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Consider This

By LC Van Savage

My Valentine

No matter how one may deny it, when February 14th rolls around, the hardest of hearts turn to over-cooked oatmeal, and we get all weepy and mushy around chocolate and red things.

So do I. I’m a sucker for holidays, love, chocolate and gush; all reminders of my marriage to

The Great Mongo.

When I first saw him in 1957 across a crowded room at a disgusting, loud, sticky blow-out KDR fraternity party at Lafayette College, we were both 19, I looked at him and literally exhaled. Bingo. He was it. I knew. Mongo required just the teensiest bit of convincing, but in time our hearts were one, and he was blissfully conquered.

While his parents were good natured, good people and good to me, alas my parents were against Mongo’s and my marrying, made sport of my tiny engagement ring, dissed Mongo, and announced that while there was breath in their bodies, there would be no wedding footed by them, especially to a poor guy from Scranton PA.

There was naught to do but elope, so elope we did one fine, beautiful day in August on the 2nd in 1959. With our rapidly running-out-of-time marriage license, we found a Justice of the Peace in Newtown, PA, named Lawrence Milnor. His sweet wife went to her garden and rolled some of her best roses in tinfoil for my wedding bouquet. I still have it. It was the most beautiful of weddings.

I was at that time living in Greenwich Village with 2 college chums, and having nowhere else to go, we went to my miniscule apartment. My roommates were not terribly keen on having a new roomie, especially a 6” 4” newly graduated unemployed man of Lithuanian descent, even though they liked him a lot. So we had no choice but to gather our stuff and move to the roof. It was hot up there, mosquitoes lived there too, but the view was wonderful and we were newly married and in love, so for us it was most pleasing.

Until the police came one moonlit night and advised us that our bedding on the gravel-covered roof was angering the people below who had trouble sleeping through our joyful activities, so we hauled everything up a narrow ladder to the top of an elevator shaft where the mosquitoes were more plentiful, the view better and the edging around that shaft about 4 inches high. There we were, top of the world, in grave danger of rolling off, our bedding getting soaked in summer rains. We didn’t care.

My roommates allowed us to come down to get ready for work after they’d left. By that time Mongo had gotten himself employed, I already was and so we lived like that until we finally had to tell the parents of our elopement, and Mongo had to go to Fort Sam Houston and then Landstuhl, Germany as a Second Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps. We had a marvelous time there. Paris was 7 hours away, Munich was four. The memories of our times there are rich and sweet. It was while we were in Germany that we brought sons Erick and Mark into the world and a few years later, in New Jersey we welcomed Paul. We were complete.

And so it goes. Went. Is. Running off with Mongo on August 2nd, 1959 was the most intelligent decision of my life. Oh, and having the boys too. They all married well, to women who are good friends who have presented us with six fabulous grandchildren.

And Mongo and I get to live in Maine. Could things get much better than this? No possible way.

And so today, 50 years since we met and I exhaled, I’m still living in a Valentine thanks to the kindness of the ever good Mongo and the Universe.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Mongo.
I love you.

Click on author's byline for bio.
Email lc at
See her on LC&CO on local access stations.
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“Senior Moment”

Tuesdays at 1:30.


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