Jo Ann Galluccio of Massapequa Park recalls the day she met Al, her future husband.
I was 23 and working as a service specialist with European American Bank in Amityville in August 1985 when my boss asked if I would help cash a few checks. It was Thursday, the day many local employees cashed their paychecks.
At that moment a man in line began to laugh. I found his laugh to be very contagious and told the teller next to me, "I have to meet him. I am going to marry him." I called "next" and the man with the laugh stepped up to my window.
His name was Al. He was 25 and worked at a hospital in the area. I told him my name was Jo Ann Scavone and I lived in West Babylon. Al asked whether I'd like to go to lunch sometime and I said sure. A few days later he stopped in at the bank and we went to Mike's Pizzeria nearby.
I found Al to be very kind and considerate. He was from a close Italian family. They moved to Massapequa from Park Slope, Brooklyn, when he was 18. I wanted to be upfront with him and told him that I was engaged to be married. He said, "Then, I can't see you again."
After that, whenever he was in the bank I'd make sure he came to my window. My heart would skip a beat when I saw him. He lit something up inside me.
In my heart I felt we were destined to be together, so in the early part of 1987, I made the difficult choice to break my engagement. The next time I spoke to Al I told him and he asked if I was sure about my decision. I said I was and he said "OK. Let's see where this is going."
Al asked me out on March 4, 1987, and we returned to Mike's Pizzeria to start over again.
We wed on Aug. 26, 1990, at St. Joseph Church in Babylon. Our reception was at GiGi's of Westbury, and we honeymooned in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. In 1994 we bought a house in Massapequa Park and enjoyed many years of traveling before starting a family. In 1999 we were blessed with a beautiful baby girl.
I retired after 25 years in banking to raise our daughter. Al has worked for the Town of Oyster Bay sanitation department for 27 years and is a driver. We still enjoy traveling.
Al and I renewed our vows with other couples at a Valentine's Day luncheon at the Coral House in Baldwin. In July we had a wonderful time celebrating our 25th anniversary and our daughter's 16th birthday on a trip to Riu Guanacaste, Costa Rica. And after all these years his laugh still lights up my heart.