Michele "Micki" and John Pilkington of Port Jefferson first met on a blind date. Micki tells how he kept her laughing during their courtship.
One fall evening in 1960, I met John Pilkington on a blind date arranged by my friend Judy. She and John had worked together that summer at Central Islip Psychiatric Center. I was not thrilled with the idea of a blind date and agreed to go only if Judy got a date and went with us.
I had just turned 16 and was a sophomore at East Islip High School. John, 19, was a sophomore at St. John's University in Jamaica, Queens. We both lived in Islip Terrace but had never met because we had attended different schools. He graduated from St. Agnes High School in Rockville Centre.
The four of us went to see a movie and afterward stopped by Ralph's pizzeria in Islip Terrace. I got a taste of John's quirky sense of humor when he tried to steal my piece of pizza.
I thought the date went well, better than I expected. My interest was piqued. Weeks went by and I began to wonder why I didn't hear from him. Then I received a letter with an upstate New York postmark. It was from John and written on toilet paper. He said he was locked in a bathroom at his sister's house and couldn't find any writing paper. He had enjoyed our date and wondered if I would be receptive to another. When he returned home, we went on a second date and continued dating.
I was very gullible and believed everything John told me. He said he played on the St. John's football team. They didn't have one. On one date he asked me to dress up because he was taking me to a new Scottish restaurant on the water. So I wore a black sheath dress and high heels. John then drove me to the McDonald's overlooking Orowoc Lake in Bay Shore. Oh, he could make me laugh, after I got over the initial shock.
He graduated from St. John's in 1963 with a bachelor of arts degree in political science. On Nov. 28, 1964, two days after Thanksgiving, we walked down the aisle at St. Mary's R.C. Church in East Islip. We celebrated at the Saxon Arms on the Great South Bay in Oakdale, with family and friends. Our wedding photos show the sun moving from east to west across the bay.
In 1969 we bought our first house in Rocky Point and lived there for 30 years. We have been living in Port Jefferson since 2001. John taught in the Rocky Point School District for 33 years, first teaching self-contained seventh-grade classes, then junior high and high school level social studies. He retired in 1996. I received a degree in sociology from Adelphi University in 1970. I worked for the Diocese of Rockville Centre as an area developer before retiring in 1996. We have two beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons. They continue to bring joy into our lives.