Lucille and Pasquale "Pat" Guarasci of Calverton met as teenagers. Pat remembers their courtship and his long bus rides to see his future wife.
I was at my friend's birthday party in our Astoria, Queens, neighborhood when I first saw his cousin Lucille. It was 1958, and we were both 16. I asked her for a dance. I knew I had to see her again, so my friend gave me her number and we started dating.
Lucille lived in Woodside, Queens. I would take a bus to her house, a 45-minute ride each way, for our dates. We'd go to a movie in her neighborhood but, more often than not, we'd attend a dance at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Astoria, which meant four bus trips for me. But I was determined to see Lucille, as I knew I was going to marry her someday.
The following year, my family moved to Jackson Heights and Lucille's family moved to Flushing. Now I was taking a bus, the subway and then a second bus to get to her house. I'll never forget one trip during a winter storm. I got to Lucille's, but we decided to spend the evening at home with her family because of the weather. It was snowing very hard, and, by the time I left to go home, bus service was suspended. I was able to flag down a passing plow truck, and the driver gave me a lift to the subway station. When I got off the train, I had to walk about three miles through the snow to get home.
In 1960, Lucille graduated from St. Michael's Academy in Manhattan, and I graduated from William Cullen Bryant High School in Astoria. We went to each other's senior prom. I soon had a car of my own, which made the commute to her house much easier.
On April 11, 1964, we were married at St. Kevin Church in Flushing, followed by a reception at Dante's Catering in East Elmhurst. We have three amazing children and eight grandchildren. To celebrate our 50th anniversary, our children hosted a dinner party for us at Mama Lombardi's restaurant in Holbrook with our entire family.
Lucille retired in 2011 as front desk manager with a dental practice in Oyster Bay. I retired in 1999 as a manager with Citibank in Wantagh.
We both feel that meeting at that party was our destiny. After 50 years, our love for each other never stops growing.