When the Best Part of My Life Started

The Islanders restaurant – Lee Duigon

I think our order wasn’t quite this ambitious…

Today is the 46th anniversary of our first date, Patty and me… the day my own life changed altogether for the better. Thank you for that, O God!

I was the managing editor of The Bayshore Independent. She was the bookkeeper. On Dec. 26, 1976, we went to dinner at The Islanders Restaurant in Matawan (they advertised with us–and really, it was a great restaurant: Steve Wong really made it into something special)–followed by a movie (The Voyage of the Damned, bit of a downer)… and then lots and lots more dates. “Don’t you let this one get away!” my mother chode me. Well, I had no intention to.

The Bayshore Independent is gone, The Islanders is gone, most of the movie theaters are gone… but we’re still here. Praise the Lord.

Our First Date (Today)

Vintage The Islanders Restaurant Matawan Nj Glass Ashtray

This little ashtray is all I can find left of The Islanders Restaurant, where Patty and I went on our first date, 45 years ago today, 1976. It was an awfully nice Polynesian restaurant.

We worked at the Bayshore Independent, she was the bookkeeper, I was managing editor, and The Islanders was one of our advertisers. After our dinner, we went to a movie (Voyage of the Damned) and then to Sam’s Bar & Grill to meet some of my friends. They say Sam’s was haunted. But it’s gone now, just like The Islanders. You sure could get nice sandwiches there.

So this day, Dec. 26, has always been special for us. The second time it rolled around, we’d been married for four months.

We’re glad to see it come again.

Our First Date

See the source image

Today is the 42nd anniversary of our first date.

We were working at the old Bayshore Independent newspaper. Patty was the bookkeeper, I was managing editor. We went to dinner at The Islanders in Matawan, a super-nice Chinese restaurant; and they treated us like royalty, the proprietor being very happy with the restaurant review I wrote a few weeks before (thank you, Steve Wong, wherever you are). No, we didn’t have a spread quite like in the photo: there were only two of us. But we had the best.

Then we went to a movie, The Voyage of the Damned, and afterward to my softball team’s hangout, Sam’s Bar & Grill. Somewhere along the way, Patty mentioned the ancient Medes’ capital city, Ecbatana. That’s when I knew I was in love. You can’t easily find a woman who knows about Ecbatana.

All of these places that I’ve mentioned are now one with Ecbatana, but we’re still together. And tonight we hope to take a leisurely spin around town to admire everybody’s Christmas lights.