Class: Joe, Class of 1964; Pat, Class of 1965. Married in 1969.
How they met: In September of 1962, their lockers were next to each other. They eventually became friends.
Pat says she saw Joe as “an extremely good looking guy and very cocky,” though “he was everybody’s friend.”
They did not date until after Pat was in her first year of college, though they remained friends. Joe told Pat to call him if she ever needed anything. “And lo and behold, I got a call one day,” he said. Pat had just broken up with her boyfriend. Joe took her out to a drive-in in Norwalk.
On the way there, Joe suddenly asked Pat to move closer to him, she explained. He put his arm around her and asked her to turn to the right, smile and wave. Her ex-boyfriend was walking down the street beside them, and “there was Joe with his arm around me,” Pat said.
“The rest, as they say, is history,” Joe said. “We hit it off; we got along very well with each other.”
Joe was in the Navy reserve and he was called up to serve while they were together. The couple got engaged during Christmas the year before Joe was scheduled to come home. They were married in May of 1969 in Darien.
Status now: They have two grown-up children — a daughter who teaches eighth grade English at Middlesex, and a son who lives with Rowayton with his family. They have two grandsons.
Pat and Joe run” Wild Birds Unlimited”, which has a location in Darien and Bedford Hills, N.Y.
Why did you choose to stay in Darien: They bought their first house in Stamford, but moved back to Darien — where Joe grew up and Pat went to high school — when their daughter started school. The town offers a lot for a family, Joe said, and he can’t imagine living anywhere else.
The home they lived in for 30 years was a dream house for Joe, his wife said. He used to walk the house on Hecker Avenue on his way to school.
“It’s nice to have a small town atmosphere especially in this day and age of big town problems,” Pat said.
“Whatever we do in the future it’ll always be staying here.”