As First Dates Go, This One Was a Doozy

Sigmund Stahl i i

hide captionSigmund Stahl, 82, told his story to his granddaughter in New York City.

StoryCorps
Sigmund Stahl

Sigmund Stahl, 82, told his story to his granddaughter in New York City.

StoryCorps

Sigmund Stahl never gets tired of telling the nearly unbelievable-if-it-weren't-true story of how he met his wife, Bonnie, in the 1970s.

A colleague at work decided he was going to fix Stahl up. "He had a list of I don't know how many people," Stahl says, "and he would ask me every week, 'Did you call anybody — did you?' I would say no because I wasn't particularly interested."

Finally, tired of the nagging, Stahl agreed to call the first woman on the list. Stahl decided to have a drink and if he didn't like her, he'd say, "'I have to go home,' and that'll be the end of it."

"So we met and we sat down and we talked and I said to her, 'What would you like to do now if you could — anything you want.' And she said, 'Well, I'd go to an island in the Pacific somewhere where it's nice and sunny.'" (It was winter at the time.)

"I said, 'That we can't do. That's a little difficult.'"

So Bonnie offered an alternative — seeing a movie.

"That's reasonable," Stahl replied.

"Did you hear of a movie called Deep Throat?" Bonnie asked.

Stahl had never heard of the film. "I don't go to movies and so I knew nothing," he says.

Bonnie, a public-relations executive, seemed like a respectable woman — and besides, there was a line around the block at the theater.

Stahl was in for a shock.

"It was a porno — it was the biggest porno of its time."

"I didn't have the guts to say, 'Let's go.' I was going to sit through that come hell or high water. And then we left and I took her home.

"I went back to my apartment in the Village. I thought ... what gall this woman. She doesn't know me from Adam — and [she takes] me to a movie like that. I wouldn't go to that movie if I'd known what it was if they'd paid me for it.

"And then I thought, she has that chutzpa, that gall. I'll call her again."

Sigmund and Bonnie were married for more than 30 years. Bonnie passed away in 2005.

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