Pat and Marty Houk, of Kings Park, became very close in high school, which led to some problems when it came to their first date. Pat explains.
Marty and I met in 1954 during our sophomore year at Thornton High School in Harvey, Ill., a Chicago suburb. We became good friends. Marty felt very comfortable with my family and often came over to my house. During our senior year we worked on the school newspaper. I was a feature writer, and he was my editor. We were always together and even double-dated to our senior prom, but with other dates.
I went on to Illinois State to study to become a teacher, and Marty enrolled at Northwestern to study journalism, but we kept in touch and saw each other during school breaks. Both of us also enjoyed music and playing tennis.
Being a good friend, I set him up on dates with my roommates until Marty finally said, "Why are you fixing me up with dates? Why don't you go out with me?" That seemed like a strange idea to me because we had been such good friends and he seemed more like a brother. I reluctantly said I'd go to the movies with him, but I took my sister along so it wouldn't feel so awkward.
After we went back to school, he wrote me notes (he is a wonderful writer) and sent cards. I dated other guys and started to realize none of them was as smart, considerate or fun to be with as Marty. It was an eye-opener: I loved Marty.
On our next school break we went out again, but this time Marty made sure it was just the two of us. It didn't take long before we knew we were meant for each other.
Following graduation I became a teacher and Marty went back to Northwestern to get his master's in journalism. Afterward, he became a news editor at the Chicago Daily News. That summer, on Aug. 18, 1962, we were married at the Wayside Chapel in Palos Park, Ill.
He retired as the night sports editor in 1995. I helped start the paper's Newspapers In Education program and was Newsday's manager of NIE for 20 years, during which time we helped develop the Future Corps program. I retired in 2000. We have three daughters, two granddaughters and a grandson.
After living in Plainview for 38 years we moved to Kings Park in 2004 and continue to travel. Recently, we marked our 50th anniversary with a trip back to the Wayside Chapel, accompanied by our wedding party from Indiana, Alabama and Michigan. We then spent three days in Chicago, a gift from our daughters. In August, our family joined us for a week in Montauk.