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It’s not just my generation—boomers are as likely as college kids to give online dating a whirl.Almost a quarter of online daters find a spouse or long-term partner that way.Our phones and texts and apps might just be bringing us full circle, back to an old-fashioned version of courting that is closer to what my own parents experienced than you might guess.
Each client paid five dollars and answered more than a hundred multiple-choice questions. (A previous installment had been about a singles bar—Maxwell’s Plum, on the Upper East Side, one of the first that so-called “respectable” single women could patronize on their own.) She had planned to interview Altfest, but he was out of the office, and she ended up talking to Ross.The people I have talked with tell me that their scammer experience ended with legal issues as well.Scammers have access to photos of the person they scammed.Cruising through the San Gorgonio Pass on the 10 Freeway into the Coachella Valley, I reveled in the starkly dramatic view — hypnotic, pinwheeling windmills; sun-bleached boulders; and the chocolate-brown, snow-tinged San Jacinto Mountains hugging the valley’s southern border like protective mama...the fall of 1964, on a visit to the World’s Fair, in Queens, Lewis Altfest, a twenty-five-year-old accountant, came upon an open-air display called the Parker Pen Pavilion, where a giant computer clicked and whirred at the job of selecting foreign pen pals for curious pavilion visitors. Within a year, more than five thousand subscribers had signed on. It would invite dozens of matched couples to singles parties, knowing that people might be more comfortable in a group setting. They wound up in the pages of the New York subscriber.