Confessions of a 55-Plus Columnist

By Harold Miller

The Kappa Epsilon Chapter for Syracuse held its annual dance at Hotel Syracuse for many years after World War II.

America was coming alive after five grueling years of conflict and the “bobby soxers” were letting loose.

Hal Miller and wife Janet of Auburn. They married in 1955.
Hal Miller and wife Janet of Auburn. They married in 1955.

I attended one of these affairs in 1951, looking for a date. The girls assembled on one side of the beautiful ballroom and the wolves on the other. I walked across the floor (with butterflies in my stomach) and asked the one I had my eyes on for a dance. To say that she was beautiful was an understatement with her blue-green eyes and chestnut hair that would charm the devil himself. We fell into conversation easily and before parting I obtained her telephone number and address.

From that time on Janet Hirsh (later to be Mrs. Harold Miller) and I would spend the rest of our life together. Janet was from a large family and very dedicated to her clan.

Courting was a serious situation in those days. I was carefully vetted by Janet’s family and Father O’Brien, pastor of St. Matthews Church in East Syracuse. It would be better if our society followed these guidelines today. As it is, half of all marriages end in divorce or the children are brought up in single parent families.

We married in August of 1955 and daughter Jeanne Marie was born nine months later. Marcia, Ronald, and Stephen came along regimentally at 18 months apart and we paused about a year after that for Christopher.

At this juncture, there were seven mouths to feed and I had to work three jobs to keep food on the table; selling air conditioning systems for a local manufacture’s representative, working as a disc jockey for a local radio station and doing a bi-monthly column for different publications. I paid the bills by selling air conditioning systems but enjoyed flipping records the most.

Bless the people who love their work!