Lou Cecere of Amityville talks about meeting his wife, Nancy (Conlon).
Nancy and I met in 1972. We were both 13 and lived in Massapequa. I was delivering Newsday on my shiny, new Schwinn bike and rang a customer’s doorbell to collect for the week. Although she didn’t live there, Nancy answered the door. She was spending time with her friend Barbara.
Nancy urged Barbara to ask me if she could take my new bike for a spin so that Nancy could get me alone. I agreed, and Nancy and I chatted comfortably. We went on to be friends and then girlfriend-boyfriend.
When I asked Nancy to join me at a Massapequa High School football game, we "went public." We attended different high schools. I went to Berner High School (which is now a middle school), and Nancy went to Massapequa High School. My lunch period and study hall were back to back, and I would run 1½ miles to Nancy’s school, visit with her and run back in time for my next class.
We dated steadily through high school and while attending our respective colleges — never once breaking up.
We were 21 when we got engaged. Nancy’s father was dying of cancer at the time and we knew he wouldn’t be at our wedding. I asked permission from him to marry his daughter while we were watching a Giants game at their home, and then I formally proposed to Nancy in front of her parents.
Our wedding was June 27, 1981, at St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Massapequa with a reception afterward at the Holiday Manor in Bethpage (now The Sterling). We honeymooned in California, driving from San Francisco to San Diego.
An apartment in Valley Stream was our first home, followed by a house we bought in Babylon in 1982. Our daughter, Lynn, and our son, Michael, were born while we lived there.
I operated a coffee route for more than 30 years before retiring in 2004. I’m involved in a flag football program that teaches young adults how to play organized football. Nancy is a registered nurse in the pediatric unit at Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip where she’s worked for 22 years. She was a maternity nurse at a Manhasset hospital for 21 years before that.
Nancy is special in many ways. She is a great mom and role model. She is, and always has been, my best friend. She is loyal and puts others’ needs ahead of hers. She attends weekly Bible study and is an elder at Massapequa Reformed Church.
Nancy’s a roll-with-the-punches kind of woman. Some 16 years ago, we were planning a trip upstate for our nephew’s wedding. We were having intermittent car trouble so I had decided to rent a car to avoid stress over whether our car would act up. Off we went! We were almost to Albany when our daughter, Lynn, called and asked about the luggage and fancy dress she found by our back door. Stress?!
With two hours to spare, Nancy ran into a Sears store and bought a dress — $19.99 and the last one on the rack. I zipped into Men’s Wearhouse, bought a suit, waited for a quick tailoring job and we were on our way!
We moved to Amityville in 2018. June 27 is our 40th wedding anniversary, and we made plans to enjoy a quiet weekend at a Greenport bed-and-breakfast.
Nancy and I have grown together through good times and bad. We never hold a grudge and end our day with a kiss every night.
— With Ann Donahue-Smukler
TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU MET. Access the online form at newsday.com/lilovestory — or send an anecdote along with your phone number and a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Ann Donahue-Smukler at 631-843-2520. Publication is not guaranteed. Photos cannot be returned and may be used in other publications affiliated with Newsday.