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Love Story: 50 years together began with summer romance in Shirley

Helena and Tim Wresch, of Albertson,  celebrated

Helena and Tim Wresch, of Albertson,  celebrated their 50th anniversary in June. Credit: Wresch family

Helena Wresch of Albertson recalls the day she met her husband, Tim.

In the 1950s, my father and Tim’s grandfather bought land in Shirley where they built summer homes. Although we both grew up spending our summers there, Tim and I didn’t meet until July 1964, when I was 16 and he was 17.

I was walking with my girlfriend when three boys in a 1950 Buick drove up. We all introduced ourselves and started talking. My name was Helena Goussios. The driver, Tim Wresch, asked if we wanted to go to the Kozy Korner, an ice cream parlor on Neighborhood Road in nearby Mastic Beach. We both said, “Yes.”

Tim and I started hanging out together with our friends, playing mini-golf, going to the beach or to the Shirley Drive-In for a movie.

When summer ended, we continued seeing each other. On Sundays, Tim took the Long Island Rail Road from his Chelsea home in Manhattan to my home in Albertson. We were high school seniors. Tim attended Chelsea Vocational High School. I went to Herricks High School. He gave me his high school ring.

The next spring, we went to my senior prom at the former Huntington Town House. Afterward, we saw Dionne Warwick perform at The Boulevard nightclub in Rego Park, Queens.

After graduating from high school, Tim got a job with Con Edison in Manhattan. My traditional Greek parents wanted me to commute to college, and I went to New York College of Music in Manhattan, which later became part of New York University.

In 1966, a major blackout hit the Northeast. In an attempt to get home from school, I walked across the Queensboro Bridge to Queens with a friend only to find that bus service was suspended. We walked back and stayed with my grandmother in Manhattan. During the New York City Transit strike that year, my friends and I lived at the YWCA near school. It was fun! Tim and I were able to see each other more often.

On Christmas Eve 1967, Tim picked me up from a part-time job I had at Roosevelt Field mall. As we sat in the car outside of Gimbels, Tim asked me to marry him and gave me my engagement ring. It began to snow.

We married on June 30, 1968, at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Garden City then had a reception at Casa Seville in Franklin Square. We spent our honeymoon at Paradise Island Hotel in the Bahamas.

I received my bachelor of science degree in music in 1971 from NYU and my master’s degree in music education from Queens College in 1975.

We lived in Howard Beach, Queens, until 1980 when we moved into my childhood home in Albertson with our son and daughter. Our son was diagnosed with complex congenital heart disease at birth but lived a normal life for more than 14 1/2 years. He passed away in 1991.

Both our children were active in sports. Our summers were spent in Shirley. We would also drive to Emerald Isle, North Carolina, and to Florida to visit my parents every year.

In 2001, Tim retired from Con Edison as operating-electrical mechanic at the West 59th Street and East 74th Street power plants. I retired in 2003 as general music and choral teacher in the Port Washington School District elementary schools.

I was “leader of song” from 1983 to 1996 at St. Aidan Roman Catholic Church in Williston Park. I still sing at St. Mary’s Church in Roslyn Harbor, where Tim and I renewed our vows for our 50th wedding anniversary in June. We then took a cruise to Bermuda with our daughter, son-in-law and three grandchildren.

Tim and I are grateful for our good health, family and great friends.  We still travel around the United States, have been to Europe and visited family in Greece. We hope to enjoy our three grandkids for many years to come. 

With Virginia Dunleavy

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