Joanne Marks of Oakdale recalls the first time she saw her future husband, Danny.In the summer of 1970, my family moved from East New York, Brooklyn, to Lindenhurst. I was 12 years old and quickly made many lifelong friends within the three-block area we called "The Neighborhood."
That winter, I was at a Knights of Columbus dance with my friend Carol and her brother when they said, "Look, there's Danny Marks!" Danny, 15, lived around the corner from me. We acknowledged each other, then went on with our night. I didn't give it a second thought.
Two years later, I began my freshman year at Lindenhurst High School, where Danny was a senior. We'd see each other at parties or while hanging out in separate groups of friends at the handball courts behind Babylon Town Hall. He had long blond hair and was a lifeguard for the Town of Babylon. The girls at school were envious because I lived near Danny, but he was just the boy around the corner to me. I secretly thought he must be conceited with so many girls chasing him.StoryShare your Long Island love story
Danny graduated in 1973, and we didn't see much of each other for several years. After I graduated high school in 1976, I attended recreational therapy classes at what was then the Agricultural and Technical College at Farmingdale.
In 1979, I landed a job at the North Lindenhurst Youth Center and came up with the idea of organizing an adult co-ed softball league there, hoping to attract volunteers for the center. I reached out to everyone, including Danny Marks. He said he would be a team captain as long as I played on his team. I agreed because I knew he would make a great captain. I also knew he was flirting with me.
During our time in the league, Danny and I learned we had a lot in common -- camping, skiing, softball, darts, music and the beach. Danny was not at all conceited. He was a wonderful human being; I even enjoyed his corny jokes! We were attracted to each other but hesitant about getting romantically involved because of our friendship.
In 1982, after two years of shilly-shallying, it happened. We had our first kiss outside the Gallery, a local tavern where Danny played darts. We began dating, and on June 8, 1985, I married the boy around the corner! We raised two exceptional children, a son and a daughter.
Danny has worked as a planner for more than 25 years, first with LILCO and now with PSEG in Brentwood. For the past 30 years, I've worked in the technical writing and project management fields. I currently work at SITA in Bohemia.
Last month we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary on a Viking River Cruise, sailing the Rhine River through Holland, Germany, France and Switzerland. Life is good.