Oliva Colon of Bayside recalls her courtship with future husband Andy.
In 1970, my great-aunt was going to see her good friends in Bayside, Queens, and she asked me to join her. I was 19. There, I met Mr. and Mrs. Colon, their son Andy, who was 26, and their daughters, Gloria and Maria. Andy couldn't stay because he had a date. I later found out that he wanted to cancel the date after meeting me. At the end of our visit, Maria invited me to come back.
A few weeks later, I took the train from my home in the Bronx to Bayside and stayed the weekend with the family. I continued these weekend visits. Andy and Maria would pick me up at the station. He would drive and Maria would always say, "Oliva, sit next to Andy." We'd go to parties, see a movie or go bowling.
His family planned a trip to Canada one weekend and asked me to come along. When we got to the border we were delayed by the officials. They could read my name, Oliva Bruno, on my birth certificate, which had been issued in Puerto Rico, but the paper was wrinkled and they could not read my date of birth. The Colons teased me, saying they'd pick me up on the way back. Everything was sorted out and we continued on to Montreal.
When we returned home, my mother phoned saying I needed to get home ASAP. My father was back from his trip to Puerto Rico. He was very strict and had no idea I had gone to Canada. My mother was more lenient. However, when she noticed that Andy and I were getting serious, she told me the weekend visits to Queens had to stop.
Andy and I began meeting for lunch on Wednesdays near my job in downtown Manhattan. On weekends he would come pick me up at my house. My younger sisters, ages 9 and 10, loved Andy. He would take them with us to the movies or into Manhattan. Andy is very thoughtful of others.
He proposed to me in 1971 at the Bronx Botanical Gardens. Of course, I said yes. We married on June 2, 1973, at Church of the Holy Innocents in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and honeymooned in the Bahamas. In 1975, we moved to his parents' two-family house in Bayside, the house where we first met. It is still our home today.
We are blessed with three wonderful children and three wonderful grandchildren. Andy retired in 2009 as manager of Boghen Pharmacy in Manhattan. He now drives a school bus for Guardian in the Bellmore-Merrick school district. He is very active in the Knights of Columbus in Jackson Heights. I am a service coordinator with St. Mary's Healthcare System for Children in New Hyde Park. We enjoy taking cruises and have sailed in the Caribbean, Alaska and Hawaii.
In 2013, we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, with friends. I do not know what I would do if Andy were not in my life. I love him with all my heart.