Paul Schropfer of Calverton recalls the day he met his wife Linda.
In September of 1952, a ship from Roscommon, Ireland, arrived in Canada with a beautiful country girl named Linda McCourt, my future wife, as a passenger. Her family came to the United States in 1955 and settled in Bayside, Queens. That is where our paths crossed on Oct. 31, 1957, at 4:10 p.m.
On that fateful day, I was raking leaves at my parents’ home. We had recently moved to the Bayside neighborhood. I stopped raking to admire the attractive girl walking down the street with two other girls. Doing something I’ve never done before or since, I crossed the street and started a conversation with my future wife, Linda. We were both 16.
A few days later we met again as we walked to class at Bayside High School. Linda was a sophomore and I was a junior. We began going out with the same group of friends and discovered we were born one day apart. We were becoming good friends. Several months later I jokingly asked her to marry me, but she could not make up her mind, and added that her mother would probably kill her.
After I graduated from high school in 1960, I enlisted in the Air Force and served as a medic with the 809th Medical Group at the 836th Tactical Hospital in Tampa, Florida. Whenever I was home on leave, I’d see Linda. We always exchanged birthday cards and Linda would write occasionally. It was great to stay in touch with someone from home. I finished my service in 1964 but stayed on in Florida for a year.
I came home in September, 1965. Linda was working at Sears in Great Neck and I stopped by to surprise her. We went out for drinks that night and rekindled our relationship that blossomed into a romance of our lifetime.
The following spring I asked her father for her hand in marriage. He said he’d give his consent for us to “jump the twig” — an Irish expression for marriage — under two conditions: One, that I would never spoil her and two, I would never bring her back.
We wed on April 29, 1967, at St. Andrew Avellino Church, in Flushing. I was an Eastern Airlines reservations agent then and was assigned to Montreal, Canada to cover travel arrangements for Expo ‘67. So, we had a six-week, all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Montreal.
God has blessed us with two wonderful children and seven gorgeous grandchildren. We both retired in 2011. Linda worked in accounts receivable at Integrated Healthcare in Rocky Point. I had my own consulting firm working with owners of family businesses.
We enjoy traveling the country and volunteering at our church, St. Louis de Montfort, in Sound Beach. In April we celebrated our 48th anniversary with a trip to Disney World.
— With Virginia Dunleavy