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Sweeter the second time around

Posted: April 26, 2009 10:47 p.m.
Updated: April 27, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Dorothy and Bernie Katz dance to "The Anniversary Song: Oh, How We Danced" as they celebrate their third anniversary at the Senior Center on Wednesday.

Bernie and Dorothy Katz of Newhall danced as if newlyweds, giggling and holding one another tight when not demonstrating their finely honed moves on the floor.

The Katz's married at Valley Oaks Village on April 8, 2006, with music from the same band, Fiddlesticks & Ivory Plus, and attendance by many of the same friends that congratulated the couple during their recent anniversary celebration at the Santa Clarita Senior Center.

The Senior Center holds a special place in the Katz's hearts. It's where they met while having lunch close to four years ago, set up by matchmaking friend Helen Johnson.

"She told me he needed a keeper," Dorothy, 67, recalled. "We talked that day and continued to talk. Bernie kids a lot, but he's very much the gentleman."

Though she wasn't looking for a relationship, Dorothy found herself increasingly enamored of Bernie's blue eyes and kind, giving ways. On their first date, he brought her a list of restaurants to choose from before embarking out to dinner.

Shortly thereafter, Bernie, 77, discovered Dorothy was leaving on a short vacation and loved taking photos on the road, so he brought her disposable cameras to use for the trip. He even switched his cell phone coverage to add Dorothy as part of his "circle" so they could enjoy unlimited chats while she was gone.

"Boy, did we burn up those lines when she was in Kentucky," Bernie said with a smile.

Both widowers, Bernie and Dorothy dated for seven months, going out for meals and taking trips together as far away as Branson, Missouri.

"She's always on the go," Bernie said. "I can't get her to sit down. That's the way I am. If I don't keep busy, I'll sit and chew my nails."

One night, Bernie said maybe they should get married.

"I hadn't really thought about it, but since I had met him, things were definitely looking up," Dorothy said.

During their three years of marriage, the Katz's continue to eat lunch and visit with friends at the Senior Center Monday through Friday, as well as participating in many of the organization's group trips.

"If I show up anywhere alone, everyone always asks me, ‘Where's Dorothy?' She's just a very sweet person," Bernie said.

The Katz's also enjoy going watching old movies together, going to Costco for hot dogs, and getting in the car for spontaneous road trips.

Bernie, a former truck driver and Korean War veteran, suffers from emphysema but doesn't let it slow him down. Dorothy, a former licensed vocational nurse, has a hunch as to why.

"He feels great now. I've been good for him," she said.

So good, in fact, that the couple flew to Kauai, Hawaii, with Dorothy's daughter and son-in-law for their anniversary just days after the Senior Center celebration. Between them, the Katz's have eight grandchildren and one great grandchild in California, Florida, and Indiana.

"Since our kids are grown up, we can do things I didn't have time to do in my first marriage," Bernie said.

"We really are able do things that are enjoyable, whereas before it was about work and raising a family. We can be free spirits," Dorothy added.

"We have fun and fun is the name of the game," Bernie said.


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