Maryanne and Bart Bezyack of Port Jefferson celebrated their 60th anniversary this year. Maryanne recalls the day they met.
"Come on over and play," I called to the little boy on the tricycle.
"I can't -- I'm not allowed to cross the street," he responded.
The boy was 6, I was 4. My family and I were moving into our new home in Lynbrook from Maspeth, Queens. The little boy named Bart had come around the corner out of curiosity when he saw the moving van. It was 1940; not many families moved in those days, so it was a big event in the neighborhood. My tricycle was one of the first items removed from the truck, as the moving men wisely thought to keep me busy and out of the way.
Bart was eventually allowed to cross the street, and we began years of friendship and later romance as we moved through West End Elementary School (where my future mother-in-law was my Brownie Scout leader) and Lynbrook High School. We started dating in my sophomore year.
In 1953, just before his 20th birthday, Bart was drafted into the Army. We had already decided to marry, and so before he left for basic training at Camp Polk, La., we went to the town hall to apply for a marriage license. The age of consent for females was 18, 21 for males. I was 18, but since Bart was underage we had to bring his father along to give his permission.
The Korean War was on, and Bart was expecting to be shipped overseas. Four months later, he returned home on a three-day pass, and we were married. Just before the ceremony on Sept. 26, he received a telegram confirming the war was over, with instructions to "come back to camp and bring your wife." We had a one-night honeymoon at the Savoy Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. He flew back to Louisiana, and I drove down by myself. A year later he was assigned to Fort Reilly, Kan., and we stayed there until he completed his service in 1955. He was a platoon sergeant with the 10th Division.
We have had a wonderful life. Bart retired in 1995 as vice president of sales and marketing with MetLife. I entered college to study nursing when I was 37 and eventually became a nurse practitioner, assistant clinical professor and assistant dean at Stony Brook School of Nursing. I retired in 1988. I was also founding editor of Nursing Spectrum magazine and continue as a freelance writer and editor.
This year we celebrated our 60th anniversary with an affirmation of our wedding vows, followed by a trip with our three children and their spouses, and our six grandchildren, to St. Barts in the Caribbean, a favorite vacation spot.
On our first anniversary Bart started a tradition of giving me a single rose for every year of marriage. This year I received 60!