Fred Seden of Plainview recalls growing up with his future wife, Lucille.
Lucille came into my life when I was 11 and she was 8. In 1944 our families moved across the street from each other in the Castle Hill section of the Bronx. Lucille lived with her mother, grandparents and her mother's younger brother, Bill. Her Uncle Bill was only 13 and became one of the crowd of boys, including me, who played together. Lucille was a thin little girl with banana curls and freckles. Being a typical boy, I paid little attention to her as we grew up.
When Lucille's mother remarried in 1946, they both moved to the Throgs Neck area. On weekends Lucille stayed with her grandparents so she could go roller-skating with her friends. Bill was often asked to keep an eye on her, so she'd hang out with us. But I still didn't pay much attention to her.
In 1951, when Bill turned 21 and Lucille 16, her mother threw a birthday party for them at the house in Throgs Neck. Lucille invited the girls from our block, and Bill invited the boys. I was 19 and brought a date. I found out years later that it didn't go over too well with Lucille. She had a crush on me, but I still thought of her as the little kid from across the street.
That winter, with the Korean War raging, all the old gang were being drafted, so I joined the Navy.
I was assigned to the USS Mosopelea and served as engineman and diver. We sailed from Greenland to Panama.
Three years later I was home for Christmas leave and went to a New Year's Eve party at Bill's house. Lucille was there, too. Her date had car trouble and never showed.
What a difference three years make. Lucille was now 19, and I was paying attention. It was a night I shall always remember. We danced into the wee hours of the morning.
The next day I called her for a date, and to my delight she said yes. We saw each other until I had to return to my ship in Norfolk, Va. We wrote to each other, and I came home on weekends to see her whenever I could.
We were engaged in 1955, two weeks before I was discharged. On Oct. 6, 1956, we were married. Lucille's wedding band is engraved with MTYLTT, which stands for "More than yesterday, less than tomorrow." After 55 years, four children and seven grandchildren, those letters still hold true today. I retired in 1988 as a data technician with AT&T. Lucille retired in 1998 as a bookkeeper for Central Nassau Guidance and Counseling Services. We have a Mazda Miata convertible and enjoy taking road trips with the Big Apple Miata Club.