Married 45 years -- how we did it

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My husband and I recently attended a friend's son's wedding -- a beautiful affair, with vows said at St. Mark's Roman Catholic Church in Dix Hills and then a reception at Fox Hollow Inn in Woodbury. I looked at the glowing couple and realized most marriages start like this. But with an almost 50 percent divorce rate in this country, I wondered what happens to that glow?

Toward the end of the reception, all married couples were invited to the dance floor. Then the DJ started to eliminate couples, first those married less than 5 years, than 10 years, up to 40 years. My husband and I were the last couple standing. We were asked by the newlyweds and again by their friends, how did we do it?

My husband and I looked at each other and said in unison, "We decided that in this disposable society, our marriage was not disposable." That is not to say it has been smooth and quiet in our house. We argue, occasionally in decibels heard over the jetliners that fly out of MacArthur and over our house. Sometimes we didn't even like each other, at other times we feel we are not "in love," but we always love and respect each other. And that love, that foundation always won. Through good times and bad, sickness and health, we are together, a team.

This may all sound simplistic to some people. The simple part is getting married. The difficult part of marriage is understanding it is a job, something you need to work at every day. The effort you put into your marriage is reciprocated many times over (the familiar face smiling at you over your morning coffee, the phone call just to say "Hello, I love you," a hand to hold, no matter what the diagnosis).

I call my husband, my friend for over 45 years, my lover, my "Forever Love." I think the lyrics to the song sung by Pink, "Just Give Me a Reason," sum up what I am saying. "We're not broken, just bent and we can learn to love again."

E.D. Travis,HoltsvilleLindenhurst ins and outs

I grew up in Lindenhurst in the 1950s and '60s.

My father would call this his Ponderosa, bordered by the Narragansett Inn and The Fruit Tree. Pop recently passed at age 90.

As kids, we played in the streets -- kickball, softball, cowboys and Indians and Army. The playground was at Town Hall, just blocks away. We would walk there safely.

Many rainy days were great, playing Monopoly, Life, Clue, Sorry. Down the block was Woolworth's 5&10-cent store, Tuttles (10-cent hamburgers) and the soda shop, where we bought egg creams.

As we got older, we would walk into town along Wellwood Avenue to the movie house (35 cents for a double feature, plus cartoons), Patsy's for Italian ices (it's still there), Modern Bakery (still there), the museum (still there) and a place called Bonos. It's gone, but they sold a slice of pizza and soda for 25 cents.

Memories are always brought up at the Class of '69 reunions.

Vinny Broccio,

Lindenhurst

A model job at A & S

I grew up in Brooklyn and lived in an apartment building on the first floor. It was called a "railroad flat" as all the rooms were off the hallway. My parents saved their money and when I was 16, we moved to Malverne. I cried and howled, upset, my two best friends could not travel to Long Island. It was heartache leaving them behind. When would I see them again?

We moved into the small home in Malverne near Lakewood. I applied for a job at Abraham & Straus department store to help pay for college and traveling expenses. I attended Brooklyn College and had just finished one semester. My aunt still resided in Brooklyn and I was able to use her address -- otherwise, I would have had to pay extra as an out-of-towner.

To get to school, I had to take the Long Island Rail Road, subway and bus. It was a long, tedious trip, but I loved being on that lush campus and met some new friends.

The beauty of Long Island amazed me. The homes were spectacular and the parks and libraries were phenomenal.

I was hired by the College Shop at A & S. Imagine me, modeling! I modeled college attire and stunning dresses and bridal gowns. I met my future husband at A & S. He was working in the housewares department.

Roberta Solomon,

Massapequa Park

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