Love Story

First date ended in a proposal

During a Thanksgiving visit to family in Kansas City, Jim Holzmark, 26, stopped into his favorite men’s clothing store. When one of the owners mentioned that her 21-year-old daughter was home from college, Jim wanted to take her out right away. That November evening in 1963, Jim took Barbara Sloman to the Bellerive Hotel for drinks and dancing.

First impressions:

Barbara: “The way he danced won me over. He was good-looking and wore a top hat and a black overcoat. I melted.”

Jim: “We were both from the same socioeconomic background, and our values were the same. Our dancing together was great, and I fell head over heels for her. ”

The unfolding:

On that first date, Jim asked Barbara to visit him in Los Angeles. She declined, so he asked her to marry him. She had to decline again.

Jim returned to California the next day, and Barbara returned to college. When his roommate saw the smile on Jim’s face, he concluded, “You met Mrs. Right.” Jim had to agree.

During the Christmas holidays, when Jim and Barbara were both in Kansas City again, they spent a lot of time together. On Jan. 4, 1964, Jim asked, “When do you want to get married?” She answered, “August.”


Barbara visited Jim in Los Angeles that February. Once they were together, Jim didn’t want them to part. They were married March 7, 1964, in L.A. with their families and close friends in attendance. They lived in the area for seven years and returned here in August 1971 for Jim’s work and to live near family.

Favorite shared activities:

They volunteer together, spend time with grandchildren and relax at their lake house.


In 1981 they bought the New York Bakery Delicatessen at 7016 Troost Ave. They enjoyed working together: Jim ran the store and Barbara did the bookkeeping and some of the cooking. They later closed the business and have since retired.


They live in Leawood and have three children and nine grandchildren.

What keeps their relationship strong:

Whenever they part, they kiss goodbye. When they see each other again, they kiss hello. They consistently express their love and affection for each other. When they have troubles, they regroup and work things out.

The qualities they most appreciate in each other:

Barbara: “Jim is considerate, loving, warm and tender. He’s my cuddly bear.”

Jim: “I adore Barbara. She doesn’t do anything halfway. She’s an accomplished hostess and cook, and she makes me look good. We have a great partnership, and we have fun together.”