We were new members at Beth El, and we went to the family picnic early September. The first people we met were Ralph and Sheila Schmeltz. Ralph was President at the time, and we were introduced to all their four children. Two of them—Lowell and Dina—were the same age as our two kids Allison and Michael and went through religious school with them.
We became friends, the kids became friends, and Sheila invited us over for Shabbat dinner. I brought dessert. And that started my relationship with Beth El on a very upbeat, happy note when somebody paid attention to us at a picnic. We were just standing next to a tree minding our own business . . . and I’ll never forget them for it.