Long before they thought of dating, Charlie and Mary Ann Angelone of Coram became friends. Mary Ann tells their story.
My husband, Charlie, and I grew up in East New York, Brooklyn, on Hull Street. It was around 1955 when we started noticing each other. I was 12, Charlie was 16, and he liked teasing me. He used to say, "Where are you going, little one" or "I'm telling your father you're hanging out on the corner with your friends."
His father would tease me too. He was my father's barber. He'd say, "You're so cute, you're going to be my daughter-in-law some day!"
Over the next year, Charlie's teasing turned into him asking me what I thought about this or that. We both enjoyed our little conversations and became great friends. He was always a gentleman and would say, "I know you're so young but I feel so comfortable with you." We would talk about our dreams, and he would tell me about his girlfriends. I was to find out Charlie was a very lonely guy. He was an only child. His mom worked, and he was left alone a lot.
The years passed, and we went in different directions. One day I was coming home from my part-time job after school. Charlie was hanging out with his friends next to my apartment house. Not knowing it was me, he and his friends started whistling at me!
When I got up close I told him I was going to tell my father! He looked at me with my tight black skirt and high heels and said, "When did you grow up?" He apologized and asked me for a date. I was now 16, and he was 20. Our parents were good friends, and it was OK with them.
We dated for the next year and planned to marry when I was 19, but as fate would have it, my parents decided to move out to the Island, to Lake Ronkonkoma, which seemed like the far end of the world to us.
Charlie didn't want us to have a long-distance relationship, so we pushed up our wedding date and were married on June 12, 1960. I was 17 and Charlie was 21. It was both a happy and a sad day for me. My parents had a moving truck packed with their furniture, and they left for their new home the next day.
We've had our bad times, but we've had our good times too. I believe we stayed together because we are still each other's best friend. We have a wonderful family of three children and four grandchildren. As we approach our 50th anniversary we feel blessed!
Charlie retired in 1984 from the New York City Sanitation Department. He then worked on hydraulic truck hoses at Quality Industry in Holbrook until 2005. I was a sales person at Times Square Store in Bohemia, and later at Kmart until 2004.