NEWINGTON - â€śIf I could go backâ€ť usually preempts a regret. If Sam and Albertine Anest could relive the last 70 years, they would do it all the same.
The Newington couple is celebrating 70 years of a wonderful marriage this month. Their anniversary is Oct. 16. A party is planned for the end of October at Paradise Restaurant in New Britain.
Now age 90 and 91, Albertine and Sam met in a happenstance way, as teenagers living in Hartford.
â€śHe was the boy next door,â€ť she says. â€śHe played in a music band and I used to see him come in and out.â€ť
â€śI was picking up the fellow next door, she was on her porch and we started a conversation,â€ť he remembers.
Their friends couldnâ€™t understand what the two had in common.
â€śHe played music and I had a tin ear,â€ť Albertine explains. â€śBut youâ€™ve got to have different likes. You canâ€™t always be the same.â€ť
A couple like this one recounts their timeline together like an old movie or play. Often the first act ends after the first date, since that was when they knew.
The Anestsâ€™ first date was at The Bushnell in Hartford.
â€śAnd it just progressed from there,â€ť says Sam.
The two went on to marry in 1948 and live happily ever after.
He was an electrician who worked for Royal Typewriter, G. Fox, Combustion Engineer and others. She worked at CT Mutual Life Insurance for ten years before their oldest daughter, Kathy, was born.
They built their house in Newington in 1953.
Sam retired as Building Superintendent for the Society of Savings at age 65. Their two grandchildren are now young adults. Their second daughter, Carol, serves on the Newington Town Council.
The couple traveled a lot, taking cruises and going to Old Saybrook in the summers.
Nowadays she has a difficult time getting around due to Parkinsonâ€™s disease, so Sam takes care of the cooking, cleaning and driving.
â€śItâ€™s a full-time job taking care of her,â€ť he says without a hint of irritation. â€śSheâ€™s my life.â€ť
He played music up until last year, when it got to be too much for him. He still goes out fishing a few times a week and her friends pick her up every Tuesday to play Mah-jongg. They are very close with their family.
â€śYou canâ€™t complain when youâ€™ve had a good life,â€ť Albertine says. â€śIâ€™d like to go back a few years and live them all over again.â€ť
â€śI wouldnâ€™t change a thing,â€ť Sam adds.
She says the secret to a good marriage is enjoying each otherâ€™s company, having respect for each other and doing things together.
He says, â€śI say yes to everything.â€ť
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or firstname.lastname@example.org.