On July 24, 2021 at Our Lady of Good Counsel church service in Inwood, Deacon Thomas Costello said, “Just notice that in 50 years some things do not change…”
Indeed, he was conducting a service for the 50th anniversary of Nunzio and Joanne Longobardi, who wed on the same date in 1971 and in the same church with the same best man Michael Maietta and same maid of honor Linda Musto, who are the bride’s siblings.
In fact, it seems that Our Lady of Good Counsel has a storied history with this family. Musto and Maietta wed in this church, as well as the bride’s parents and grandparents. Musto’s and Maietta’s children were also baptized in the church. Nunzio added, “I was an altar boy here, and I went to school here. My family owned a bakery around the corner.”
Nunzio and Joanne met in a bowling alley in Lawrence in the 60s. Joanne reminisced about how she used go there with her dad, who was a member of a bowling league. She said, “Nunzio was there with his friends, and I was there with my girlfriend. So [my friend and I] went into the ladies room, and I said to her, “I think I really like him.” And that was it, then I knew.”
As Joanne finished telling the story of how they met, Nunzio then added, “We got engaged in the parking lot of the bowling alley, on a Monday night.”
After graduating high school in Lawrence and marrying, the couple moved briefly to South Dakota where the groom was finishing college. Then they moved to the Five Towns until they found their Baldwin home in 1979.
Joanne said, “We owned a deli in Inwood, and we wanted to move out of the area then, and then we found a house in Baldwin—it was the seventh house we looked at.”
Eloise Pisano, daughter of the couple, who Joanne described as a miracle baby 11 years into their marriage, said, “They live right across Schubert School. They wanted to raise a family, so that’s where I went to elementary school. I grew up in Baldwin, I’m a Baldwin graduate class of 2000.”
Pisano explained that Baldwin provided her family with a constellation of conveniences, “The schools were good, we had wonderful neighbors growing up, nice community. It’s centrally located to the rest of the family, close to my mom’s parents in the Inwood area. It was a good place for them set up roots and start a family.”
And start a family they did, as last Saturday they were walked down the aisle by their granddaughter Serafina Pisano, 5, Eloise’s daughter, taken the place of both of the bride’s parents who are deceased.
When asked what was her favorite part of her grandparent’s 50th anniversary ceremony, Serafina, unswayed by her mother’s further prodding, confidently and resolutely said, “All of it.”
Joanne didn’t think of this anniversary ceremony as much different than their wedding in 1971. She stated, “My husband thought of it. It’s not any different. My parents are gone.”
Nunzio said that what had changed was the family present, “Just bigger family, some people we didn’t have then, the children and grandchildren, her brother-in-law wasn’t around then.”
Musto and Maietta simply wished the couple another 50 years and good health. Musto said, “As a family, we always had the holidays and birthdays. We made it our business to keep the family together.”
Currently, Eloise lives with her husband and daughter in West Islip. The maid of honor lives with her family in Malverne, and the best man lives with his in Port Jefferson.
The Longobardi couple still resides in Baldwin. Joanne stated, “I just loved Baldwin when we moved—it was so cute. Cute bakery and such a beautiful area. It’s changed now, but just gotta go with the flow, I guess. I love my house that’s why I don’t want to leave.
And then Nunzio concluded, “We are still in Baldwin—we aren’t going nowhere.”