, NJ and were typically very kind to my mother by involving her in the planning.
Our Hebrew Marriage Certificate
Sue dreamed of being a dress designer as a child growing up in Brooklyn and majored in art in high school. At age fifteen she discovered a weakness in drawing hands and feet, abandoned design, and moved on to education. I imagine the teaching profession and about 2,000 students and 4,000 parents gratefully thanking Sue and her Open Campus Program for tailoring a path to graduation.
Sue sketched out her elegant wedding dress in March 1973 and she looked gorgeous in it.
Richard Fertell was my best man and he did a great job, looked terrific, and may have had the third best time after Sue and I. Sadly, Rich passed away in 2015 in New York City – RIP Bink.
From Left – Right: I am pictured with my saintly late mother Jeanne Heller, my radiant bride Sue, and my beautiful sister Bobbie Polinsky.
Sue is pictured with her family – brother Marc, ‘Ma’ Roz, Daddy Herman.
Heller – Auerbach families group picture.
Left – right: Julius Roth, Sadie Roth, Herman & Roz Auerbach, Sue and I, Jeanne Heller, Freda Heller, Master Brett Polinsky, Lisa & Marc Auerbach, Bobbie and Arnie Polinsky.
My precious nephew, Brett Polinsky, three years old and a splendid ringbearer, stands before his Nanny Jeanne and Great Grandmother Freda Heller – four generations are gathered. My spiffy brother-in-law Arnold Polinsky looks like he stepped right out of Saturday Night Fever.
Brett is now fifty years old, a successful business executive, and recently engaged to Dana Cohen. He’s a handsome, sharp dressed little man resplendent in his white
dinner jacket, cufflinks, and white loafers. Everybody adored him.
The temperature was 78 degrees on a blue cloudless June 17, 1973. We were surrounded by our wonderful families and dear friends and very much in love.
We spent our wedding night near Sue’s parents at the Golden Gate Motel – Brooklyn’s only motel. We weren’t sure what that slogan said about the motel or Brooklyn but we can testify it was not the quietest.
Sue swore that she heard a gunshot in the parking lot that night. I believe a pimp was beating up a hooker in the next room because it sounded like a screaming tag team match.
We ducked out of the motel in the morning to head over to Herman and Roz’s place on Brown Street. Our plan was to gather our luggage and stuff and drive to Martha’s Vineyard, an island located a half hour off the coast of Cape Cod.
The wedding photographer insisted on taking shots while the guests were dining so we never ate a thing. When it was time to dig into a slice of wedding cake, Mr. Camera again swept us away. Sue and I pined for the last remaining two slices of cake waiting for us in the fridge as we pulled out of the Golden Gate parking lot.
We raced up the steps of the Auerbach’s home and into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator, and found no cake. We turned and looked at my brother-in-law Marc sitting at
the kitchen table looking like the proverbial ‘cat n’ the canary’. He’d just finished polishing off both slices and guiltily laughed.
Eight years later:
I was not the greatest at remembering anniversary dates and / or picking out appropriate presents far in advance of the big day. Sue was very tolerant of my deficiency
and often appreciated the last-minute poem I wrote in substitute of a card, flowers, candy or jewelry. Dinner out to mark the occasion was routine.
I woke up the day of our eighth anniversary realizing that I’d forgotten that it was our special day. I got out of bed and went straight to my office and pecked out the following poem on an old typewriter before Sue realized what I was up to. I walked into the kitchen and handed her my home-made offering which has picked up a few aging stains over the years.
Sue took the poem, read it keenly, looked up at me and smiled. “I got to give you credit Heller, “she said coyly; “This poem beats a Hallmark card any day of the week.You pulled it off Heller.”
And kissed me.