Robert and Charles (together 50 years)
We met on July 4th 1963 at a beach in NYC. I had just completed my 2 year commitment as a Captain in the Medical Corps with the 1st Special Forces and about to return to complete my Medical residency training at Bellevue Hospital. Chuck was at the beach with his ex-lover. We met at the water’s edge, were mutually attracted to each other and arranged to have dinner that evening at the then popular Gay restaurant, the Finale. After completing a 2 week night tour of emergency room duty, I called Chuck and reconnected and it truly was love at first sight, I moved into his apartment 2 weeks later. Chuck was a disabled Navy veteran of the Koren War, having contacted TB in Japan, spending over a year and a half in a Naval/VA hospital. Prior to Chuck entering the service he had pursued the career as a professional dancer and was told he could no longer pursue the strenuous activity this would require. He then completed college under the GI Bill, receiving a BS degree in Business Administration. We both spent our professional careers in NYC, Chuck with Mobil Oil Corp. World Headquarters in NYC and I as Asst. VP and Medical Director for Employee Health at MetLife. Chuck took an early retirement in 1986 at the age of 54 after Mobil started moving people out of NYC. I retired in 1997. After living an exciting life of 22 years in NYC, and living in a wide variety of locations from Hoboken, NJ, the Jersey Shore, Princeton NJ, and San Juan, PR, we are now living a happy retirement in Fort Lauderdale Fl. We just celebrated our 50th Anniversary this past July 4th and went to NYC where we were finally legally married on July 15, 2013. We believe we might have enjoyed the longest engagement ever!
We have been asked many times “what is the secret to a long-term happy relationship”? For us, there were a number of factors, including having loving, supportive and non-judgmental families. We both had careers that we enjoyed allowing us to live an enjoyable and stimulating lifestyle. In addition, we have always embraced a comfortable balance of straight and gay friends across many age groups. Our younger friends keep us in the moment and on our toes. We are active in local gay charities and organizations that keep us connected to our community and each other.We have many common interests such as gardening, travel, the arts and good conversations with our friends at dinner. In addition , part of our success together is our trust and respect for each other, a sense of humor and even sometimes, forgiveness. Now that we have committed to marriage, we hope our example will help encourage people, young people especially, to strive for this basic constitutional right that the LGBT community is entitled to, Marriage Equality.