Joan and Larry Prendergast of Franklin Square met on a blind date. Larry recalls how his frugal ways did not make a good first impression.
On April 4, 1964, I met my future wife, Joan Bluight, on a blind date. It was the day after I was discharged from the Navy. I had enlisted in 1960 and served on the aircraft carrier USS Lake Champlain as an aviation structural mechanic. We patrolled the waters off the East Coast.
My best friend was dating Joan’s best friend, and they arranged the date. Joan was 18 and lived in Manhattan. I was 23 and lived in Queens Village. The four of us went to see the movie “Love With the Proper Stranger,” starring Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen, at the Bellerose Terrace theater.
I thought Joan was beautiful but didn’t let on at the time. I later found out that she thought I was cute but also cheap because when she asked for popcorn and a soda, I hesitated. I finally bought both on the condition that we share the popcorn. She gave me a look as if to say, “Are you kidding?” Within two weeks, though, we went out on our second date.
We continued dating through the summer, often going to the World’s Fair at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park. I had just purchased a 1962 Chevy Impala and was interested in the automobile exhibits, while Joan liked the GE kitchen of the future. We both enjoyed the Swiss Sky Ride, a cable car high above the fairgrounds.
The title of the movie we saw on our first date turned out to be prophetic. Joan and I became engaged that November and were married on Sept. 4, 1965, at a Nuptial Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Queens Village. We had a reception at Antun’s Restaurant and spent our honeymoon at Strickland’s Resort in Mount Pocono, Pennsylvania.
Joan was principal office assistant for the Port Authority Police Department at LaGuardia Airport from 1983 to 2005. I worked in the international banking division at Morgan Guaranty Trust Company in Manhattan and retired in 1980. I have been executive secretary for the Franklin Square Chamber of Commerce since 1986. Joan and I enjoy traveling, going to local events and spending time with family.
Last September, our wonderful family — three sons, three daughters-in-law and seven grandchildren — treated us to a dinner at Filomena’s Restaurant in Franklin Square to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary.
In keeping with the words of our wedding song, we love each other “More Than You’ll Ever Know”! The secret to our happy marriage can be described in one word: share. Share your feelings, your happiness, your sadness, your plans and your love. Share everything, including the popcorn.
— With Virginia Dunleavy