A Weekly Dinner Tradition

Father and son duo make dinner in Ocean City a tradition.

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Morris and Ben Semiatin at a local OC restaurant.

It’s the time of year to be thankful for a lot of things and no two people know this more than Morris and Ben Semiatin. Back in 2020, the father and son duo began having weekly dinners around Ocean City’s local restaurants. Ben posts weekly on social media showing off the restaurant they picked for that week, the incredible food, and of course photos of “his awesome dad! (The now famous tagline!)

Morris and Ben having dinner

It all began in the middle of the pandemic two years ago. Morris, who is 96 years young, was unable to leave his retirement home in Berlin due to Covid restrictions. Son Ben would pick up meals from local Ocean City restaurants and have dinner with his dad, socially distanced of course. Morris sat on his second story balcony eating, while Ben sat down on the sidewalk with a small side table. This weekly tradition continued throughout the pandemic but continued once restrictions for restaurants were lifted. Now Morris and Ben dine out once a week, choosing a different restaurant each time. 

Pandemic Dinner 2020

In the past 80 weeks, the Semiatin men have visited a total of 71 restaurants! Their first restaurant of choice in 2020 was Lombardi’s on 94th. Trying a variety each week, Ben and Morris try to mix it up a bit. Steak one week, fish the next, and then Morris’ favorite- spaghetti! Ben says “I know he’s having a good meal when he doesn’t say a word during dinner, just eating until the plate is clean.” Ben has a goal to reach 100 different restaurants! “We’re getting there!”

Morris enjoying his dinner
Morris always loves his Italian!

Neither one of them are able to pick a favorite restaurant. “We love them all! It’s hard to choose since we’ve never been to a bad place.” However, one special experience with a waiter at Mackey’s stands in the front of their mind. The dining duo had a waiter that served in the Marines, just as Morris had. He begged his boss to serve the table to honor Morris who had served in the same branch. They took photos together, reminisced about the Marines, and enjoyed each other’s company. When it was time for the bill, the server replied, “You don’t pay here. It was an honor and a privilege to serve you both.” 

Morris loves showing off his Marines pride!
Morris and Ben love supporting local OC restaurants.

Born in Baltimore, Morris moved to Silver Spring then to Berlin, Maryland where he resides at Gull Creek Senior Living Home. Morris served in the 5th Marines Division Iwo Jima from 1944-1946. He then worked as a White House news photographer from 1958-1985. In those years, he was able to photograph presidents such as John F Kenndy and Ronald Reagen, world leaders, among others- kings and queens. Semiatin was also recently invited to visit the National WWII Museum as a guest of the Gary Sinese Foundation. “It was an awesome experience to see the museum.” Ben says that his dad became emotional when seeing the Iwo Jima exhibit, as that holds such hard memories for the veteran.

Morris served in Iwo Jima from 1944-1946.
Another delicious meal

When not galavanting around Ocean City at his weekly dinners, Morris enjoys “chasing the ladies and sleeping! It’s funny but true.”

Ben says that dinners with his dad are usually just the two of them. “I love having dinner with my dad alone so that I can share that moment with him.” It’s people like Morris and Ben Semiatin that help us take a step back,  look at what’s important, and give thanks for the little things.

Morris and LBJ.
Morris behind the three surviving flag raisers of Iwo Jima at the statue dedication in VA.1954
Shaking hands with the Neil Armstrong.
Morris worked as a White House photographer and had the honor to snap photos of the Regans.

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