Written by Katie Piacentini Friday, 17 February 2012 00:00
On Valentine’s Day, the Town of North Hempstead carried out a special wedding vow renewal ceremony for 80 couples who have been married for 50 years or longer. Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman and Town Clerk Leslie Gross presided over the ceremony that took place at Harbor Links. Prior to the Valentine’s Day ceremony, Port News met with one couple, Beverly and Jack Hammer, at the town clerk’s office.
“Fate is Fate,” Beverly said when the couple described how they first met. Jack, who was born in the Bronx and lived in New York, explained that his nephew had allergies, so his sister would take him to New Hampshire during the summer where the child experienced some relief. He decided to take his mother to New Hampshire for a few days so she could visit her daughter and grandson. “My sister said, ‘Don’t come – there are no girls here.’ And I said, ‘I’m not coming for the girls,’” Jack recounted.Beverly also said that meeting someone was the furthest thing from her mind. She was from Winthrop, Massachusetts, which is in the Boston area, and was on vacation in New Hampshire with her parents. She was swimming in the pool when she first met Jack, who said that when he first saw her, he dropped everything and ran over to the pool to talk to her. They soon discovered that they had birthdays close to each other – Jack’s birthday is August 18 and Beverly’s birthday is August 20. “So I said, ‘Let’s exchange birthday cards,’” Jack said.
Later, he decided to visit Boston with a friend and visited Beverly during this time. Their relationship began to grow and 14 months after they met in New Hampshire, they were married in Boston on Oct. 27, 1951.
After they married, the couple lived in Kew Garden Hills. As a young bride, Beverly said that it was hard to adjust to living in New York at first. “I was very close to my mother,” she said. “It was a beautiful area, but coming from a small town, it was a far cry from how I grew up,” she said. After living in Kew Garden Hills, they lived in Commack and Roslyn. They both said, “There is nothing like the North Shore.” They now live in Harborview in Port Washington.
Beverly and Jack had four children: a daughter, Eileen, and sons Bill, Joel, and Evan. Their daughter now lives in the San Francisco area and their son Bill, who is married to Leslie with two children (Joshua and Matthew), lives in Sleepy Hollow. Two of their sons live in Long Island. Joel, who is married to Rena and has three children (Rachel, David, and Zachary), lives in Syosset. Evan, who is married to Yvette and has two children (Alex and Garrett), lives in Melville.
Jack worked as a financial planner while Beverly did administrative work for medical groups and schools. They also volunteered a lot – Beverly worked in a soup kitchen and Jack was a troop leader for the Boy Scouts. Since their retirement, Beverly noted that it is a time to slow down, relax, and enjoy what they have.
When asked what the secret is for a successful marriage, Beverly said, “Love, compromise, and understanding.” Jack humorously said, “Listening to your wife!” All joking aside, Jack added that one wonderful thing about their life together is that Beverly has a great family. “They really sealed the deal for me,” he said, noting that they visited her family in the Boston area every other week by plane, train, and car. The couple also said that good communication is key to a happy marriage and that laughter is very important, too.