Michael Federico Sr. of Lake Grove recalls how he waited to begin courting his future wife, Cindy.
I was 16 years old in 1961 when a girl from Franklin Square moved to my block in Floral Park. My friends and I were hanging out with her one day and began complaining that there weren’t many girls our age in the neighborhood. She said she’d introduce us to her friends. So we all got into my friend’s car and drove to Franklin Square, where we met her girlfriends, including Cindy Scandura.
I liked Cindy, but she was only 13, too young for me to date. Since she wasn’t allowed to go anywhere with us older guys, we began hanging out with her and her friends at her house. It was summertime and we’d sit on the front porch and talk or listen to records, and occasionally go to a dance at the local church.
This continued through the summer. After that we didn’t keep in touch with Cindy and her friends. We then lost track of each other until fate struck.
In February 1964, a buddy of mine was working at a candy store in Bellmore. When he told me he had spotted Cindy one day at work, I made my way straight to the candy store. She wasn’t there, but I noticed some girls and asked whether they knew Cindy. One girl said she did. I gave her some change for the public pay phone and asked her to call her for me. I spoke to Cindy and, even after all that time apart, we picked up right where we left off. Her family had moved to Bellmore a year earlier. By this time she was 16 and I was 19.
We started dating. I had a 1963 Chevy Impala, a hot rod, and taught her how to drive a stick-shift. On our dates we’d go to drag strips, parties, drive-in movies and the beach. Along the way we fell in love.
During my service in the Army, from 1965 to 1966 at Fort Gordon in Georgia, we wrote to each other. We got engaged in October 1967.
Cindy and I married on Nov. 9, 1968, at Sacred Heart Church in North Merrick, followed by a reception at The Galaxy in Plainview. We spent our honeymoon in Puerto Rico and St. Thomas, Virgin Islands.
We have three wonderful children — two sons and a daughter — two terrific daughters-in-law, a great son-in-law and nine beautiful grandchildren. For the past 47 years, Cindy and I have been working side by side running our family’s business, Liberty Moving and Storage in Commack, a company my father began in 1939. We quickly learned never to mix business with pleasure, and rarely brought work home with us. The hard work was made so much easier with a great partner by my side, and I thank her every day. We are semiretired, and our sons now run the business. Cindy heads special projects and human resources and I am CEO. We are enjoying the luxury of spending more quality time together outside the office.
Last month, Cindy and I celebrated our 48th wedding anniversary with a trip to Miami.
— With Virginia Dunleavy