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Love Story: Music bought them together at Stony Brook dance club

Lisa and Jay Sclafani, of Port Jefferson, who

Lisa and Jay Sclafani, of Port Jefferson, who celebrated their 28th anniversary in April 2018. Credit: Sclafani Family

Jay P. Sclafani of Port Jefferson recalls how music brought his future wife, Lisa, into his life.

“Hello? Can I ask you for a song?”

I looked up from the records I was thumbing through and turned to face an adorable, hazel-eyed brunette with a nice ’80s perm and fair features punctuated by a cute spattering of freckles across her impish nose and cheeks. The record, “I Will Survive,” sung by Gloria Gaynor, was blasting in the background to a full dance floor at Park Bench, a bar-dance club once located in Stony Brook. I was the disc jockey there on most weekends.

“A song?” I asked. Somehow, I couldn’t break her gaze. She shouted, “Yes, can you play, ‘Addicted to Love’ — Robert Palmer?”

“Sure thing. I’ll play the video. By the way, what’s your name?” I asked.

“Lisa … and thank you,” she said. Nice smile to the eyes. I lowered the projection screen on the dance floor wall while cuing the video.

I was 31, divorced and had sworn never to marry again. I had my little “bachelor pad” in Ronkonkoma and for the past four years I was a “party guy,” refusing to renege on my adolescent ways. I had been a disc jockey since the late ’70s, freelancing and working for “Murray the K’s Disco on Wheels” on weekends and some weeknights, while holding down a full-time day job. Meeting girls was no problem. Keeping a relationship going was. I was too busy having fun.

Lisa, the cute brunette who turned my head, now maneuvered her way to the front of the DJ booth to dance. She gave me another alluring smile. In a sudden flash of insight on that fateful night in October 1986, I realized that she was to be my next girlfriend.

What I didn’t know was that Lisa Olivie was also the woman I would spend the next 32 years with, as my girlfriend, my loving wife, most trusted companion and the unfailing mother of our two cherished children.

When I finished work at 4 a.m., Lisa was still there with her friends. I asked for her telephone number and a date.

Our first date was dinner at the former Harborside Restaurant in East Patchogue. Lisa was the sweetest, most caring, adorable, funny and intelligent girl I had ever met.

She was 22 and lived with her dad at his house in Old Field while commuting to what was then SUNY College of Technology at Farmingdale where she was studying to be a dental hygienist. We have been inseparable since — we do everything together.

After dating for four years, we were married at Smithtown Methodist Church on April 21, 1990. Our reception was at the Old Field Club in East Setauket. We bought our first home in Nesconset that year, then moved to Port Jefferson in December 2000. I retired from my disc jockey career in 1997.

Lisa works as a dental hygienist for a practice in Setauket and another in Smithtown. I am a manager at GPM Pool and Spa in Bethpage. I am also an author and playwright.

In 2018 we celebrated our 28th anniversary with a quiet dinner for two. Meeting Lisa, the little girl with the big hair, back in 1986 has been the best thing to ever happen to me. She has always been the sweet song playing in my head. And my children are forever the music in my ears.

— With Virginia Dunleavy

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