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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Matchbook, the Latin Quarter, and a New Gretna-Tuckerton Romance

Last Saturday the Blog featured a matchbook cover from New Gretna fur dealer, Henry Updike. Today we feature the other New Gretna matchbook in our New Gretna History Collection. This second matchbook couldn't be more different than our first. It shows a local couple on their first date at, of all places, the Latin Quarter in New York City. Seems that 19 year old Millie Miller from Tuckerton was visiting a sister in Brooklyn, New York in winter of 1952. Local New Gretna boy, Steve Potter, went to Brooklyn a courtin' and took Miss Millie to the Latin Quarter at Times Square in New York City.

It was their first date and rather unusual for a New Gretna boy. That was quite a trip in those days, but anyone who knows Steve Potter, knows that he doesn't do anything half way - not then and not now. He just celebrated his 80th birthday this past Saturday, and he is still going full throttle.

Millie, whose actual name is Minnie, was staying with her sister and brother-in-law, Bonnie and Duke Dupuis, in Brooklyn and was ready to return to the South Green Street home of her parents, Bateman and Lillian Miller. I bet there was was never a dull moment in the Miller household, as Millie had 5 sisters (Agnes, Bonnie, Eileen, Shirley, and Olia Fay) and three brothers (David, Edward, and Wallace).

Steve, anxious to see Millie, went to Brooklyn to pick Millie up in his 1950 Dodge Wayfayer. He brought three mutual friends with him - Joe Marshall, Bill Gardner, and Ann Kane. After picking up Millie, they decided to do some "high stepping" at the Latin Quarter before returning to Tuckerton and New Gretna. That's where our matchbook comes in. Steve and Millie had their picture taken for a souvenir matchbook that Steve saved to this day. What a romantic!

Matchbook cover from the Latin Quarter. Who else out in the Blog-O-Sphere thinks that Steve looks like Ozzie Nelson? (Matchbook cover courtesy of Steve and Miller Potter.)
The back of the matchbook cover sports a Latin Quarter dancing girl. (Matchbook cover courtesy of Steve and Miller Potter.)

The gang at the Latin Quarter before taking Millie home to Tuckerton. (l-r) Millie Miller, Steve Potter, Bill Gardner, Joe Marshall, and Ann Kane who would later marry Bill Gardner. (Photo courtesy of Steve and Millie Potter.)

The jaunt to the Latin Quarter took place in February, 1952. Eight months later, Steve and Millie were married on October 30, 1952. No grass growing under their feet!

Teenagers, Millie and Steve, just before they were married. (Photo courtesy of Steve and Millie Potter.)

They built a house on Amasas Landing Road in New Gretna in 1957 where they raised a family of three girls - Sheryl, Linda, and Maureen. All three of the girls still live in New Gretna with their families, today. Sheryl married John Price, Linda married Steve Mears, and Maureen married Tom Kane.

Steve and Millie's Amasas Landing Road home under construction. (Photo courtesy of Steve and Millie Potter.)

Steve, Millie and their three girls (l-r) Maureen, Linda, and Sheryl. (Photo courtesy of Steve and Millie Potter.)

Steve with his parents, Paul and Esther Potter, and his three girls (l-r) Maureen, Linda, and Sheryl. (Photo courtesy of Steve and Millie Potter.)

What a beautiful family! And just think . . . It all started with a matchbook at the Latin Quarter in New York City.

Pete S


  1. Yo, Pete.

    I am enjoying your matchbook blog entries. One quibble, however: I think the Latin Quarter nightclub was on Times Square, not the Upper West Side.



    Thanks. I made the correction.


    PS- Ever been to the Latin Quarter?

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