Margaret and Alan Simon are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary...

Margaret and Alan Simon are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this year. Credit: Simon family

Alan Simon of Moriches recalls the day he met his future wife, Margaret.

In the summer of 1958, I was hanging out at Frank’s Luncheonette on Main Street in South Farmingdale when two girls I didn’t know walked in the front door.

Someone introduced me to them. One of the girls was Margaret Steuer. She flashed a smile at me that left me silently saying, “Wow!” She was 14 and I was 17.

I did not see Margaret again until the fall, when classes started at Weldon E. Howitt High School. I had graduated the previous spring but came back for a postgraduate class.

As fate would have it, I wound up sitting directly behind Margaret in geometry class. She says she had a hard time in that class because I kept teasing and distracting her. That was entirely possible, mainly because I had become so attracted to her.

We began dating, would break up and then start dating again. My lifestyle was sort of happy-go-lucky, while her family was very structured. They found me rather intolerable at times but likable. Margaret graduated in 1961, and we became a steady couple.

In 1964, I joined the Marines and was eventually stationed at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. We wrote letters and saw each other whenever I was able to finagle a leave.

During one leave in June 1965, we concocted a scheme to elope. Margaret was 22 and I was 25. We drove upstate until we found a pastor in some town who wisely talked us out of eloping. We knew her family would have been very upset, and we were grateful for his advice.

I gave Margaret a beautiful diamond engagement ring before shipping out to Vietnam in December 1966. I was a surveyor with the Marine Air Group 11, a construction battalion, in the city of Da Nang.

I returned home in April 1967. Unknown to me, Margaret had lost the engagement ring and had turned her world upside down trying to find it. Her father even disconnected the plumbing in the house, with no luck. For me, it was just a ring, not the end of the world, and I let her know that after she told me what had happened.

We were married on May 14, 1967, at St. Luke’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Farmingdale. We moved into an attic apartment in South Farmingdale. I worked as an architectural draftsman and took evening classes at Hofstra University in Hempstead. Margaret worked as a secretary at First National Bank of Farmingdale.

One night, on my way home after class, I was in a motorcycle accident and spent six weeks in the hospital. We were able to get our lives back on track and bought a house in Farmingdale.

I finally took my father-in-law’s advice and joined the Nassau County Police Department in 1971. I was on the force for 30 years and retired as a sergeant in 2001. Margaret began a very successful medical billing business, Assurance Medical Services, in South Farmingdale. She semiretired in 2000 and works part time at a local medical practice. We moved to our home in Moriches in 2001 and enjoy traveling.

We have one daughter, and she and our son-in-law have given us two beautiful grandsons. A Disney cruise is being planned with them to help celebrate our 50th anniversary this year.

— With Virginia Dunleavy

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