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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

Sabina Lotlikar never imagined she’d find herself competing in a pageant. The 19-year-old from Hicksville was more used to spending her time cooking, playing video games and working out than walking in heels in front of hundreds of people. But that all changed this year when Lotlikar decided to compete in the Miss LI pageant, an experience she describes as unforgettable.

“It was so nerve-wracking because I’ve never done anything like this, but I’m so glad I went through it and was dedicated to it. It was amazing,” she says.

When it comes to photography, it’s been a long road for Hicksville’s John Micheals. What started as a hobby in childhood, has now returned as an irreplaceable form of self expression.

“It’s a way of expressing myself. I’m very comfortable with it. It’s a way of expressing myself and being me without any qualifications,” he said.

Micheals’ journey in photography started with snapping pictures with a Kodak as a kid growing up in Queens. As an undergrad at City College of New York, he took art classes and his photography took a back seat as he became an art teacher. When he retired in 1996, he picked up the camera again, taking classes at Nassau Community College and getting his certificate in photography. He dropped photography again when family priorities arose, and got behind the lens again in 2009.  


Sports

The fields of Kevin Kolm Memorial Park were filled with nearly 200 soccer players on Saturday for the annual ‘Soccer For A Cause’ event. The event was put together by the Mastermind Unit in sponsor of the Michael Magro Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting pediatric patients with cancer and their families.

“The Mastermind Unit is a non-profit organization that was founded by a group of guys who grew up playing soccer together in Hicksville,” said co-founder Bryan Alcantara. “This is our seventh annual  ‘Soccer For A Cause’ event at Memorial Park.”

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its fourth tournament on Thursday, July 17. We had 34 golfers and only three who scored under 40. Low overall score was won by Charlie Hong with an impressive 34. Joe Sander scored a solid 49 and won low overall net with a 31.

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% 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. The league meets every Thursday at 7:30 a.m., but the formal tournament dates are only the first and third Thursday of the month through late October. We will have a final luncheon with prizes on our last meeting.


Calendar

Personality Disorders

August 25

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4



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