Roseann Roslak of Holtsville recalls meeting future husband Vinny on her birthday.
In 1950, I met the love of my life at a St. Patrick's Day dance on my 17th birthday. The dance was on March 18 at Our Lady of Snow Church in my neighborhood, Blue Point. Father James Daly, the parish priest, walked me to the middle of the dance floor and had the band play "Happy Birthday."
My friend Lee knew the band's saxophone players, Vinny Roslak and his brother Tom, who were from Patchogue. She introduced me. My maiden name was Roeding. They invited us to go for pizza. Vinny, 19, asked for my phone number. A few days later, he called and took me out for a soda. He soon called again to say he had a new car and would pick me up at school. I was a junior at Bayport High School. When classes let out, I looked for a new 1950 model car. I didn't see one, so I took the bus home. Later, Vinny drove up to my house in a 1939 Chevy. As he explained, it was a "new" car to him.
That spring, Vinny gave me his school ring. That summer was the best. Every Saturday night, we'd see a movie at the Patchogue Theatre, then go dancing to jukebox records at the Pine Grove Inn in East Patchogue with our friends. On Sundays, we would head to Westhampton Beach.
We got engaged in March 1952. In October, Vinny and his brother joined the Navy. We planned a June wedding but changed the date when Vinny learned he was shipping out to Korea. Father Daly officiated at our wedding on March 14, 1953, at the church where we met.
Vinny was a boiler technician on the aircraft carrier USS Lake Champlain. I was able to join him in December 1953 for two months while he was stationed in Jacksonville, Florida.
His service was up in July 1956 and we bought our house in Holtsville the following year. We got our first cabin cruiser boat in 1967 and joined the Suffolk Boat Club in Patchogue. We took family and friends cruising with us and spent many fun weekends at Davis Park on Fire Island.
For our 50th anniversary in 2003, we renewed our vows with then-Bishop Daly at Our Lady of Snow Church. Afterward, we celebrated with friends and family at Sunset Harbour in East Patchogue. (Daly died last October.)
Vinny retired in 1993 as internal combustion supervisor with LILCO. I retired in 2008 as a bridal consultant at Bridal Paradise in Patchogue.
We've been blessed with two daughters, a son, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, with one more on the way. We are never lonely with that crew!
Our journey together has had its ups and downs, but the ups definitely outweigh the downs. Thank heaven for that St. Patrick's Day dance!