Rick and Sue Martino of Medford celebrated their 31st anniversary...

Rick and Sue Martino of Medford celebrated their 31st anniversary in July, 2015. Credit: Martino family

Rick and Sue Martino of Medford met while in “police custody.” Rick explains.

I was 19 and working at Havil’s jewelry store in Patchogue on July 11, 1980 during a sidewalk sale day for the village merchants.

I was sitting outside the store with our sale items when I saw the tall, blond, blue-eyed girl whom I had noticed several times around the village. She also was working that day, a few doors down at the Fine Stitch clothing store.

The police officer who walked the beat on Main Street stopped to speak to her. When they finished talking he came over to me. I had been working at the store after school and during the summer for more than two years, so I knew him fairly well. We said hello and I asked him about the girl. I said, “She’s beautiful.”

He told me her name was Sue Janning. She was 17 and had asked him about me. We both chuckled at the coincidence and he went inside the jewelry store. He soon came back outside, handcuffed me and walked me over to Sue. He then cuffed me to a rack of clothing and ordered us to “get to know each other” and left. Everyone was laughing and pointing at us.

We introduced ourselves. Sue lived in Sayville and had just graduated from high school. I grew up in Patchogue and was attending Suffolk Community College. The officer came back, but since we hadn’t agreed yet to go out on a date, he now handcuffed me to Sue and walked away. When he returned we had our first date planned and he took the cuffs off.

A couple of days later, I took Sue to a wine and cheese bar. We continued seeing each other until September when she had to begin travel agent training classes in Florida. Although we were in constant contact it was tough being apart. When she came home in December, we picked up where we left off. We enjoyed dancing at Levels and Spectrums, two local discos, and listening to bands at the Hobbit Hole.

On July 29, 1984, we were married at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Sayville. We have two great kids and have had a great life together. We visit Patchogue Village often, reminiscing about our start.

Sue is a teacher’s assistant at Developmental Disabilities Institute in Ronkonkoma. In 1992, I took over my family’s business, Martino Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning in Medford.

In 2009, we celebrated our 25th anniversary in Key West where we had spent our honeymoon. Last year, we went to Aruba for our 30th anniversary. For our 31st anniversary this summer, we had a quiet dinner out.

My wife is still beautiful after all these years and we are both looking forward to retiring and enjoying our golden years together.

— With Virginia Dunleavy

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