Joe and Shirley Callahan of Mineola celebrate their 60th wedding...

Joe and Shirley Callahan of Mineola celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in 2010. Credit: None

Shirley Callahan of Mineola recalls how she and her husband, Joe, met on a blind date - half of a double date set up for their friends' benefit:

I was living in upstate Troy in 1948, and every Friday night I had a standing date with my friend Deanie. We'd go shopping and stop at a restaurant for dinner.

A student from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy named John asked Deanie for a date for one Friday night. She told him that she couldn't go because she always spent the evening with me. Not to be deterred, John said that they could double-date with his roommate Joe.

Deanie called me and explained the situation. I didn't want to go on a blind date, but since she was interested, I said I would.

Joe agreed to meet the three of us at the Puritan Restaurant. He played lacrosse and would be marching in a parade earlier that day with the team.

When the evening arrived, we were waiting for Joe at the restaurant when another friend of John's came over to say hello. He ended up sitting next to me.

When Joe got there, he saw the two "couples" in the booth and figured that I had already found a date. He considered just going back to his dorm, but since he had promised to meet us, he joined us.

Joe and I ended up having a wonderful time. After we left John and Deanie, we walked and talked for hours. Joe was 24 and I was 22. He had served in the Army during World War II with the anti-aircraft Coast Artillery in Africa and Europe and was now taking engineering courses. I had graduated from the College of St. Rose in Albany.

The next day I got a call from the other friend who had sat with us at the restaurant. He asked me for a date, but by then I only had eyes for Joe.

On Sunday I met Deanie at church. Joe found out that I would be there and, after Mass, invited us to go for a ride with him and another friend. We started dating.

Joe and I married on June 17, 1950, and two years later we moved to Long Island, where Joe worked at Sperry and then for Grumman Aircraft. After raising three girls, I got my master's degree and worked for 20 years as a business teacher at Mineola High School. Joe and I both retired in 1987. We have five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren

We celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary last year at a party with family and friends. How different our lives would have been if Joe had not decided to go into that restaurant!

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