A Culver City love story for the ages

Couple reunite, rekindle romance By Brett Callwood

Courtesy photo TOGETHER FOREVER—Stefani Violin and Mark Singer were high school sweethearts who parted ways due to circumstances. They found each other again almost 30 years later.

Stefani Violin and Mark Singer both have musical names, but their love wasn’t always in harmony. They were together for three and a half years from 1969 to 1973. “As members of Temple Akiba youth group, we were the bride and groom for a mock wedding, which is a pretend wedding to show the kids what a Jewish wedding was, and also a good reason for a dance,” Violin told the CCN. “Our relationship was rocky for a lot of different reasons – one was he never asked me to go steady. [It] sounds silly, but I really wanted to go steady with him. His mom was concerned that he was spending too much time with one person so young and she convinced him to ‘play the field’ more, which broke my heart more than once.” So the pair broke up and were apart for 29 years, although they never lost touch and, according to Violin, they never stopped loving each other. “[We were] just young and stupid,” she said. “We even visited over the years while we lived in different states with our spouses. It was during a visit in Southfield, Mich., in October 1996, when we admitted our feelings but still did not come back together. We even spent a few days together in Culver City in 1997 – totally unexpected, when he admitted that he always would stop by my parents’ house to say ‘hello’ whenever he was in Culver City.” In 2002, Violin’s mother passed away in Culver City after a battle with cancer. She called Singer in Nebraska, and they told each other that their current marriages were failing. “I simply said to let me know how it goes,” Violin said. “Three weeks later, he tried to call me – he left three voicemails that afternoon. I came home and was listening to them, when my niece called and told me he had called my parents’ number to double check that he had the right phone number. We finally connected late that night. We spoke nightly for nine weeks when he flew to California and we planned to meet in a parking lot of a residential treatment center where his brother was currently staying.

The anticipation of our reunion was crazy!” This was 2002, and they were speaking constantly on their cellphones. In fact, Singer ran up a huge phone bill because of the roaming charges back then. “The moment he got out of his car and came over to me was as good as any moment in a movie,” Violin said. “We spent the next year visiting as often as we could. Then, after my son graduated from high school, he and I and his brother moved to Nebraska. That was the summer of 2003. We got married by a Justice of the Court in 2004, and then had a Culver City wedding in 2005. Many of the same temple friends attended, and Rabbi Maller presided over the mock wedding 35 years earlier, as well as March 20, 2005. He started the ceremony with, ‘Well, as you all may remember, 35 years ago, we had the rehearsal,’ and my friend read a poem I wrote recalling how we came together then and now. We now live in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and we never stop reminding ourselves of how grateful we are to be together.” Sometimes, love takes its time. “We appreciate that we are together in spite of missing out on the 29 years we should have been together,” Violin said. “It is a love story for the ages.”

Courtesy Photo
and Mark Singer take part in
a mock wedding as sweethearts
in the early seventies.
Courtesy Photo
Violin and Mark Singer are seen
here at Valcrest Pool in 1970. They
were together from 1969 to 1973.