Iíve always loved looking through my parentsí wedding album. I couldnít even begin to guess how many times I have studied each of the black and white photos of the two of them surrounded by their friends and family in all their wedding finery.
My mother, looking like a young Elizabeth Taylor, was nothing short of breathtaking in the simple, yet elegant gown designed for her by Gessy Lopresti, a dress designer who grew up next door. My father was dashing in his morning suit and cravat. Actually, I think he was drop-dead gorgeous, but I might be biased.
To my eyes, they are both incredibly, almost unbelievably young in these pictures. My father was not yet 25 and my mother just 23 on May 9, 1959 when they said their vows. This past Saturday, they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
Fifty years, five decades, half a century Ė no matter how you say it, it sounds like a long time. But my parents say it seems like it was just yesterday that they met, fell in love and made their way down the aisle at St. Ephrams in Brooklyn.
One of the couples in their wedding party was Donald and Edna Price. Donald, who went through the police academy with my dad, and Edna, one of my momís closest friends, were responsible for setting the two up on their first date.
A blind date, as a matter of fact, where they accompanied the Prices and another couple to the Palisade Amusement Park. Where my father, who has always been something of an expert marksman, was unable to impress my mother with his shooting skills on the midway. There were several more triple dates before the two had their first solo outing, to a movie which neither can remember. The rest, as they say, is history.
Itís hard for me to fathom a couple being married for 50 years. Such a milestone is virtually unheard of nowa ays, when statistics say more than half of first marriages end in divorce. But that word was never in my parentsí vocabulary.
From witnessing 33 of those 50 years, I can tell you it hasnít been all wine and roses. (Although there were plenty of both as we celebrated their golden anniversary at the Silo Restaurant in Coventry on Saturday.)
Iím happy to say that despite the trials and tribulations of raising four children (and if you know my brothers, you will understand just how trying that must have been) and all of the other ups and downs of life, my parents are still going strong. Sure, they bicker like an old married couple, but then, they are an old married couple so I guess itís OK.
I love you, Mom and Dad. Happy 50th anniversary.