Couples Know the Secret to Keeping the Spark Alive
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Couples Know the Secret to Keeping the Spark Alive

We spotlight some of the city’s most illustrative, fun-loving and influential couples who still hold hands.

After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).

  • nancy and Rabbi Phil Krantz
    nancy and Rabbi Phil Krantz
  • Rachel and Jack Rosenberg
    Rachel and Jack Rosenberg
  • Viriginia and Milton Saul at their 1950 wedding in Atlanta.
    Viriginia and Milton Saul at their 1950 wedding in Atlanta.
  • Barbara and Ed Mendel
    Barbara and Ed Mendel
  • Sherri and Steve Labovitz
    Sherri and Steve Labovitz
  • Charlotte and Joel Marks
    Charlotte and Joel Marks

As an AJT tradition, we spotlight some of the city’s most illustrative, fun-loving and influential couples who still hold hands and talk about how they met, the attraction, and their own secrets to longstanding marriage. By longstanding, the average here is 52 years, with Virginia and Milton Saul marking 69 years of happy union.

Find out why a military uniform was a turn on, who chased whom, and the drama of Carol Nemo’s parents Sylvia and Bill Breman, who had a serious car accident two months prior to Carol’s wedding. Thus, the event took place at home with the Bremans in a wheelchair and arm sling. Sixty years later, Carol and Bob are still “cooking.”

Rachael and Jack Rosenberg recall that the roommate from whom Rachael “stole” Jack still doesn’t speak to her 62 years later. The Rosenbergs got married at the Dinkler Plaza Hotel since Congregation Shearith Israel was damaged by a fire.

Rabbi Phil Krantz wasted no time in proposing to Nancy. Attorney Steve Labovitz, always the clever jester, credits their success to a good sex life and fear of a difficult divorce. How many of the photos can you recognize?

 

38 Years
Charlotte and Joel Marks
Wedding: Atlanta, 1980

Charlotte and Joel Marks

How we met …

Joel: The old-fashioned way … towards the end of our junior year at the University of Florida, Charlotte’s sorority sister (mutual friend) thought we would be a good couple and made the introduction.

Attraction …

Joel: Chemistry. Charlotte had it all. She was a bit of a rebel with a strong sense of adventure, cute, funny and smart. She pursued me, which was, in itself, attractive (she chased me until I caught her). That chemistry is still working, baruch hashem!

Charlotte: Joel was so easy to talk to and fun; but I also could tell that he had a good head on his shoulders. No matter where we went, he could find something to talk about with just about anyone.

Secret …

Joel: Marry a Gator woman! The truth is that any long-term relationship requires not 50/50 but 100 percent from each partner. While we may not have always been 100 percent, we worked towards that. The ability to laugh at yourself and not take yourself so seriously helps.

Charlotte: There will always be something that one of you doesn’t want to do, yet the other one enjoys, so compromise is essential. In addition, we always had date night with a standing babysitter on Saturday nights so we could go out and “connect”.

 

60 Years
Carol and Bob Nemo
Wedding: Atlanta, 1959

Carol and Bob Nemo

How we met …

Carol: In a phone booth in a frat house at Ohio State. I was calling a cab to go back to the rooming house – out-of-state students could not live in the dorm the first year – and Bob stuck his head in and offered to take us home.

Attraction …

Carol: I thought Bob was the cutest guy I had ever seen. … I guess he thought the same about me!

Secret …

Carol: Oh boy! When a couple has been married as long as we have been, there are lots of ups and downs. We were committed and wanted to make it work. Over the years, our love deepened, we learned to respect each other, listen to each other, and in my case, I learned through a lot of therapy that I wasn’t al-ways right. I don’t know how many years it took me to realize that!

Bob: The first and foremost ingredient is a true, strong and undying love. It is the sine qua non [essential condition] of the marriage. There is a deep mutual respect for the partners and a constant desire to be supportive and helpful.

 

62 Years
Rachael and Jack Rosenberg
Wedding: Atlanta, 1957

How we met …

Rachael and Jack Rosenberg

Rachael: The first evening I moved to Atlanta from a small town (Sylva, N.C.) into my roommate’s apartment, Jack, who was dating the roommate, came over to meet us. He called me the next evening for a date! It was bashert, and I knew it. Jack had just returned from the Army.

I began a job at Davison-Paxon (now Macy’s) in the dress department. In the fitting room, one of my clients, who was part of the kosher butcher family here that coincidentally sold to us in Sylva, mentioned that she wanted to introduce me to her cousin “who had just returned from the Army.”

I handed them the pen that Jack gave me with his name engraved on it. (Bashert again!) We were engaged in three months and married three months later.

Attraction …

Jack: I was a 24-year-old Jewish boy looking for a nice Jewish girl – not on Fa-cebook or JDate. Rachael filled the bill: Jewish values, smart and petite. It was meant to be. … And the romance continues every day.

Secret …

Jack: Sharing responsibilities and making decisions together. Respecting each other’s wishes. Family is very important. We both have large families and share in simchas.

Rachael : HONEY DO! We worked together in business for decades. He taught me everything!

 

48 Years
Nancy and Rabbi Phil Krantz
Wedding: Cleveland, Ohio, 1971

Nancy and Rabbi Phil Krantz

How we met …

Phil: Nancy and I met the summer before my last year of rabbinical school in Cincinnati and Nancy was in a graduate program in microbiology in Ann Arbor. An acquaintance of both of our mothers gave me Nancy’s name; I called that very evening. We were engaged only weeks later.

Attraction …

Neither of us can explain the attraction at the time, but things moved along very quickly. Maybe it was what they call “chemistry.”

Secret …

We celebrate our individual and mutual strengths and try to minimize or simply learn to live with our individual and mutual weaknesses.

It has all worked beautifully for 48 years.

 

69 Years
Virginia and Milton Saul
Wedding: Atlanta, 1950

Viriginia and Milton Saul

How we met …

Milton: I first spotted her during the war when I was 18. She was 15 in a bathing suit.

Virginia: We reunited later at a wedding here, but Milton refused to take me since he was in an older crowd.

Attraction …

I was impressed with his Navy uniform and baby blue eyes.

Secret …
Milton: No formula – confidence, respect, luck.

Virginia: Being good friends first, we let each other have space do his/her own things. He supported me in my organization work while he played golf and cards.

It all worked out.

 

58 Years
Sandy and Dave Abrams
Wedding: Atlanta, 1961

Sandy and Dave Abrams

How we met …

Sandy: At Dave’s sister’s wedding; she was the bride and my first cousin was the groom.

Attraction …

Dave: She was the prettiest Jewish girl I had ever seen and with a “personality!”

Sandy: I fell in love with his good looks and charm.

Secret …

Respecting each other, being able to compromise and supporting each other’s careers.

Dave: Listening to each other and doing what Sandy wants!

 

38 Years
Sheri and Steve Labovitz
Wedding: Atlanta, 1980

Sherri and Steve Labovitz

How we met …

Sheri: We were fixed up by the wife of one of Steve’s law school classmates who I met at a Tupperware party! In fact, on our first date, I pointed out to Steve that we had met before, but, alas, he had no recollection of our initial meeting.

Attraction …

Steve: Her smarts, persuasiveness, her directness; Sheri was different from other women I had dated. But most of all, her offer to split the cost of lunch on our first date.

Sheri: Steve was self-assured (cocky) and a great conversationalist who made me laugh. Our mutual attraction also helped (other than the gold chain around his neck).

Secret …

Sheri: We are best friends and both lawyers by training, and although we sometimes use those skills to argue with each other, we are each other’s best advocates. It’s amazing how many interests we share: movies, ethnic food to politics. As our family has grown with kids and grandkids, we’re passing down our common values to the next generation. … And I am still laughing.

Steve: We’ve learned to compromise and have developed enhanced listening skills. As I learned early in my career as a domestic attorney, communication is the key to any successful relationship. A good sex life helps as does a healthy fear of a difficult divorce!

 

45 Years
Barbara and Ed Mendel
Wedding: Columbus, Ga., 1974

Barbara and Ed Mendel

How you met …

Eddie: I went to pick up (Marcia Jaffe) and take her to brunch at Ess & Fress on Buford Highway. I knocked on her door, and Barbara Sherman answered.

Barbara: When opportunity knocks, be there.

Attraction …

Eddie: Barbara is the sweetest person that I ever met on the inside and outside.

Barbara: I loved his sense of humor. No one made me laugh and smile like Eddie.

Secret …

Eddie: You have two choices when you get married. Be happy or be right. I haven’t been right in 45 years.

Barbara: There is no recipe for a happy marriage but marrying your best friend and realizing that no one in life is perfect, including yourself, is a good start.

 

Celebrities on Love

“The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret.” – Henny Youngman

“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.” – Billy Crystal

Marriage is not just a spiritual communion; it is also remembering to take out the trash.” – Joyce Brothers

“By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.” – Socrates

“A marriage doesn’t have to be perfect, but you can be perfect for each other.” – Jessica Simpson

“Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can’t sleep with the win-dow shut, and a woman who can’t sleep with the window open.” – George Bernard Shaw

“When I meet a man, I ask myself, ‘Is this the man I want my children to spend every other weekend with?’” – Rita Rudner

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