Kate Corso-Passaretti and Larry Passaretti of Setauket met at a college night class. Kate recalls their fun-filled courtship.
It was in September 1978 that I met the love of my life, Larry. He sat two desks in front of me in an evening business class at Nassau Community College. Before I even saw his face, I noticed his sun-kissed forearm, large hand and long fingers holding a gold Cross pen.
We began walking together to the parking lot at the end of each class. Larry lived in Bayside, and was a sales rep with a New Jersey-based food distribution company. I had an apartment in Woodmere and was working as a sales assistant for Alitalia Airlines in Garden City. He lied at first about being older -- he was actually 21 -- when I told him I was 24.
A couple of weeks later, he asked me if I would like to go to a Steve Martin concert the following weekend. I already had plans to visit a friend in Bermuda, so I had to decline his invitation. Larry then asked if I would like him to drive me to the airport, which I immediately agreed to. Heck, it would save me cab fare to Kennedy Airport.
Of course, I could not stop thinking about Larry the entire time I was in Bermuda. When I came back and we resumed walking to the parking lot after class, I was suddenly feeling shy and awkward. Something had changed. I was seeing him in a whole new light -- and it was thrilling.
Our first date was in late September. We took a stroll on the boardwalk at Jones Beach. I brought along my Canon A-1 camera and snapped photographs of the rough sea, the windswept beach and this brown-eyed hunk of a guy that I was quickly falling for.
Our friendship grew into love, and for six years we had fun together -- dancing every weekend at disco clubs, such as Penrods in East Meadow and Uncle Sam's in Levittown; grilling meals on the tar roof of my apartment; spending time at my family's summer house in Fire Island Pines; or flying to Aruba. We worked hard and played harder.
We married on March 3, 1984, at St. Joseph's Church in Garden City, where I had grown up. Larry's brother, Dennis, was the best man. My pal Betsy was my maid of honor. My benefits as an airline employee allowed us to fly anywhere for free, so we chose the farthest location of interest to us both, and had a two-week honeymoon in Australia.
Larry is owner and chief executive of PPS Advisors Inc., a financial advisory firm in Holbrook. I continued to work for the airline until 1990, when I became a grateful stay-at-home mom to our two great children. I am a volunteer with Save-A-Pet animal rescue in Port Jefferson.
I feel thankful and lucky to share my life with Larry, who is not only my husband but my very best friend. We both believe that the best is yet to come.