NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

NJBIA Backs Bills to Smooth Economic Reopening
Ann M. Sauer (nee Pavlovich), 85, of Runnemede

Marking 57 Years of Marriage — A Letter to My Wife

By: Joe Ball | CNBNews Contributor

Published on September 18, 2019.

June 1, 2009 – –

The 51st Anniversary of our Wedding.

Screen Shot 2020-05-12 at 10.48.57
Joe Ball

We remain husband and wife.



And, for me, 51-years of a wonderful life – – thanks to your, Sandra Lee (Cohan) Ball.

I have often said the two best things I have done in my life were (1) marrying you and (2) starting my own business.

Number two actually activated number 1.

The line on the chart of my adult life begins with you, and goes upward, upward, upward.

Along the way there are many memories.

I will mention a few…

You were 19-years-old when we met. You were a student at Temple University, living at home, 2442 Bryn Mawr Ave., Philadelphia, with your parents, Minnie and Laigh Cohan.

I was 28, a central High grad, a U.S. Army Veteran and living at home with my parents, Mickey and Bea Ball, plus my three younger sisters, Barbara, Dana, and Jayne.

I was also a new business owner of an advertising agency, of 2-years duration.

We met on a blind date.

It was initiated by your dad. He gave me your telephone number… GR-3-1640… on a 1”square piece of scrap paper – – but only after he informally interviewed me to be sure I was single, Jewish, and I’m guessing, a person of good character.

At that first date, I still remember your opening your front door and seeing you for the first time. Immediately, I liked your looks.

Our first date was at the nearby Bala Movie Theater where we saw, “Cyrano de Bergenas.” The movie followed, I think, with hamburgers and milkshakes at a Hot Shoppe.

It was raining that evening. There was so a sound at the back of my car. You told me what you thought it was. And, you were right. But, what I really remember is your automatically getting out of the car, in the rain to check the back wheel with me. I was impressed.

I don’t remember if our next date quickly followed, but I do know that I wanted to see you again. Quickly!

I chased you. In fact, I chased you to Florida.

It was only 6 weeks after we first met that during the Florida trip, on the beach outside the Fountainbleau Hotel, Miami Beach, I proposed.

And you accepted.

We were married 6 months later at Rodeph Sholem, the Reform Temple on North Broad Street, Philadelphia.

Incidentally, the very first couple married within that synagogue were your parents.

We honeymooed in New Orleans, Louisiana where we made honorary citizens of the City in ceremonies at the City Hall. It was arranged locally by Mr. Stern, publisher of the New Orleans Item newspaper, and arranged by a friend of your parents, former U.S. Congress member Kathryn Granahan, who at the time was Treasurer of the United States.

The honeymoon continued into Mexico. Again, incidentally, years later we took our children, while on vacation to the hotel we shred on the honeymoon.


Our first home together was the second floor of a duplex at the 7417 Haverford ave., Overbrook Park.

You joined me as a staff member of my business, Ball Associates.

We were located in a row house at 845 N. Broad Street. I had purchased the building just before we met and married. I think I paid $8,700 for the three story structure.

Your dad, who was experienced in real estate renovations, helped with much of the interior contracting. This included building my desk, which was made, or looked like it was made, from orange crates.

You worked with me at the office up to the day before Bob was born.

Bob got his name because I liked the name.

Then 11 months later, Yelane Bari.

Yelane Bari was named after your grandmother, Yetta, and a dancer, Bari, who worked with movie star Fred Astare. You just liked the name Bari.

Bob and Yelane are only 11 months apart in age. Incidentally, Bob as a child, called his sister… Yane…and the name has stuck to this day.

The floor below our second floor apartment was rented by the parents of boyhood friend of mine, George Christine. It was a surprise coincidence, and made for convenient baby sitter neighbors.

Across Haverford Avenue, was a family restaurant that had my favorite fish – – Smelts.

I drove at the time, the new Ford convertible that electronically rose its roof from inside its trunk.

It was Haverford Avenue that you made the world’s largest pancake.

My mom, while I was still living at home, would make a crepe that covered the entire frying pan. It was thin. My sisters and I would sprinkle it with sugar and cinnamon and roll it up. We called it “Big Pancakes.”

So, when I suggested to you, my bride, to make “Big Pancakes,” you did.

BIG! And thick, and heavy.

We laughed and still do laugh talking about it today.


  • To be continued…

Until then, as I say to you everyday leaving for the office… (yes, I still go in Monday to Saturday, departing our home at 7:45 a.m.,) and I say…

“I’m leaving… Bye Bye… I love you”

And you answer from upstairs…

“Ok honey… Have a good day… love you.”


Joe Ball, Philadelphia-area publisher, advertising agency owner and radio show producer, has been named chairman of the U.S. International Film & Video Festival judges committee in the Business-to-Business category. The subject materials are videos submitted by businesses, production firms and advertising agencies from throughout the U.S. and internationally. Ball continues to lead American Advertising Services, 29 Bala Ave., Ste. 117, Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004, a firm he founded 55 years ago.

Republished by with permission of


Related: Author Joe Ball