John Palmirotto, formerly of Glen Cove, recalls falling in love with his future wife, Rose.
I grew up in the Landing section of Glen Cove. In the early 1940s when I was a student at Glen Cove High School, I would meet my friends at either Morgan Memorial Park or Stango’s pizzeria. Most of the neighborhood kids would be there, including a beautiful girl named Rose Militano. Rose had also grown up in Glen Cove and was a year behind me in school.
In March 1943, during World War II, I left school to enlist in the Navy Armed Guard. I was 19 and served as a gunner on the S.S. Front Royal stationed in San Pedro, California. We transported bombs and weaponry from Pier 92 in Manhattan to Liverpool, England.
Three months before my service was up in 1946, I was relocated to Staten Island with the U.S. Merchant Marines. I returned to Glen Cove on the weekends and would often see Rose with our friends.
I was released from the Merchant Marines in March 1946 and started driving a taxi for my father’s business, Joe’s Taxi, in Glen Cove.
One day I was with friends at Morgan Memorial Park. Rose and her friends were there, too. I asked where they were going that night and Rose said, “Stango’s for pizza, want to come?” I offered to drive them there. Afterward, I took the girls home. Rose was the last one in the car. She and I decided to drive around for a while and ended up at Crescent Beach before I took her home.
After that, Rose would walk by my taxi stand with her girlfriends on their way to Henry’s ice cream parlor. She would always stop to talk to me. I found out much later that she saw me with another girl the night after we went to Crescent Beach and was making sure she had my attention.
Well, I guess she did, because I finally asked her out to the movies on our first date. From that time forward, we were a couple. Six months later, on Sept. 22, 1946, we were married at St. Patrick’s Church in Glen Cove. Our wedding song was “You’ll Never Know,” which remains close to our hearts to this day. We spent our honeymoon in Washington, D.C.
I worked for my father until 1956, when my brother and I opened E-Z Do Car Wash in Glen Cove. Rose was a devoted wife and mother to our six children. She especially enjoyed entertaining neighbor children in our backyard or at the beach. We always had a lot of love and family close by to socialize with.
I sold the business in 1973 and retired. In 1992 we moved to Vero Beach, Florida. We both enjoyed playing tennis. Rose continues to sew and knit and is still a great cook. I still love to garden.
We are incredibly blessed to have nine wonderful grandchildren and 11 beautiful great-grandchildren. We keep up with everyone through Facebook and FaceTime.
Rose and I fly to Long Island twice a year. We were here last month to attend our grandson’s wedding. Our family, five of our children and their spouses, also surprised us with a 70th anniversary dinner at Cirella’s in Melville. I turned 91 in July and Rose will be 91 this month. We are both so lucky to be blessed with much health and love around every day!
— With Virginia Dunleavy