How I Met Your Father: A Mom's Memories The promise of free food — and an ill-fated trip to the restroom — jump-started the courtship of Florence and Joe Newman. Their daughter recently quizzed Florence, 81, about how it all happened.
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How I Met Your Father: A Mom's Memories

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How I Met Your Father: A Mom's Memories

How I Met Your Father: A Mom's Memories

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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

We'll hear today about how Joe Newman met his wife. Before going on to work for decades as a delivery for the New York Daily News, he ran into a girl named Florence. She's now 81 and sat down at StoryCorps with their daughter Audrey to tell the tale of how he and she met.

AUDREY NEWMAN: Let's start at the beginning. How did you meet dad, Smokey Joe - that was his nickname?

FLORENCE NEWMAN: It was a regular apartment, like any other apartment in the Bronx, and I went to the bathroom. Unfortunately, it did not lock. So, before I went in, I yelled down the hall, and I just said, all right, everybody. I'm going to the bathroom. The door won't lock. So, I go in, I drop my pants and I'm sitting on the toilet and all of the sudden the door opens up wide.

NEWMAN: And it was dad?

NEWMAN: No.

NEWMAN: Oh.

NEWMAN: This big guy comes in and I screamed and who do you think ran in and grabbed him from the back of the neck and pulled him away? That became your father.

NEWMAN: Wow. I never...

NEWMAN: Yeah.

NEWMAN: ...heard that story.

NEWMAN: That's the truth. Sure. Why do you think I married him?

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

NEWMAN: What happened after that? Did you guys then...?

NEWMAN: We dated and we got attached to each other. Yeah, exactly. Hey, he was a good guy. He took care me. Do you think I'm going to let him go?

NEWMAN: Yeah. And you and dad were married 51 years.

NEWMAN: I used to tease him, how does he stand me all those years?

NEWMAN: What was his answer?

NEWMAN: Don't ask me.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

NEWMAN: That sounds like him.

NEWMAN: Yeah, that was him. Yeah, don't ask me. I'm liable to tell you.

NEWMAN: Yeah.

NEWMAN: Oh gosh. Like any couple who are married together...I mean, sure, there are good times and bad times, but that's what life is about. A marriage is what two people make of it. You know, someone said to me, how can you live with a man that works nights? He's out all night long, he's never, you know, never with you. I said, don't tell me he's never with me. I said, you think I get up out of the bed in the morning? No, no, no. I wait for him to get into the bed.

NEWMAN: I miss dad.

NEWMAN: Don't even start that. I'll start tearing.

NEWMAN: It's all right. Yeah, he's gone almost 10 years now.

NEWMAN: I've never looked at anybody else. I never looked for another partner. I said, no way. I had mine. We had a good life together. Sure, there were times that we argued and whatever. Absolutely, a regular life, I said, but it was a good life.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: Read more stories like this one in the new StoryCorps book, "Mom."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: This is NPR News.

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