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State Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Little Neck), who officiated at the ceremony and gave the couples New York state certifications of merit and sun catchers, called them "the real heroes.""Too many [people in] relationships expect marriage and life to be too easy," Weprin said. "It's great to honor these couples. It kind of renews my faith in the human spirit."The longest marriage in the room belonged to Esther and Arthur Rabinowitz of Inwood, L.I., who have been married for 68 years."The reason we never got a divorce is because it was [considered] a shame" in her day, Esther quipped. "Everybody in our family would've thought it was a shame."Esther, a dance instructor at the senior center, said she and her husband spent their honeymoon in a funeral parlor because there were no hotel rooms in the town where Arthur was stationed as a soldier.Ruth and Jim Cantiello of Floral Park celebrated their 61st anniversary in August."I always felt that marriage is like a box of goodies," said Ruth, 82. "You have to keep putting in or it gets empty."They met each other during their childhood while living on the same street of a new housing development."He hadn't had a girlfriend yet. We were the first couple [on the block] who got married so the whole neighborhood came out" for the wedding, Ruth said.Jim credited the long marriage to a sense of humor."You have to laugh at a lot of things," he said. "You look out for each other. It's really a blessing."Eleanor Mangarano of New Hyde Park, married to her husband Louis for 58 years, said she had had few disagreements with her husband during that time."We never had no problems," she said. "He worked so many hours that I didn't have time to fight with him."Irv Postman of Glen Oaks, who has been married to Ruth for 50 years, said there are rules men have to obey to keep a marriage going."First, you keep your mouth shut. That's No. 1," he said. "No. 2, whatever she says, you keep a deaf ear."Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.
©2008 Community Newspaper Group
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