Love Story: John and Anne Sperando, North Babylon

Anne and John Sperando of North Babylon in

Anne and John Sperando of North Babylon in a recent photo. (Credit: Handout)

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John Sperando of North Babylon recalls the night he met his wife, Anne.. I picked my future wife out of a group of seven girls the second she walked into a Catholic Charities dance in Rego Park, Queens. It was August 1956. Anne was very attractive, and without hesitation I crossed the floor and asked her to dance. We spent the rest of the night together, and I found myself telling her all about my recent stint in the Army -- I had served with the 10th Special Forces as a paratrooper in Germany from 1954 to 1956 -- as well as my plans for the future.

She was 19, and I was 21. Since I didn't have a car, we made plans to meet again at the next dance two weeks later. At that second meeting, I asked her out.

For our first date, I traveled via subway and bus from my house in Ozone Park, Queens, to Anne's house in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Being unfamiliar with the area, I stopped to ask two girls sitting on a stoop whether 166 Troutman Street was nearby. "It's just a few more doors down," one of the girls said. It turned out that she was Anne's kid sister, Josie, and she knew I was her sister's date for the evening. When Josie got home later that night, she told her mother, "She's going to marry him!" Anne's mother responded with skepticism, which didn't last very long!.

Anne and I went to a movie and then to a deli for something to eat. We continued dating and fell in love. Three months later, I proposed and Anne accepted. We officially got engaged in July 1957, and to celebrate we went to see Johnny Mathis at a Long Island nightclub. When we married on June 1, 1958, Anne's birthday, we played his version of "True Love" as our wedding song.

We bought our house in North Babylon in 1962 and were thrilled to become the parents of a son and then a daughter. Ours was a typical Italian home, complete with lots of love, good food and family. We now have two grandchildren.. I retired in 1991 as a lineman/inspector for NYNEX after 36 years with the phone company. Anne worked for the Town of Babylon as a senior clerk/typist and retired in 1999.

Since 1999, Anne and I, along with our children, have been active members of the Long Island support group of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association. Both of our children were diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension at age 34. They are fighters and are doing well.. This June will be our 55th wedding anniversary, and it's amazing how fast the years have gone by. I want to wish my beautiful wife a happy anniversary. We definitely have a "true love."

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