Jim and Lori Singleton of Islip in a recent photo....

Jim and Lori Singleton of Islip in a recent photo. The couple married in January 1989. Credit: Singleton family

Jim Singleton of Islip recalls how he introduced himself to his future wife, Lori.

I was 21 in August 1987 when I began my senior year at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point. Twice a week, I had a class on the third floor of Furuseth Hall. I not only looked forward to the class but also to seeing the incredibly beautiful girl who worked in an office at the top of the stairs. Her desk was framed by the doorway. Once in a while, she'd look up and I'd try to catch her eye with a smile or a wave, without looking too goofy.

I asked some of my buddies whether they knew her. My friend Deb said she did. We had a movie night once a week on campus, and Deb usually delivered the ticket money to her. The girl's name was Lori -- and, no, Deb hadn't noticed a wedding ring on her finger.

The next day, with the ticket money box in hand, I made my way to Lori's office and stumbled through an introduction. "Um, hi, Deb is sick today, but she asked if I could drop the money off for her . . . and I'm, uh, Jim." I looked into her amazing, beautiful green eyes and just thought, "Wow!" We exchanged a couple of words. She said she hoped Deb felt better. I mumbled something and made a quick retreat.

After class the following day, I found myself in front of her desk again, this time confessing everything and admitting that I only wanted an excuse to talk to her. I asked her out for that evening. We shared a pitcher of margaritas over dinner at Chi-Chi's, then saw the movie "Stakeout," starring Richard Dreyfuss. The date was a success and so I asked her if she'd go to the Navy Ball with me in September. She said yes.

Lori was 22 and lived in East Islip. My family was living in England where my father worked for the U.S. government. This was her first job after getting her accounting degree from New York Institute of Technology in Central Islip. Her father, an FDNY chief engineer on the fireboats, a Navy veteran and Coast Guard reservist, was happy she was working at the Academy. She also told me I wasn't the only guy waving to her from the hallway.

We continued dating and met every day for lunch. I'd hang out in her office, which usually made me late for class. On Jan. 21, 1989, seven months after graduation, we were married at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Chapel. Her father was very happy that day.

Lori is an accountant with the Daughters of Wisdom convent in Islip. I work at ABLE Rigging Contractors in Deer Park as special projects manager. I am a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve and served a tour in Iraq between 2011 and 2012.

This year, Lori and I celebrated our 25th anniversary with our two amazing children. Happy anniversary, Beautiful.

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