The Circle of Love: Pat and Jim Wu’s Love Story

Nov 5, 2023 | Love Stories

It was the summer of 1949. Jim Wu was with his family on Newark Avenue in Bradley Beach after graduating from High School. His two nephews, Herbie, six months older, and Freddy, six months younger, were very excited that Vaughn Monroe was coming to Convention Hall in Asbury Park with his big band orchestra and the “Moonmaid” singers. (The show was sponsored by the Camel Caravan to promote Camel cigarettes.)

The boys tried to convince Jim to go with them, but he did not have a date. They offered several possibilities, but he decided to ask Pat, whose grandmother, Kate Wong, lived next door on Newark Avenue. The three couples went off to see Vaughn Monroe in Asbury Park. Jim had no confidence in his dancing skills but, as luck would have it, the hall was so crowded there was no room to dance anyhow!

Jim and Pat began to date. They walked the boardwalk in Asbury Park and Bradley Beach and took advantage of the amusements, food, miniature golf and scenery along the way. They would also stop at Spic & Span for ice cream. Pat also visited Jim at Bucknell University as their relationship evolved.

After four years of college and two years of military service, Jim married the girl next door on November 19, 1955 in the Transfiguration Roman Catholic Church on Marcy Street in Brooklyn, NY. That day, there was a terrible snowstorm. The church was cold and empty; the priest did not show up! He was away on a sick call and forgot to post it! Well, “Irish Eyes” were smiling upon the couple, as there happened to be a priest who had just arrived in America from Ireland and performed the ceremony. The priest told the newlyweds, “Things will just get better from here.” Jim agrees that they absolutely did! The couple actually had two receptions, one for each side of the family with a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony.

After they married, Pat and Jim lived in Chinatown (NYC) where their first two daughters were born. They moved to Clifton, NJ and added two more daughters to their family. When the girls grew up, completed their college education and were all married, Pat and Jim retired to Sarasota, FL for about 30 years. Finally, the couple relocated to Seabrook in Tinton Falls, NJ, not far from where they met nearly 75 years before. They have four daughters, three granddaughters and one grandson.

True love begins in Bradley Beach. Pat lived in Brooklyn and Jim lived in Chinatown. If it weren’t for Bradley Beach, they never would have met. So, for Pat and Jim Wu, true love really began in Bradley Beach where their 74 year love story began.

In the words of Vaughn Monroe, “There, I’ve said it again!”