Mary Margaret and John Pauliski of East Meadow are celebrating 60 years of marriage this year. John recalls meeting "Miss Talbot" for the first time.
I was 22 when I came home to Brooklyn in 1949 from Massachusetts, where I had served as a ship's medic in the Navy. I started going to parish dances with my friends every Sunday night. I also decided to join the "Young People's Club" at our neighborhood parish, Our Lady of Good Counsel, on Putnam Avenue, where I signed up for the social committee.
At one of our weekly meetings, the religious committee put on a play. When I looked up at the stage, I saw this gorgeous blonde and recognized her from the Sunday night dances. I didn't speak to her that night, because I thought she was out of my league. I did find out that her name was Mary Margaret Talbot. She was 21 and a teacher at Our Lady of Good Counsel's girls' school. There she was known as "Miss Talbot." Cute. Fortunately for me, we had mutual friends who were dating, and I asked them to set us up.
Our first date was in January 1950. We went to the movies. I bought her a gift and had it sitting on the front seat of the car when I picked her up. From then on I always had a little gift for her whenever we went out on a date. We grew up just a few blocks from each other. My parents knew her parents, but we hadn't noticed one another until then.
During our courtship, "Miss Talbot" changed careers and became a model for magazine and television ads. I remember how excited she was when she told me she'd landed the Lucky Strike commercial on the television show "Your Hit Parade." It was a live spot that ran every Saturday night during football season.
We were married on Aug. 29, 1953, at Incarnation Church in Bellaire, Queens, and honeymooned in Niagara Falls. Miss Talbot, now Mrs. Pauliski, went back to teaching part time. We had three daughters, who all eventually ended up with their mother as their teacher. Mary Margaret retired in 1980. I worked as a chief estimator engineer until 1976.
Mary Margaret and I have been truly blessed. We're planning a party at The Milleridge Inn in Jericho, with the finest linens and prime rib, to celebrate our 60-year love affair. We will be joined by our daughters, three sons-in-law, six grandchildren, twin great-grandsons and other close family members and friends.
She may have been the Lucky Strike girl, but I am the luckiest man in this world to be celebrating 60 years with my one and only.