Diana and Alfredo "Al" Regino of Plainview got around a language barrier and fell in love. Diana explains.
Al was born in Portugal, 3,000 miles away from my hometown in upstate Tarrytown. He was 15 in 1957 when he arrived in the neighboring town of Sleepy Hollow to join his parents and grandparents already here. Two years later, when he was 17 and I was 14, we noticed each other.
On Saturdays, I would take lunch to my father at "Sam's" -- his barber shop in Sleepy Hollow -- and would pass Al's house. He started waiting outside for me to walk by, but would never say a word. I wasn't aware that he was still learning English. His best friend later told me that Al said, "I will marry that girl one day."
About a year later, we were in the Sleepy Hollow High School cafeteria when I noticed Al staring at me. I walked over and asked if he needed help with anything. He invited me to sit down and we talked. We discovered we had a lot in common. Three of his compatriots were clients of my dad's, and his grandfather knew my father. Al was a senior and captain of the soccer team, which my brother, Bob, played on. My cousin and Al were classmates and good buddies. Little did I know that he had been asking them about me.
I began going to soccer practice, and afterward Al would carry my books and walk me home. We'd first stop at the sweet shop for a soda, then go to the local library to do homework. We danced our first dance together at my Sweet 16 birthday party to the song "Sixteen Candles." We'd go to the movies, or to dinner or dancing together, something we both enjoy very much. We also went to each other's senior prom.
My family loved and accepted Al immediately. His parents didn't speak English. I knew Italian, so I managed and eventually learned to speak, read and write Portuguese.
After graduating in 1961, Al and his family moved to Long Island, where he attended the Technical Institute at Farmingdale. He'd drive up to see me every weekend. I graduated in 1962 and went to work for the County Trust Co. in Tarrytown. We were engaged on Aug. 18, 1963, and planned our future together.
We were married on June 14, 1964, at the Immaculate Conception Church in Sleepy Hollow and moved to Long Island. We raised four wonderful sons and now have four beautiful grandchildren. Al retired in 1996 from
S & S Concrete Corp. as construction foreman. I work part time as a teacher's aide in the Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District.
It has been such a happy adventure and we look forward to many more fun-filled years. Al and I recently celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary by renewing our vows at Holy Name of Jesus Church in Woodbury followed by a party with family and friends at the Holiday Inn in Plainview. We also went on a family vacation to Villa Roma in the Catskills.