Cecilia Vaicels of Bellerose, Queens, recalls her courtship with future husband Charlie and a couple of memorable dates.
My husband, Charlie, and I met in July 1974 at Glenn's Tavern on Hillside Avenue in Richmond Hill, Queens. My friends and I were meeting some people at the tavern, which we hadn't been to before.
A group of guys, including Charlie, started talking to us. Someone asked me where I worked. When I said I was an executive secretary at Con Edison, Charlie said his father worked for Con Edison, too. We started a conversation. Charlie was 19 and was a checking account clerk at Manufacturer's Hanover Trust Bank in Manhattan. He lived in Glendale. I was 21 and lived in Ridgewood. My name was Cecilia Tierney then.
Our first date was on Aug. 7. He gave me a bottle of Revlon's Charlie perfume, then took me to Your Father's Mustache, a Greenwich Village restaurant. We ordered food and he asked me what I'd like to drink. My mother advised me to get whatever he was having so I wouldn't order something too pricey and embarrass him. I said, "Whatever you're drinking." He ordered a pitcher of beer.
Charlie was such a gentleman. He even bought me a T-shirt. We were having a wonderful time! However, I wasn't used to drinking beer and I drank three mugs. As we walked outside, the hot air hit me and I fell like a tree! Charlie picked me up, threw me over his shoulder and carried me to his car. I slept all the way home.
We continued dating and six weeks later we went fishing. On board the boat I got a bite on the line. There were six hooks with a Mackerel on each one. As I reeled in the line, Charlie told me to whip it over the rail. I did and some fish went flying across the boat. Suddenly Charlie was yelling, "Don't pull!" I had hooked him in the seat of his pants and had literally caught myself a man.
We were married on March 17, 1979 — St. Patrick's Day — at St. Matthias Church in Ridgewood. In 1989 we moved to Bellerose, Queens. We have one daughter.
Charlie retired in 2006 as a superintendent with the New York City Sanitation Department. I've worked at several jobs over the years. Since 1991, I've had acting parts with many theater groups and now perform in shows for Isles of Shoals Productions.
We marked our 35th wedding anniversary last year by marching in the St. Patrick's Day parade, followed by dinner and a comedy show, plus a two-night stay at the New York Hilton where we spent our honeymoon. For our 36th anniversary, we went to Woodloch Pines Resort in Pennsylvania with friends.
Our life together has never been dull. My husband tells everyone, if they want to have a wild time at their wedding, marry an Irish girl on St. Patrick's Day!