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A Continuing Care Retirement Community in the City of Baltimore.

RPP Stories

How we met love stories

Couples reveal how they first met.


It’s the age old question many couples get during their life time.

“How did you two meet?”

At Roland Park Place, many of our resident couples have been together for decades. The day they met remains a fun story many love reminiscing about, especially on Valentine’s Day.

In an effort to celebrate Cupid’s Arrow and spread some love around Baltimore, we asked RPP residents about that first day that changed their lives.

Here are a few of our favorites:


Chapter One: How Damie and Diane Stillman Met

Act 1:

 Scene 1:  A class called German for Art Historians, Columbia University

 Parts:  elderly German lady/teacher; three male graduate students and one female graduate student

 Action:  One new female graduate student enters classroom (one week late)

                One male graduate student looks up, over his eyeglasses, at newly entered female graduate student.  Does not realize he is instantly smitten.  New female graduate student, 58 years later, still remembers his looking up over his eyeglasses and what she was wearing that day.

Act 2: 

 Scene 1:  Around and about New York City

 Parts:  One male graduate student, deep into graduate studies toward Ph.D.

             One female graduate student, deep into graduate studies toward M.A.

 Action:  The two students, deep into their relationship with each other. Male graduate student goes to England for his research.  He is there for seven months.  He sends many letters and post cards to female graduate student.  His handwriting is so terrible that female graduate student's mother admits she can't read the postcards, to daughter's relief.

Act 3:  

 Scene 1:  Chinese restaurant near Columbia University

 Parts:  One male graduate student back in New York and enroute to completion of his             Ph.D

           One female graduate student about to complete her M.A.

Action:  Male graduate student proposes marriage to female graduate student.  He asks if he should propose on bended knee.  She laughs and says that is not necessary. They become engaged and marry 4 months later.

Chapter 2: How Ginger Wise met Ron Berninger.

It was a case of mistaken identity. 

Ginger Berninger didn’t know it that night, but she had already met her future husband. She just couldn’t figure which man it was.

At 22, Ginger had just graduated from Elizabethtown College in Lancaster Co, PA and had just moved to Philadelphia to start her first job in the city.

Her friend Caroline from high school and Caroline’s fiancé Dave invited her to a party, and said they wanted to introduce her to a friend. 

The date was Aug. 5, 1967.

 “It was a setup, they wanted to set me up,” Ginger said. “One of my very best friends from high school was going to the University of Pennsylvania and was engaged to one of Ron’s best friends at Drexel.”

Shortly after settling into the party, a guy sat down beside her and started up a conversation that lasted well over an hour.

“I thought this must be the guy they wanted me to meet,” she said. “So we kept talking.”

Around 10 p.m. things changed.

“This guy Ron made a loud and dramatic entrance through the door and the first thing I learn about him is he works at a gas station to support his way through college and had to work that night before coming to the party,” Ginger said.

He came over to where she was sitting and starting talking up a storm. 

“Next thing I know the guy sitting there talking to me stands up and says I think I am in the way now,’” she said. 

He took off and Ron sat down, needing to talk about a big issue that had been on his mind.

“I had a decision to make,” Ron said. “Should I become an auto mechanic or get a PhD in organic chemistry?” 

Ginger laughed.

“I was trying to steer him towards organic chemistry,” she said. “I mean there’s nothing wrong with cars, you can still do that.”

Ron chose organic chemistry for a profession but he still loves cars. 

After taking Ginger home, Ron wrote her phone number down wrong—right numbers but in wrong order.

“She was the first person to tell me I reverse digits,” Ron said.

A few months later, after nonstop dating, Ron gave Ginger his Scabbard and Blade pin. Exactly a year later August 3, 1968 they married and left for Pittsburgh where Ron completed his Ph.D. in organic chemistry. Caroline and Dave were in the wedding party and visited Ron and Ginger summer 2016 in Washington State when the Berningers celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary before moving across coasts to Roland Park Place. 

“Caroline and Dave still think we are made for each other,” Ginger chuckled.


Chapter 2: How Mary Sidlowski met Sid Sidlowski

They got to know each other the old-fashioned way.

 Letter writing.

For over a year, Sid and Mary exchanged letters once a week as a way to get to know each other.

It was Mary, who was studying nursing in New York, who made the first move.

“My good friend’s fiancé was in the Army,” she said. “He sent her an address of her buddy who had just been dumped by some girl.”

Originally the man’s address was given to someone else in their nursing class. She didn’t want it.

So Mary took a chance.

“That’s how we started writing back and forth,” she said on writing her first letter to Sid, who was living in Baltimore and later Alabama.

“I didn’t know her at all and I had no idea what she looked like,” Sid said. “One day I got this letter, so I responded.”

The year was 1952.

“When I called him, sometime later, he made fun of my accent,” Mary said.

“She was a New Yorker,” Sid said.

“How could a guy from BALTIMORE make fun of accents,” she said. “I couldn’t understand that.”

The couple decided to have their first date in New York. They met at Grand Central Station underneath the big clock.

“I told him I would have a brown coat on. Being a man, he had trouble with colors,” Mary said. “He had a hard time locating me.”

From the train station, they went to dinner. Sid, who was dressed in his Army best, was cold. All he was wearing for warmth was an Ike Jacket.

“ Mary, Where did we go?” he asked.

“Sid, it was 63 years ago,” she laughed.




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