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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

Dance has a variety of benefits for children. Just like other sports like soccer, tennis or basketball, it promotes good health, emotional and mental stability.

The Dance Place in Hicksville is the brainchild of former dancer, Miana DeLucia. As a child, DeLucia found relief in her local dance studio. She says, “When I was young, my brother was very sick. I used to go to the studio just to get away. There, I found my passion and it became like a second home to me. It was my safe place.”

The community is invited to show off their Comets pride at Hicksville’s Homecoming Fair, which takes place Saturday, Sept. 13, starting at 10 a.m.

The festivities start at 10 a.m. at Hicksville High School’s John A. Walker Soccer Field. A number of fun activities will be featured, including attractions like a giant slide and an obstacle course, plus many game booths courtesy of the individual PTA units and school clubs. Lunch and snack items will be available for purchase.


Sports

At 6 a.m. on a blustery Saturday morning 1,600 people arrived at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park to participate in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge Tobay triathlon and tri- relay race. The participants were from all over Long Island, some from upstate NY, a few from out of state and were all ages and some even with disabilities but all came with one goal in mind, to finish.

The course starts out as a half mile swim in Oyster Bay Harbor, then a 9.3 mile bike ride through Oyster Bay, Laurel Hollow, and Cove neck which is very hilly but finishes with a 2.9 mile downhill to the finish. Then the riders have one more leg of the race which is 3.2 mile run through Mill Neck and Brookville, up to Planting Fields Arboretum and back down to Roosevelt Park to the finish line.

Second year head coach Rob Carroll is encouraged by what he has seen from the Hicksville Comets in the preseason. For this reason, he feels the team is better than their preseason ranking of No. 13.

“Last year was a tough year for us,” he said in regards to their 1-7 season. “But we improved as it went on and played in some very competitive games.”

The team ended a 15-game losing streak last season with a 26-19 victory over Uniondale.  They also were barely edged 20-14 by Hempstead on a last minute score. The rest of the games featured several lopsided scores, which is why Carroll believes the team is being overlooked.


Calendar

BOE Meeting

September 10

HHS Class of 1954 Reunion

September 12, 13

Cruizin’ For A Cure Car Show

September 14



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