John and Madeline Carey of South Setauket in a recent...

John and Madeline Carey of South Setauket in a recent photo. Credit: Handout

John and Madeline Carey of South Setauket celebrated their golden wedding anniversary this year. John recalls how it all started.

My wife, Madeline, and I took our first trip to Ireland in May. It was a special vacation to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary. Looking over at my beautiful wife just before we left, I thought back to the first day I gazed upon her lovely face.

She moved to my block in 1955 when she was 12 years old and I was 14. We lived in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn. I remember she was wearing a pair of shorts that made me shake in my sneakers. Madeline was, and still is, very outgoing and bubbly. I poked my friend and said to him, "She is mine, so don't even look at her."

I soon heard rumors from her friends that she had her sights on me, too. She had even said to her mother one afternoon, "Do you see the boy over there, the one with the glasses? That's the boy I'm gonna marry." My lovely mother-in-law was at a loss for words. She asked, "How old is that boy?" When Madeline replied, "Fourteen, Mommy," her mother said, "He is too old for you."

I didn't waste any time and asked her to Mellhop's Ice Cream Parlor for a soda. We started dating. As we got older we'd go to the movies or to a show at the Paramount Theater in Downtown Brooklyn. Over the years we'd have our little spats. We'd break up and date other people for a while, but we always came back to each other. Everyone in the neighborhood would smile when they saw us; they knew we were meant to be together.

I asked Madeline to marry me in 1962. She was 19 and I was 21 when we wed on May 25, 1963, at St. Finbar Church in Bensonhurst. When I think about it today, we were only kids ourselves and did not realize the great life adventure we were going to take together. The highlights of our lives are that we raised two wonderful sons and have a beautiful granddaughter. Madeline works part time as office manager at the Knolls senior community in Stony Brook. I was a pressman at The New York Times until I retired in 2008. I'm now a part-time volunteer at the Long Island State Veterans Home in Stony Brook and at St. Gerard Majella Church in Port Jefferson Station, where I'm a member of the Knights of Columbus.

I have to thank my Madeline for being the most exquisite and caring woman, and definitely the best thing that ever came into my life. I cannot imagine a more perfect person to have been with for the past 50 years. I hope she will have me for another 50 years.

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