Accession Number: C.2020.43.1
Dimensions: 11 in X 8.5 in
Dimensions (Metric): 27.94 cm X 21.59 cm
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gene Cassara
Submission letter for the contest: "Seal It With a Kiss on Top of the World!" submitted by Barbara Murphy and Gene Cassara. The submission is a typed poem:
Our love is a fire that New York's Bravest (Firefighters) cannot extinguish
Hot and consuming, never a moment to languish
Our love is a felon that New York's Finest (Police) cannot lock up or arrest
Breaking all rules and curfews, never a moment of rest
Our love has the power that New York's Strongest (Sanitation) cannot match
Strong, powerful, mighty, not like that wimp Richard Hatch!
Our love is like an inmate that New York's Toughest (Correction) cannot confine
Waiting to be released and set free, much like a fine wine
Our love is the World Series that even the Yankees cannot beat
Rushing in to home plate, never skipping a beat
Our love is the Superbowl of all-time romances
Crossing over the goal line, taking our changes
We should celebrate our love, lips ready and curled
By Sealing It With a Kiss on Top of The World
According to Barbara Murphy and Gene Cassara, neither of them were looking for a long-term relationship when they met by chance at the now closed restaurant, La Maganette. On the evening of December 17, 1982 Barbara had left an office Christmas party with a girlfriend. Instead of waiting outside for the bus home they decided to pass the time at La Maganette. Inside, she caught the eye of Gene. Barbara and Gene exchanged looks and a few words. She handed over her phone number and the courtship began. Less than five years later, on May 23, 1987, they were married.
In January 2001, Barbara saw an advertisement in the New York Daily News that captured her attention. It was an open call to participate in the "Seal it With a Kiss on Top of the World" contest. Applicants were invited to submit an original work of prose describing the special relationship they had with their partner. Winners were to be rewarded with a wedding ceremony at The Top of the World South Tower Observation Deck at the World Trade Center. Already married, Barbara and Gene did not technically qualify. However, Barbara was then and remains today a frequent contest entrant and fierce competitor. So when she and a girlfriend submitted their essays together only to have the friend be the only one to receive an acceptance letter, Barbara decided to take an additional step. On the winning letter was the name Jurriaan Veth, the contest coordinator. Barbara called Veth and convinced him to allow her and Gene to participate in the ceremony beside their friends even though they would "only" be renewing their vows.
Barbara and Gene were delighted to participate in the ceremony. They recited their vows along with other the contest winners and participated in the reception. In addition to participation in the ceremony, contest winners were rewarded with professional photographs commemorating the event and an invitation to return to the Observation Deck the following year for a Valentine's Day, an occasion that never arrived following the events of 9/11.