Peggy and Arthur "Arty" Raby of Centereach began their high school courtship with a few misunderstandings. Peggy recalls how everything worked out in the end.
Our love story started in March 1960. My parents hosted a Sweet 16 birthday party for me at the local Veterans of Foreign Wars hall, and my brother Joe invited his friend Arty. We all went to Bethpage High School, where Joe and Arty were seniors and I was a sophomore. I had never met Arty before and had never noticed him at school. During the party I was busy with my friends and didn't spend any time talking to him. I do remember he bought me a stuffed pink poodle for my birthday present.
It turns out that Arty had certainly noticed me at school. I caught his eye one day while I was running on the school track. However, when he saw me give my brother some money for lunch, he assumed I was Joe's girlfriend.
Joe told me after the party that Arty wanted to go out with me. Now I was curious about him. I found out he was in the same co-ed gym dance class as my cousin, so I arranged to go to the class with her. When it came time for the boys to pick a dance partner, I became very shy and stood behind the other girls. Arty ended up asking another girl to dance. I was angry that he didn't make more of an attempt to ask me.
A few weeks later, he ran up to me at school and asked me to go to the movies with him. I said yes and we went on a double date. Arty began to pursue me in earnest after that and would take every opportunity to hang out at our house. He even gave me an ankle bracelet. We continued dating for a couple of months before I realized what a truly great guy he was and that I was falling in love with him. We went to his senior prom that June.
It all worked out quite well. We married on Oct. 13, 1963. Arty's pet name for me is "Bride." He is a wonderful husband and a great father to our three children. We have seven fantastic grandchildren, ranging from age 9 to 23, who are the joy of our life.
Arty owned Sage Plumbing in the Bronx, which our son now operates. We love to travel and especially enjoyed a vacation we took to Italy. This year, we plan to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary at the Country House restaurant in Stony Brook, a tradition we began two years ago.
I got the prize at Bethpage High. Thank you for a wonderful life, Arty. Here's to many more. Love, Bride.