Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Golden One

Today is a very special day.
50 years ago...yes FIFTY years ago was the marriage
of my Aunt MaryLou and Uncle Bobby.

Wow....Happy Golden Anniversary!!

A 50th wedding anniversary is a rare occasion, and marks a half-century of commitment, love, respect, togetherness, and strength. I learned (in my research for this post) that you can even request a personal greeting from the United States President who will then send to the couple a card of congratulations.

Let's reminisce back to 1959.

  • Minimum wage in the U.S. was $1.00 per hour.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower was President.
  • The cost of a postage stamp was only $.04.
  • Alaska becomes the 49th state.
  • Hawaii becomes the 50th state.
  • The Barbie Doll is revealed by Mattel.
  • Popular TV shows included: Bonanza, Rawhide, and The Twilight Zone.
  • Popular movies included: Ben Hur and Some Like it Hot.
  • The Boeing 707 Jet Airliner comes into service.
  • The first pictures of Earth from space were taken by Explorer 6.
And, lastly...a beautiful young Pasquel girl married her long-time Hessler love. Congratulations Aunt MaryLou and Uncle Bobby!! May you have many, many more years of wedded bliss!
In celebration of such a momentous occasion - many other relatives wanted to share their own memories and well-wishes.

Dear Mom and Dad,

Although fifty years have passed, may this be a very special anniversary as you look back on all the happy memories that will last a lifetime. Precious treasures that that we will always hold dear to our hearts that you've shared in your marriage together and with your family. I think the first words ever spoken fifty years ago were, "I Do!"

Happy 50th Anniversary!

Love always with love,



What an inspiration the two of you are. 50 years - amazing! Congratulations! Thinking back over the years I remember how much I loved (and still do) New York. And, the fact that the two of you lived very favorite place in the entire world. You were always willing to "take me in" for one of my trips and give me a place to stay. You'd take me around and make sure I was enjoying the city. I remember your many trips to Arizona in which you'd always bring us boxes and boxes of Devil Dogs. Oh...we'd freeze those things and eat them for months...delicious. I always loved when you would visit - it always meant we were going to do something fun - like the East vs. West softball games.

I remember sitting in one of the spare bedrooms at Nan and Pop's house looking through the old photo albums. Every single time...I would open your wedding album and just stare and stare. I would sit there and look at Aunt MaryLou in her wedding dress - oh how pretty she is....My very favorite picture is the one of Aunt MaryLou and Uncle Bobby sitting down on the ground with Aunt Mare's big, beautiful dress seeming to engulf them. I can still see it now.

Congrats again to you both. You truly are special. Love, Dawn

They are the best grandparent. If you ever need anything or are in trouble, they would be there for you in an instant. They always put everyone before themselves. Family is very important to them and they are great role models of how to care and provide for family. Love, John

When Georgie broke his leg and got out of the hospital after after 6 weeks, Uncle Bobby would come over in the evenings with the station wagon and load Georgie in the back. He was in a full body cast, so Uncle Bobby would plop him up with pillows so he could see out. He would take him for a ride to get ice cream and just drive around until he got tired. I was always so thankful.

On "grocery shopping" day Aunt MaryLou always insisted that Aunt Karen and I come to her house for lunch. Of course we wanted to go out and eat--after all how much fun was saving money and eating in???? We would go to her house and eat, then stop and eat out on our way home. We were both pregnant at the time and the doctor couldn't understand why we were gaining so much weight. Oh to be young and foolish again!

You were both there for me in hard times and I've never forgotten any of them, please know how much I appreciated your help. Thank you. -Cindy


It was a blessing that you met each other more than 50 years ago. Your marriage came with many bonuses...such as two beautiful children, 3 fabulous grandchildren, and a wonderful daughter-in-law. I hope to have 50 wonderful years with my wife, too. You have set very high standards which I hope to follow. Thank you for being the parents you are. I couldn't ask for parents better than the two of you. Not only are you loving, but selfless. Here's to many more years together. Love you always, Bobby, Laura, Michelle and Jennifer

Dear Nan and Pop,

Thank for everything you have done for us. We love you both very much. Thank you for taking us on boat rides, to the movies, and watching us. Happy 50th Anniversary to our loving grandparents.

Michelle and Jenny


Congratulations, Aunt MaryLou and Uncle Bobby! 50 YEARS TOGETHER! Wow! I am so lucky to have been part of that history. Thank you, Uncle Bobby for being such a wonderful Godfather. Your generosity and hospitality through the years never went unnoticed and was much appreciated. I loved all my visits to NY and was always made to feel so welcome in your home. Aunt MaryLou never let one of my clothing items or utensils be dirty for more than a fraction of a second. I remember such great times taking the train, going into the city, going to the beach, clamming, going out on the boat, and much more.. I miss you both. I hope you have another wonderful 50 years together and look forward to seeing you soon.
Love Always,


My best memory of Uncle Bob and Aunt MaryLou was the night of Dawn and Bryan's wedding. I had drank just a little to much and was getting out of my mother's car....on all fours...when all i could hear from Uncle Bob was, "Kare would you look at this guy!" with a big smile on his face. Or, at least I think that is what had i said earlier, I was just a little drunk! Love, Dougie


First off, we’d all like to say, “Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary” to the both of you. It’s hard to believe you’ve even been married that long…time sure has a way of flying by.
What an outstanding accomplishment. Don’t see many 50th Anniversary celebrations taking place these days.

As a child, I can remember swinging on the swings in our backyard making songs about Bobby coming home from Tule Greenland. And when he did come home, he gave Donna and I each an Alaskan Doll (which I still have today). Visiting them at their apartment was very exciting. They didn’t live far from us. I thought they were so rich, new furniture, such a nice apartment and the wonderful Lazy Susan dish on the coffee table filled with tootsie rolls and little Hershey candies! Mommy always purchased the store brand candy, it was cheaper and if she did purchase Hershey’s, it was for Daddy. Little did I know they didn’t even own a car, took the bus to work and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch!!! Hence, I can thank Bob & Marylou for my addiction of having pretty candy dishes placed throughout our home.

As I got older I really enjoyed the frequent visits they made to Scottsdale over the years. I know how much mommy and daddy looked forward to them visiting. They were greatly missed.

As years passed, I dated Mart, got married and then gave birth to Marty and Misty. And even though Marylou and Bob lived 2500 miles away, it was like they were always close by. Mart remembers the many trips that Bob arrived with the Styrofoam ice chests filled with, octopus, clams, oysters, mussels, etc., nothing like fresh NY fish. Or, Mart’s cross country trip with daddy to NY, one winter. Mart was so excited to see Marylou and Bob’s new house for the first time, shoveling snow for the first time, eating lobster and lots of fish. Or what about the many trips down the Salt River. Marty and Misty recall the great time Uncle Bob wanted everyone to have. We floated with so much stuff we could have been a floating convenience store! Aunt Marylou, Marty and Misty can remember her always cleaning…cleaning…cleaning and always willing to listen to Marty’s entire long winded stories. A memory Misty wanted to share is Uncle Bobby asking her to dance at Bobby & Laura’s wedding. She felt so big and special!

Does everyone remember what my wonderful brother-in-law Bob pulled on me after Marty’s wedding???? Well, if you don’t let me refresh your memory. Everyone was over, we were having a BBQ the day after the wedding. Bob came up to me and said, “Hey Rene good luck here’s a scratch ticket for you.” I didn’t think anything of it, as Bob was always so generous. Well low and behold I scratched the ticket in the dining room; little did I know Bob & Mart were watching me from outside the window. I was so excited, screaming that I’d won $10,000!!!! What a great thing to happen after we just finished paying for the wedding. Mare was so upset with him…..she made him come inside and tell me it was a fake ticket. I’ll never forget him and Mart dying laughing. Bob is always enjoying life.

How many runs were made each time Bob visited from NY to either Whataburger where he couldn’t believe you could order a burger the way you wanted it, have only the condiments you wanted on it and how good they were, or going to 31 Flavors Ice Cream. I can remember how excited the kids would be that they could choose from such a large assortment…not like the smaller selection of Thrifty Ice cream at Yellow Front. And what about the trips to Park and Swap; Bob was like a kid in a candy store. Lots of items were packed and taken back to NY…you’d think they didn’t sell things in NY. Ask Bob about Smitty’s …this was his favorite place to grocery shop, shop and shop!

I could never ask for a better sister than Marylou. It’s sometimes hard to believe we are so many years apart. Growing up she seemed so much older than me, but as time has passed and I’ve gotten older, for some strange reason the age span has decreased. She is a great sounding board, doesn’t judge you and is always there if you need her. Her and I share something that the others sisters don’t. She is my Godmother!

I cherish the many sister trips taken over the years with Marylou as we were always paired up to share a bed; as our sisters would say we (Mare & I) had “issues”. Enjoyed the many talks and of course laughs before going to sleep.

I better stop here, I believe I’ve taken more space than I’ve been allocated. My family and I could go on and on with the wonderful memories we cherish of both Bob and Marylou.

May your next 50 years together be better than the first 50 years! Enjoy life and take time to smell the roses. We love you both very much! Congratulations!!!

Love, Mart, Doreen, Marty, Misty, KateLynn & Carley Fox

WOW!! Fifty Years, can I remember back that far? Yes unfortunately I can. September 26th, 1959. I was a Junior Bridesmaid, got to wear a Turquoise dress with Terry DeFini as my partner. Boy, were we excited. A Honeymoon in Florida,and then back to Whitestone to start their new life together. Did I mention that Marylou was just 17 and Bobby 21. Babies by our standards today. It was so exciting to go to their apartment on 19th Avenue, I even hung around long enough that I got to have their first dinner with them. Sorry, talk about ruining the ambiance.

Looking back though, I can't remember a time when I didn't know Bobby Hessler. The young man that lived on 11th Avenue, while we lived on 10th was always around. I remember him sitting at the kitchen table with my mother drinking beer talking and laughing, while Mary Lou did her homework. This would go on every night until about 9:00pm when it was time for Bobby and MaryLou to walk up to Artie Quick’s to get the newspaper and a huge Hershey’s chocolate bar for Daddy. This was a nightly ritual, and each night as Bobby handed Daddy the candy bar, Daddy would say What’s this?” Like he didn’t know that he was getting the candy bar. By the way he didn’t share it.

When Mary Lou and Bobby were dating, I spent a lot of time with Marylou because my Mom worked nights at Lilly Tulip (a factory that made cups). Bobby and his friends would hang out at the Candy Store and since Marylou,the ever responsible one, always had to watch me, I got to go with her. As we would be walking down the street Bobby would smile at his friends and say here comes big Witch and little Witch. That name stuck.

It is no surprise to anyone that MaryLou was, and still is the clean freak of the family (Dawn and Bryan are close seconds). She thought it was a great time on Saturday’s to help my Mom clean the upstairs. Since she loved this so much, I got to help. Hurray for me. She was a difficult task master, making me redo the beds, bathroom etc. if it wasn’t done right. Marylou did and still does make a bed so tight she would make a staff sergeant proud. You certainly could bounce a quarter off of her beds. Any time that I would spend the night at her house, I would find myself getting up in the middle of the night to loosen the sheets. I felt like I was in a straight jacket. No wrinkles in her beds.

When I was 17 Bobby was the one willing to teach me how to drive. He took me all over Whitestone, showing me how to parallel park, three point turns, and stay on the right side of the street. He was as proud as I was, when I passed my drivers test and was able to drive. Of course I couldn’t drive Pop’s car, he rarely relinquished the keys except if Cindy asked for them (but that’s another story).

In 1972 I moved to Arizona. Bobby and Mary Lou including kids were the ones that showed up to help us move four rooms of furniture, up and down four flights of stairs. Talk about cardio exercise. That began a new part of our lives. Many visits cross country started.

1973 started the beginning of Mary Lou spending the summer in Arizona. It was great to have her and the kids, especially since my house was directly behind my parents where Mary Lou was staying. I of course, had to work, so Mary Lou always looking for something to do would wash my windows, floors, and anything else that had to be done. It was great coming home and having your own personal house keeper.

After that Little Bobby and Mary Lou would spend the summer with John and Robin and I. We had a great time when I got off of work, doing all the free things that Scottsdale had to offer then. Bike riding, Concerts at El Dorado, Zoo Nights, Climbing hole in the rock, and swimming in Nan and Pop’s pool. At the end of the summer, Bobby and Mary Lou would drive from NY to AZ to pick up the kids. Cross Country trips became the norm. Bob, Mary Lou, kids, Mrs. Hessler, and sometimes Uncle Ray all loaded into the Station wagon to visit Arizona. There was always a stop at A&W Root beer the frosty mug was a huge draw. Thrifty Ice Cream each scoop of ice cream was 5cents. Getting a triple cone was the best.

One of MaryLou's favorite things was to pick grapes and dry them into raisins. If picking 10 pounds was good, 100 pounds was better. We spent an entire day taking grapes off their stems, spreading them out in Nan and Pop's backyard to dry out, and sanitizing them in the oven. We had enough raisins to feed the neighborhood. MaryLou packed at least 75 pounds of them into a garbage bag and put them in her suitcase for the trip back to NY. When Bobby got to the airport to retrieve his family, he almost got a hernia picking that suitcase up.

Everyone was excited when Bobby and Marylou came to visit. We knew that we would be doing all kinds of fun things in this Wild West Town. One that Bobby loved was horseback riding. I remember riding through Papago Park with the kids when we realized BJ had lagged behind. Before we had a chance to head back we could hear BJ screaming UNCLE BOBBY, UNCLE BOBBY. BJ’s horse decided to stop in the tunnel and not move an inch. Bobby went back and saved the day by dragging the horse by his rein. BJ did not move far from Uncle Bobby after that.

Arizona Summers can be brutal upwards of 110 degrees. Any activity that involved water was not only fun but a necessity. Floating down the river was one of our favorite things to do. The water was cold, tubes tied together with tons of beer and food to eat. Who lives better than us? Bobby loved it so much and encouraged everyone to go. One year he took a friend of his from NY Aunt Ida, I think at the time she was upwards of 70 + years old. She had a great time. I can still see Bobby and Uncle Ray floating down the river with a cold beer in their hands laughing and having a good time.

One of our favorite trips was Hiking Havasu Falls. This is an Indian Village in Northern Arizona. Picture 15-20 of us carrying at least a 30-40 pound pack on a 12 mile hike. The terrain is varied, sand, rocks, hills and streams. The hike is not easy. By the time we got to the bottom we were ready to swim in the icy cold water and climb down Mooney Falls slick rocks. We were exhausted, but what a sense of accomplishment we all experienced. Even though, we were camping we all laughed watching Bobby shaving looking in a metal dinner plate at the camp site. Ask Eileen about her first helicopter ride or Barbara about the red ants. Good Times and great family memories.

I could go on and on. The trips to Disneyland, Las Vegas, Lake Mead, you name it we did it. Our entire family has worked hard to be a part of each others lives. We all work and play hard. Whether it was being a part of an East versus West Softball team (a trophy to prove it), post wedding Bowling team or spending time on a Cruise ship for Thanksgiving, we have cherished our times spent together. Thanks for the great memories. I can’t think of two better examples of hard working, family oriented people than you two.

Congratulations Bob and Marylou on this incredible 50 year journey. You have and always will be a vital part of our family. May you both live as long as you want and never want as long as you live. With much love and affections. -Karen


MaryLou & Bobby,

It does not seem real that FIFTY years have passed since your wedding. As they say when you're having fun the time flies by. As I look back there are so many things that stand out about the two of you and the love you both have shared with all of us.

I remember your first apartment and how very proud the two of you were with it. Your first house and how both of you worked so very hard on it and how beautiful it turned out. I can still see you, Mare, taking a shower before I took you to the hospital to have MaryLou. How very nervous I was and you calmed me down. How very proud I was to be asked to be Bobby's Godmother.

No matter what we were doing, you and Bobby were always there to help in any way and to say, "what can we do?"There have been good times and bad times through the years, but you two were always together.

I would like to think Rich and I will reach that goal in life, but only God knows. We wish you both all the happiness and many more years to follow.

We love you both very much,

Eileen and Rich

MaryLou and Bobby,

Where do you begin a beautiful love story, about two exceptional people? Please bear with me as I reminisce not only on MaryLou and Bob's 50th Anniversary, but my memories of them as well.

Memory #1 - MayLou and Bob at my parent's home in Whitestone. Bob in his white t-shirt and MaryLou running around the kitchen. Bob with beer in his hand, having a great time...bull s******* with Nan and Pop. Bob smiling and kidding, and MaryLou yelling, "Stop That!" Young love, how beautiful it is!!

Memory #2 - Bob coming home from the service, again at Nan and Pop's in Whitestone. MaryLou so excited that her husband is now home for good!! Let the fun begin.

Memory #3 - The Firehouse Great carnivals. (Bob, did you tell them to let me win??)

Memory #4 - White Castle hamburgers. Thanks Bob!!! You always had to buy 50-60 of them!

Memory #5 - Visiting their house with Mom and Dad. It was so beautiful. Everything so new and fresh. Loved it!!

Memory #6 - Entenmann's coffee cake and hot tea at the kitchen table...any time we got together.

Memory #7 - MaryLou's 50th birthday party!! Oh yeah! Do I love New York! Thanks for the great time!!

Memory #8 - Easter Egg money for the kids' golden eggs. Without this...there would be only candy. Thanks! All the kids loved it and we had to keep the adults away...(beer money).

Memory #9 - Grandparenthood. You both were contagious in your excitement of it all.

Memory #10 - Any come Mare and Bob with everything you ever imagined you would need. Thanks for the beer, soda, chips, and anything else needed.

Memory #11 - Endless time with the kids. Always beautiful memories.

Memory #12 - Sister retreats...LOVE the banker. (and thanks Bob for the stripper!) See you in October!

With all of these memories and thoughts, I now know why you both have not only cherished and rejoiced in your 50 plus years together, but have encouraged others at the same time. We love you both and will always cherish the many moments that are not only spoken, but felt. Many, many more years are our wishes to you both. Happy 50th!!

Donna & Bill

Some of my fondest memories are about Boosters Beach in Whitestone - we would hang out there often. I was always trying to teach MaryLou how to swim. We'd sit on the big rock by the Lighthouse and wait for high tide. Then, MaryLou would have to swim back to shore...she still doesn't like the water. One time Bobby and I swam to the Bronx side as Mary Lou sat on the beach waiting for us to return.

Also, hanging out at the candy store on 8th Avenue. The guys would play cards, and we would just hang around. They all wore Dungarees (that's what we called jeans back then) and white tee shirts with their cigarettes curled up in their sleeves.

We walked all over Whitestone, up to the village, Bertlesens Ice Cream Parlor - the place we we first had egg creams. We'd go to the Whitestone Pool on the nights that it cost 25 cents. We swam or danced to the juke box.

Boy, just reminisching makes me want those "simpler" times again. Where has the last 50 years gone?

Congratulations to you both! Love you,


50 years together.
I think I can speak for all of us and say...
We love you.
The two of you are inspirations.


Karen said...

Dawn: You did a wonderful job putting this together. Thank you so much this brought tears to my eyes. MaryLou and Bobby, thanks so much for being the wonderful role models that you both are. Much love. Karen

Robin said...

Thanks, Dawn for putting this together. Thanks, Aunt Mare and Uncle Bobby and Everyone who contributed memories! You all reminded me what this family is all about. I love you all!

Karen said...

This was done so beautifully it brought me to tears. We are so happy to share in your 50 years of memories. This is what family is all about. We love you all.

Eileen and Rich.

Ashley said...

Awesome job Dawn! Happy Anniversary Aunt Marylou and Uncle Bobby! :) Loved all the stories!

em said...

i am in AWE of those wedding pictures!!!!!!! not only does it look like she married frank sinatra, but her wedding dress is the most beautiful dress i've ever seen. what an incredible post. well worth the read. such an inspiration to see the people that make it;-)

The Cuties' Mommy said...

Again, Happy Anniversary Aunt Mare and Uncle Bobby!!

This post definitely could not have been written without 1) of course, Aunt MaryLou and Uncle Bobby, 2) Aunt Karen for having the idea, 3) MaryLou for sending me pictures, and 4) Everyone for sending me their novels...I mean stories.

Here's to another 50!