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Forever Friends

Emanuel Lagatta carefully sliced bagels and prepared coffee for his friends in the Bethpage Senior/ Community Center while his wife of 53 years, Louise, gushed about how the key to a good marriage is putting friendship first.

“You need to be friends before you can be lovers,” she advised. And being a good friend comes easy to this amiable couple, who enjoys preparing breakfast for their companions.

Emanuel (Manny) diligently continued his morning ritual, as Louise explained how their relationship began in Hicksville.

“I was from Brooklyn and he was from the Bronx, but my aunt lived in Hicksville so I had always been coming here for holidays. When a mutual friend in Hicksville gave Manny a picture of me, he called me up and the rest is history,” she said, her eyes sparkling brighter than her glittery blue sweater.

“We met on Jan. 31, 1957,” said Louise, “and we kept on dating even though we didn’t live close. Manny would have to drive from his house in the Bronx to work in Farmingdale and then to Brooklyn to see me.” At the mention of their first date, she pulled out a photo of them from that day, smiling warmly for the camera despite the dreary Manhattan day.

A blissful, snow-white wedding was the result of two and a half years of dating and the start to a long, happy marriage. As Louise showed off a few wedding pictures, you could hardly tell the photographers had to stand over them with umbrellas to ward off the snow.

“Can you believe it snowed in April?” Louise remarked.

Since the chilly, spring day in 1959 when they first exchanged wedding vows, the Lagattas have renewed their vows twice, as their daughter says, “to make sure it sticks!” The first time was after 50 years at a party the couple hosted and Emanuel jokingly said, “We did it the first time so I had to do it a second.”

The Lagattas were slated to join Ed Mangano, County Executive, and other longtime couples who were renewing their vows for lunch at The Coral House for Valentine’s Day. Louise’s smile gave off her excitement and it was clear that after 53 years of marriage, two daughters and four grandchildren, the couple still enjoys going out together.

“We’re best friends. You have to be,” said Louise. “Work together, play together and pray together,” she said as she revealed a recent, yet youthful-looking picture of her and Emanuel in a photo booth with a funky background. The pictures of them throughout the years may have faded, but the proof of their happiness is as clear as the snow on their wedding day.

As I left the Bethpage Senior/ Community Center and watched Louise and Emanuel exchange endearing smiles, it was clear that their marriage is as fun and loving as the first time they exchanged vows.

News

On Nov. 10, a dedication ceremony was held to celebrate the completion of a beautiful new two-story house in Hicksville. However, while new dwellings are an ordinary occurrence on Long Island, this one was unique and special in a way that very few are.

The house at 77 Thorman Ave. was built in memory of Navy Lieutenant and posthumous Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Michael P. Murphy, a Long Island native who tragically died in combat while serving in Afghanistan in 2005. However, this house represents more than just the dedicated service of a man to his country; it represents the beginning of a new life full of hope for a brother-in-arms and his family as well.

Commuting to work via train is exasperating and expensive—add on the stress of parking and the threat of tickets, and it becomes madness.

At the Hicksville Long Island Railroad (LIRR) station, there are 2,603 total spots, which includes 1,440 in the town parking garage. Of the total spots, 1,531 are permit spots and 618 are unrestricted, according to the Town of Oyster Bay public information office. Though that sounds like plenty, the sheer volume of passengers commuting from the station makes every morning a mad dash for parking.


Sports

Football was Mike Torrellas’ heart and soul. He also liked a good Turkey Bowl.  

Unfortunately, the Hicksville Crusaders co-founder wasn’t able to witness the program’s inaugural event, which took place Saturday, Nov. 8.

Torrellas passed away suddenly last December due to a blood clot, but the spirit and drive of the man who wore the number 53 and tragically passed at that age still surrounds the Crusaders football program.

The Long Island Fight for Charity will be hosting its 11th annual Charity Boxing Event on Nov. 24 at the Hilton in Melville. Among the 20 volunteers putting up their fists for funds will be Hicksville business owner Mell Goldman, who will be fighting under the nickname “The Kid.”  

Goldman is the President of All Boro Cleaning Services. He stated that he was enticed at the opportunity and wanted to contribute to charity.


Calendar

Fall Drama Production

November 20-22

Blood Drive

November 24

Christmas Holiday Fair

November 24



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com