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Long Island

Love Story: Richard and Shirley Wicks of Hicksville

Shirley Wicks of Hicksville recalls the chaperoning duty that introduced her to her husband, Richard.

My sister Joyce and I were visiting my aunt on a summer afternoon in 1944 at her home in Huntington. We lived in Bay Shore.

As we sat on her front porch, a boy from the neighborhood came by and asked my sister for a date that evening. Since Joyce was 15, our mother would only let her to go out with the young man if I went as her chaperone. I was 17.

He assured my mother he would bring a young man named Richard as a date for me. They worked together on Richard's family farm in Plainview.

It was a hot July evening, and we went to the movies to cool off. We saw the "The Hairy Ape," a William Bendix film based on a play by Eugene O'Neill.

I was rather surprised when Richard fell asleep - he was tired after a hard day on the farm - but he seemed very kind, and we went for ice cream after the movie.

We enjoyed each other's company, and Richard apologized for falling asleep and he asked me out the following evening.

My sister never saw her date again, but Richard and I continued to date, and that was the beginning of a beautiful love story. Richard made a wonderful impression on my mother. She thought he was a real gentleman.

He asked me to marry him on Christmas Day that year. My mother and I were thrilled. Our wedding was planned for March 11, 1945.

My mother had been very ill, and her greatest wish was for me to have a church wedding and to see me in my gown. Three days before our wedding, my mother passed away. We were all extremely sad, but she specifically did not want us to delay our special day. She didn't make it to the wedding, but I did get to show her my gown, which made her very happy.

We rescheduled our wedding and were married at St. John's Episcopal Church in Huntington Village on March 25, 1945, on what would have been my mother's 37th birthday.

We had a simple church wedding with my sister Joyce as my maid of honor, my sister Beverly as my flower girl and Richard's brother Arthur as his best man.

We have been devoted to each other for more than 65 years. We raised three children and have been blessed with eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

On our 30th and 40th anniversaries we renewed our vows. To celebrate our 65th anniversary this year we went to dinner with our family. As we look back at our lives together, we are thankful for each other and pray to have many more years together.

Richard joined the Operating Engineers Union and retired in 1984. I am a full-time homemaker and enjoy crocheting and sewing.


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