Debbie and Bill Donahue of Northport recently celebrated their 40th...

Debbie and Bill Donahue of Northport recently celebrated their 40th anniversary with a trip to Puerto Rico. Credit: Donahue family

Bill Donahue of Northport recalls the day he met his future wife, Debbie.

I had been head usher at the Century Movie Theater, now the Paramount, in Huntington Village for four months when a new candy counter girl was hired. Her name was Debbie Germer. She was blond with blue eyes, quiet and very pretty. It was August 1970.

On her first day at work, she asked me where she could spend her break time. Instead of telling her about the best coffee shops or other nice places nearby, I directed her to the break room upstairs to read magazines. After that, whenever I was in the lobby I'd feel something hit me. It was Debbie throwing Jordan almond candies at me, but I could never catch her in the act.

However, I did start paying more attention to her. We were both 16. Her family moved to Huntington Station from Yonkers in 1969. She went to Walt Whitman High School, and I attended Huntington High School.

A few weeks later, I asked Debbie out on a date. We went to see a movie, not at the theater where we worked but at the Shore Theater on Wall Street in Huntington. We continued dating, usually taking walks around town and stopping at the Townhouse luncheonette on New York Avenue or the House of Id for hot apple cider and board games. It wasn't long before I asked her to go steady.

In 1972, I went away to Tarkio College in Missouri. Debbie and I saw each other only on my school breaks. She was then working as a keypunch operator for an optical firm in Woodbury.

Just before my senior year we decided to get married. We were 21. Debbie made all the wedding plans and on Aug. 9, 1975, we were wed at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Huntington Station. Our reception was at Golden Meadowbrook in Syosset and we honeymooned in Aruba.

Debbie Germer and Bill Donahue, who met while working at...

Debbie Germer and Bill Donahue, who met while working at a movie theater in Huntington, on a date in 1971. The couple got married on Aug. 9, 1975. Credit: Donahue family

Then off we went to Missouri, where we lived in a dormitory for married students. It was surrounded by miles of cornfields. Debbie would often return from the supermarket and find coyotes roaming the parking lot. Afraid to leave the car, she'd honk the horn for me to come down and rescue her. After I graduated in 1976, we moved back to Huntington. Debbie got her old job back and worked there until 1977 when she became a full-time mom.

We have been blessed with four children, one son-in-law, two daughters-in-law and two beautiful granddaughters. Debbie is office manager for a plastic surgeon in Huntington. I've worked for AT&T for the past 36 years, first in White Plains and now in Huntington, as a communications technician. We recently celebrated our 40th anniversary with a trip to Puerto Rico. Life is good! It's even better if you find your soul mate early in life, as I did.

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