Monday, June 13, 2016


                                     SOL HITZIG, LUCIE ARNEZ AND JOYCE SALTMAN         

 Joyce Saltman likes to brag that she is world famous…in Connecticut. As a Special Education teacher for decades, many of them at Southern CT State University, and a Laughter Guru and lecturer all over the country, Joyce is a unique individual.  When she gives her talks on Health and Laughter, Sex and Health and Laughter and Just Plain Laughter, the response is overwhelmingly positive.  She donates her lecture fees to her favorite charities, like Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp where sick children enjoy a week of activities at no cost, or Hadassah, her local synagogue Hebrew Congregation of Woodmont that is celebrating its 90th anniversary or PAP Corps, a cancer research facility in Florida. 

Not being ordinary by any means, when Joyce lost her beloved husband of 24 years, Kopi Saltman, a rabbi, she looked to find another  soul mate, a man who met her long list of 20 requirements, like having a sense of humor, being bright, financially independent, social and caring, to name a few.  After searching for three years, Joyce was fortunate enough to met Sol Hitzig, a man who embodied all her sought for qualities and even more.  He approached her after one of her talks on Laughter one Sunday morning in Del Ray Beach, Florida where Joyce spends half her year. She had mentioned Norman Cousins in her talk and how laughter had helped his recovery from serious illness, when his doctor had urged him to check out of the hospital and go to a hotel and view comedy shows on television. That doctor was Sol’s uncle. 

The enterprising Sol used that information as his opening gambit to ask Joyce out on a date.  They went to Snappers, a fish restaurant, and talked until closing time.  For forty years, Sol was a dedicated stock broker, many of those years with Morgan Stanley. After being married to his lovely Blossom for 51 years, Sol quickly recognized a “good investment” when  he met Joyce.

Now the couple are celebrating five years of married bliss and since they are far from the every day variety, their party had to be unusual, different and grand. As  the happy couple of the evening explained, "Sol and I love celebrations with friends! For our first anniversary in 2012, we threw a gala party at a Chinese buffet in Florida for our 90th Wedding anniversary, since Sol had been married for 51 years, I had been married for a total of 38, and together we had been married for one year, thus equaling 90 years of marriage! We had over 100 friends come for the luncheon, as our guests. Buffets are good, as they allow everyone to choose what they like to eat! Why IKEA? Aside from the fact that IKEA is Sol's favorite store, Sol's response was right on the mark.- We know that IKEA can almost always provide a solution to a problem. This party is a way for celebrating our friends in a unique venue!” 

Why IKEA, indeed? If you need a desk or a dustpan, a bed or a bar stool, towels or toys, the ideal place to shop is IKEA in New Haven. The vast furniture chain began with an entrepreneurial lad, Ingvar Kamprad, who at the enterprising age of five began selling matches to neighbors after purchasing them in bulk in Stockholm.  He soon expanded his line of products to include greeting cards, flower seeds, ball point pens and Christmas tree decorations.That was almost a century ago and now his legacy, the furniture maven known for putting- it -together- yourself, has morphed to over forty countries around the globe.  Priding itself as an economical and modern solution to your bedroom and bathroom, kitchen and closet, living room and living space needs, IKEA is Sweden’s answer to contemporary furnishings. Now IKEA is creating a new venture in New Haven at 450 Sargent Drive when it hosts its first anniversary party to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Joyce Saltman and Sol Hitzig from Milford. 

Food manager Alejandro Pineiro is planning a Swedish smorgasbord for the gala occasion in IKEA's recently renovated facility, one famous for its Swedish meatballs with sweet and tangy lingonberry sauce.  In addition to this national favorite, there will be smoked salmon platters, chicken and vegetarian meatballs, salmon fillet with hollandaise sauce, mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables, salad, rolls, cheese and fruit, a toast with sparkling pear cider, Swedish coffee and a host of tempting desserts. As Pineiro explained, “When I heard of Joyce and Sol’s intentions at first I felt honored and thankful for them thinking about IKEA to celebrate such an event. The idea and intention of providing the venue and our Swedish dishes looked like an opportunity and a great thing to do (why not?)"

According to Jeff Zeitlin, Customer Relations Manager, he was quick to add his thoughts.  “My relationship with Joyce and Sol goes back many years and involves many wonderful family events so it was my pleasure to make this innovative party be part of IKEA’s new celebratory venture.  We look forward to our first anniversary party for two such special people, the first in our twelve year history in New Haven.” Not to be left out, Antonio Banaga, the Restaurant Commercial manager added his good thoughts, "I am so excited to be a part of this Wedding Anniversary Celebration. We strive to bring a smile to everyone and have our products be a part of lives. What better way to do this than to help celebrate their special occasion at IKEA. It’s a first for IKEA New Haven and seeing the joy we brought to the celebrants, this will definitely not be the last." 

Clearly the boy who started it all, Ingvar Kamprad, would be proud. His “matches” have now  translated into "match making."

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