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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

When life hands you lemons, make lemonade. That’s just what a Hicksville baker is doing, except in her case it isn’t lemons, but a gluten-free diet. Her lemonade stand of choice is her brand new gluten-free eatery, “Jac’s Bakeshop and Bistro,” which held its grand opening on April 12.  

“I’m a baker who can’t even eat wheat or eggs,” said owner Jaclyn Messina, chuckling at the irony.

There’s a lot you can do in 99 minutes. You could cook dinner, play a non-stop soccer game, watch a romantic comedy or hang out with Odysseus, Achilles and Hercules. If you chose the last option, Hicksville High School’s upcoming theatre production of The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 Minutes or Less  is the place for you.

The mouthful of a title says it all. The cast will take on over 80 characters as they speed through all of Greek mythology, including popular tales such as The Iliad and The Odyssey, in a little over an hour and a half.


Sports

Vito Sciascia was recently named Hicksville Soccer Club’s Volunteer of the Year at the 2014 Long Island Junior Soccer League 2014 Kick-off Convention.

Sciascia started coaching travel soccer in 1998 for a boys team, the Flash, who later changed their names to the Muddogs. He could always be found at various sporting fields trying to recruit new soccer players. He would make each of these boys feel important and there was always room for another player. He tried to never turn a child away and when other coaches were having trouble with a boy he would take them on his team, no one was ever too much for him. Sciascia found the good in all those boys and they in return respected him. He took them to many tournaments and solicited enough sponsorship so that it was never a financial burden on their families.

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its first tournament on Thursday April 4. Twenty golfers came out on on a crisp but sunny morning. Charlie Hong was the only man to score under a 40, with a 38 and won for low overall score. Jim O’ Brien  scored a 41, and won low overall net in a tie-breaker with Mike Guerriero.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100 percent handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season.


Calendar

The Acchords Concert

April 26

Senior Citizen Luncheon

May 1

Curtains

May 1-3



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