Yvonne Scorcia of Howard Beach, Queens, recalls the day she fell in love with future husband Joe.
It was March 1943, during World War II, when I met Joe at a USO dance in New Orleans, my hometown.
I was dancing with another young man when Joe walked over and cut in. At that moment, when we looked into each other’s eyes, it was love at first sight. Although we both love to dance, we sat together and talked for three hours instead of dancing. He was 21 and I was 19.
I told him my name was Yvonne McCarthy and that I worked for the telephone company. Joe was from Brooklyn and had worked for Sperry before enlisting in the Army. He was stationed at a base in the New Orleans Airport just outside of the city.
My friends talked me into going to the dance that day. Joe happened to be walking by the dance hall, heard the music and decided to come inside.
When the dance ended, we suddenly realized that we would not see each other again because he was being shipped overseas. Hurriedly, he told me he liked me and asked me to write to him. He gave me his name and address: Joe Scorcia, 109th Division, U.S. Army.
I wrote, never expecting the letter to get to him, but it did. He wrote back and managed to see me before he was sent to England and then to the continent. We corresponded for the duration of the war.
After the war ended in 1945, Joe returned from overseas and stopped by to see me before going to New York. He invited me to Brooklyn to meet his family. The following year I made the trip, and the visit with his family was warm and friendly.
We were wed on April 13, 1947, at St. Joseph’s Church on Pacific Street in Brooklyn. In 1952, Joe and I moved to our new home in Howard Beach, thanks to the GI Bill. We have six children and sons- and daughters-in-law — all delightful additions to the family — who have given us 14 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. We are very proud of all of them.
Joe started his own business, Sco-Fuel Oil Co., and I worked as the company’s bookkeeper. He retired in 1972 and our sons took over the business. Joe then managed prizefighters until 1987.
In spite of having a large family and all that entails, we enjoyed many hobbies of our own. Joe and I served on the board of the Brooklyn Philharmonic for a few years and have traveled the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe. We took up painting and I wrote and self-published two books for young people. I also sang with the church choir at St. Helen’s Church in Howard Beach. We participated in the Empire State Senior Games and won many medals. In 2003, at the age of 80, Joe won first place for the high jump in the National Senior Games.
We celebrated our 70th wedding anniversary this month with a dinner/dance party attended by family and friends at Russo’s On The Bay in Howard Beach.
Joe and I are still in love through all the years of both smooth sailing and a few rough seas. We don’t know how the world sees us, but we still see each other as we were 70 long years ago.
— With Virginia Dunleavy