Marie Trovitch talks about meeting her future husband in the high school cafeteria.
Our love story started in October 1969. I was 15, Carl was 16, and we both went to West Islip High School. I was Marie McGrath then. During lunch one day, a mutual friend said this guy, Carl, wanted to meet me. At first I said no because I already had a boyfriend. She begged me. I finally said yes and went over to his table. Carl introduced himself. He seemed very nice and a little shy.
For the next three weeks, he met me after each of my classes to walk me to the next one; he also gave me two stamps, one metal and one wood, that he had made in shop class personalized with my name. I ended up breaking up with the old boyfriend. On Nov. 21 Carl asked me to go steady, and I said yes.
We dated all through high school. I knew he was the one I wanted to marry because he was a gentleman in every sense from the first time we met. He always opened doors for me (and still does).
A year after I graduated from high school he proposed to me at the Bay Shore Marina. We were married on Saturday, Sept. 21, 1974, at Our Lady of Lourdes in West Islip. Because of our different faiths, instead of a Mass, my priest and Carl’s minister hosted an agape feast ceremony (also known as a love-feast), which is a communal meal shared among Christians. We gave blessed homemade bread and wine to all the guests. We wanted everyone to share in our blessing.
The reception was at the American Legion Hall in Babylon, and we honeymooned in the Poconos.
We bought a home in West Islip shortly before we married that we still live in today. We raised our three children — one son and two daughters — there.
Carl did carpentry work during his career and retired in 2013. He has renovated our home as well as those of our three children (he renovated our home three times over 45 years). Everyone compliments his superior craftsmanship.
Carl has always enjoyed hunting and fishing with our son; now they do it on my son’s boat, which is called Bolshevik. They have won numerous awards for catching giant tuna and mahi.
I retired from the Post Office after 22 years. I started as a clerk and became a trainer, with various supervisory positions, including officer in charge and acting postmaster.
My hobbies are traveling, crocheting, art and crafts, jewelry making, cooking and spending lots of time with our four beautiful grandchildren and two furry grandchildren. Carl does little side jobs to keep himself busy, and he enjoys yardwork and gardening.
For our anniversary, we are going to Aruba, where we have been going every year since our 25th anniversary. We hope to visit Las Vegas in November to celebrate our 50 years together.
The best thing about Carl is he lets me be me. We finish each other sentences or know what the other is thinking. He is a great dad and loving Pop-Pop. He can fix anything and always finds anything I lose: He has taken apart a sink pipe in a hotel room to retrieve a lost earring. His hunter instincts were used when our kids were teenagers and had sneak parties.
He is supportive, kind, loving and damn good looking! After almost 50 years of being together, I still look forward to him walking through the door.
With Ann Donahue-Smukler
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