How did you get engaged?
He came home on furlough, and he said, “Have you ever considered getting married?” By that time I was almost 18. I said, “I don’t know…I’ve thought about it.” I’m getting goosebumps. And he said, “Well, think about it, because I think I love you.” And I said, “What a nice thing to say. I was always drawn to you, too, but I didn’t know what that feeling was supposed to be.”
He sent me a telegram, and he said, “Coming home on a three-week furlough. June. Would you like to get married then?” I looked at it and said, “What a way to propose!” I wired him back, “Yes, I think it’s yes!” Because every time I saw him, it was that wonderful feeling. I would see him in the doorway and my heart would skip a beat. It was telling me something.
What’s your advice for a couple starting out?
Stick to your gut feeling. When you meet someone and you have a special feeling for them, I think there’s a reason for that.
How did you meet your husband?
All the boys were sent to San Antonio [during WWII]. Us girls went to the USO [United Service Organizations] and danced with the boys and had a wonderful time. That’s where I met my first husband.
He overheard me talking to my younger sister in German. We were talking about the boys we danced with. “This one isn’t very good. This one is too fast.” Whatever. And this guy understood us. He said, “I heard what you said. I know German.” And we both grew beet red.
He wanted to dance with me, and he wanted to take me home. I said, “Oh wait a moment, I only go with Jewish boys. Are you Jewish?” He said, “Yes.” I said, “How will I know?” He said, “I’ll prove it to you.” And he took out his dog tags, which had an H on it, which meant Hebrew.
How did you meet your husband?
I was 13 years old and he was 14 years old, and he was my counselor [in pre-state Israel]. We used to meet every Saturday in the woods because the British people were in Israel at the time. We trained. We had sticks, which caused kapop. This was the only ammunition we had at the time.
What’s the most important thing for a successful relationship?
Love. But true love. Love in fire and in water. If you have to run in fire to save your husband or drown in water, that’s love. Not, “Hi darling, bye-bye darling, hi sweetie.” If you marry the man only because of his money, forget about it. Make sure that he doesn’t have money! Both of you go to work. Both of you start to build your house. That’s how it works. Not, “Honey, bring me this. Honey, I need a Cadillac.” The honey has to go away.
What’s your advice for a young person starting out in a relationship?
Get your education. I’m very firm on completing college. There’s one [thing], that’s the physical attraction, which is part of loving someone. Also their ambition, their character. Also, I think how he treats his parents. That gives you an inkling of what type of individual he is and who he will be as he gets older. You learn all this by speaking, talking, and dating. I think there’s a lot of difficulty when people marry without going out a long time and afterwards finding out things they didn’t know. That’s unfortunate. If you disagree, talk it out. Don’t just say “Goodbye! Divorce!” That’s what’s happening today, unfortunately.
People live together for five years, they get married, then they get divorced. I don’t comprehend this at all. They live together for five years, they know each other. It boggles my mind. I have no answer.
What’s your first memory of your husband, Dick?
He was absolutely gorgeous. He came around the desk and he sat down so we that could be very close to each other, so you knew that he was a warm, friendly guy. Wonderful personality. Terrific sense of humor. On and on he was just wonderful. Yeah. The Big Guy up there did it. And my parents are still turning cartwheels to this day.
What’s the secret to a successful relationship?
Dick: It’s been a life of cooperation. When you’re a musician, they didn’t come to hear the drummer. She tells me that. They came to see the show. So you have to learn to subordinate.
Ina: Play under. Support.
Dick: That’s what we do with each other. We subordinate. I never could have married anyone better, ever, and I never intended to.
Ina: My parents are still smiling. Up there.