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Love Story: Donald and Virginia "Ginny" Mackey

Donald and Virginia Mackey as seen in a

Donald and Virginia Mackey as seen in a recent photo.

An impromptu reunion led Donald and Virginia "Ginny" Mackey of Mattituck to the altar. Donald tells their story.


As teenagers in Ozone Park, Queens, my friends from John Adams High School and I would hang out at an ice-cream parlor called Jack's on 80th Street and 101st Avenue. Midge Randall and Ginny Smyth were part of our group. They were a couple of years younger than me. Midge and I started going steady while we were still in school.

When the Korean War began in 1950, I was 18 and decided to enlist in the Navy. In 1951, I was assigned to the USS Adirondack in Norfolk, Va., and that August we sailed to Naples, Italy, and docked there until July 1953. I was the ship's quartermaster and took care of the captain's logbook.

When I returned home in 1954 after my service, all the guys in our group were in the service, and Ginny Smyth had moved to Richmond Hill, Queens.

Midge and I were married in December of that year. We eventually moved to West Islip, where we raised our eight children. Then, in April 1988, Midge passed away at the age of 53. A couple of months later, my daughter and I were reading some of the sympathy cards, and I came across one signed "Virginia Curtin," with a postscript that said, "You knew me as Ginny Smyth." She had also included her phone number.

I called Ginny to thank her and invited her over for the day. We hadn't seen each other in more than 34 years.

Ginny came over to meet my children, and we had a nice day. She had been living in Bethpage, where she raised her four children, since 1956. She was divorced and worked as a freelance courtroom sketch artist for Newsday and WABC-TV/7.

One year later I called Ginny again to see how she was doing, and we got together at her house and talked for hours. The next weekend we went to the Tradewinds nightclub in Hicksville for dinner and dancing. The good feelings were there, and we started going out every weekend. We soon fell in love and were married on May 4, 1991, at Massapequa Park Village Hall with one of my sons as best man and Ginny's daughter as maid of honor. We threw a catered backyard party for 100 guests that June to celebrate.

I retired in 1993 from the Long Island Rail Road as supervisor of the maintenance department. Ginny has three grandchildren; I have 13 grandchildren and one great-grandson. We celebrated our 21st anniversary in 2012.

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