Joanne Bryan of Cutchogue recalls how a bit of friendly persuasion led her to future husband Marcus.
In April 1966, I was a junior at Cornell University New York Hospital School of Nursing in Manhattan. Some of my classmates were tired of socializing with Cornell med students and planned a “mixer,” a school dance, where they invited male students from other Ivy League schools in the tristate area, including Yale, Princeton and Columbia.
Instead of attending the dance, I decided to go home to Levittown to visit my parents. As I was packing my bag, a classmate pleaded with me to come to the mixer because there weren’t enough girls.
I went downstairs to find the girls on one side of the room and the boys on the other side and promptly returned to my room. Soon, another classmate was begging me to go back. I did, and this time I decided to talk to whomever was behind me. There stood two tall young men. I said, “Hi, my name is Joanne Clogher. I’m from Long Island, where are you from?” One said, “Richardson, Texas” and the other, “Kansas City, Missouri.” They were graduate students at Princeton University. We chatted until someone else asked me to dance.
Marcus “Marc” Bryan, the young man from Missouri, caught up with me and asked for a dance. He was 23 and I was 22. We continued dancing and ended up talking for two hours. Needless to say, I never went to Levittown.
He said he enjoyed traveling and was impressed when I told him about a cross-country trip I took with two friends. We camped out most of the time. During the trip, one girl unexpectedly decided to stay behind in California. Since we lost her contribution to our expenses, we had to skip a visit to the Grand Canyon.
Two weeks later, Marc invited me to a Princeton Party Weekend. He bunked with a friend while I stayed at his off-campus apartment. We had a great time.
We began traveling between New Jersey and New York to see each other as often as possible. That December, Marc received his master’s degree in aerospace engineering and accepted a job in California. Before he left, we flew to Kansas City and I met his mother. During my spring break in 1967, I flew to California and we became engaged.
Our wedding was on Sept. 23, 1967, at St. Bernard’s Church in Levittown. That young man from Richardson, Texas, was Marc’s best man.
Marc was now working as an aerospace engineer in Buffalo, where we briefly lived until he decided to change careers. In 1968, he was hired as a pilot for TWA based out of Kennedy Airport in Queens. He had learned to fly while an undergraduate at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California.
We moved into our home in Cutchogue in 1976. We have two sons, a wonderful daughter-in-law and a young grandson.
We both retired in 2002. I was an ICU nurse since 1967, working the last 26 years at Eastern Long Island Hospital in Greenport.
For our 50th wedding anniversary this year we visited the Grand Canyon, which had been on my bucket list since that cross-country trip. We also went to Maui for our grandson’s first birthday. I wish I could remember those classmates who talked me into going to the dance.
— With Virginia Dunleavy