Cecelia DeLuso of Merrick recalls the day she skipped school and met future husband Victor.
A few days before graduation from Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn, my girlfriend and I decided to play hooky at Rockaway Playland and beach in Queens. It was June 1954. After enjoying the amusement rides without waiting on lines, we set a blanket on the deserted beach, along with my red plaid lunch bag and a radio playing hit songs like "Sh-Boom" and "Mr. Sandman."
Then two young men came over and we began to flirt. They were playing hooky from work. With a giggle and a smile, I was soon running into the waves with Victor DeLuso. I told him I couldn't swim and he replied, "Take my hand, I'll keep you safe."
I was 17 and Victor was 20. He lived in East New York and attended evening classes at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. We started dating and my friend wrote in my yearbook, "First comes love, then comes marriage and then comes Victor and Cecelia with a baby carriage." This all came true.
A movie at the Kinema or Embassy theaters in East New York and a delicious pizza was the usual Saturday night date. We enjoyed Sunday picnics with family at either Belmont Lake State Park in North Babylon or Ward Pound Ridge Reservation in Westchester. We also liked to go to dances at the St. George Hotel in downtown Brooklyn, but we made sure I was home no later than midnight. My mother's silhouette could be seen in the front window, and the porch light stayed lit until we said good night.
My family and I moved from Bushwick in Brooklyn to Rosedale, Queens, in March 1956. The following year, on April 28, 1957, Victor and I were married at St. Clare's Church in Rosedale. Soon I became a stay-at-home mom. We have two daughters and two sons.
In 1987, I became a real estate broker and owned Cecelia Realty Corp. Victor, a heating and air-conditioning industry salesman for 35 years, left that position in 1989 to join me selling real estate in Rosedale and neighboring areas.
We moved to Merrick in 2007. I joined local writing programs and, in 2013, my memoir, "Remember Me Young -- Sicilian Life Beyond the Veil," was published. Victor enjoys making soups and ventures into Hungarian goulash as his mama did years ago.
When telling our six grandchildren how we met, Victor said, "Her blond hair was blowing in the wind, she was cute and offered me lunch of a veal cutlet sandwich and homemade sweet tea. How could I resist?"
We celebrated our 58th anniversary last month with our children, son-in-law, two daughters-in-law and grandchildren at our house. Victor and I now hold each other's hand and know that after 58 years of marriage, we are in love and safe.