Vincent and Lorraine Barone of North Woodmere believe the stars were perfectly aligned the night they met. Vincent explains.
In November 1952, I was a 21-year-old Army recruit doing basic training at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland when my buddies and I got a weekend pass. They lived in New Jersey and tried to persuade me to spend the weekend with them, telling me about a beautiful dance hall in Newark they were going to called the Terrace Ballroom. I said no. We were being shipped to Korea in three weeks and I was eager to get back home to Brooklyn.
We all boarded the same train on Saturday, and when the doors opened at the Newark station, two of them pushed me from behind as the other one pulled me off the train. I remember thinking, "I guess I am going to this dance."
The ballroom was beautiful. We decided to get a drink at the bar, and that's when I spotted a girl out on the dance floor. I walked over and asked her for a dance.
Her name was Lorraine Colatrella and we hit it off immediately. She was 19, lived in Newark and had six siblings. She was a full-time student at Montclair State University and also worked part time on weekends. Lorraine told me she had planned to go on a hayride that evening but it had been canceled. So she and her cousin decided to come to the Terrace Ballroom.
We danced all night, and by the third song we were dancing cheek to cheek. Before we left I asked the hat check girl for a pencil and paper and got Lorraine's phone number and address.
I stayed overnight in New Jersey with my buddies and proclaimed that if I returned safely from Korea, I was going to marry that girl! They thought I was crazy. I wrote a letter to Lorraine the next day.
She wrote to me every day while I was overseas. I always looked forward to her letters. I served with the 8th Field Artillery Regiment and returned home in April 1954, shortly before being honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant.
Lorraine and I picked up where we left off and were married on Sept. 25, 1955. We have been blessed with three children, two daughters-in-law, one son-in-law and five grandchildren.
Lorraine got her teaching degree in 1955. She didn't become an educator but instead became a full-time mom and homemaker while I ran my own business, Vinnie's Meat Trucking in Bedford-Stuyvesant, from 1955 until I retired in 1989. For our 60th anniversary, our family recently took us into Manhattan in a limo to see the Broadway musical "Jersey Boys."
I could spend another 60 years with Lorraine. She is my heart and soul and I love her to the ends of the Earth.