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My parents got married on June 24, 1972.

Susan and Cary tied the knot at the Boston Sheraton as the Northeast got pummeled by
the remnants of Hurricane Agnes.

They met at Charlotte High School, where my father taught math and my mother was a
contract substitute. He grew up in Fairport and went to Bucknell University. She grew
up in Newton, Massachusetts and went to the University of Rochester. He was
Protestant. She was Jewish. He was a Republican. She was a Democrat. She was 22.
He was 28.

Their fathers both died young. Their mothers were Ruth and Dorothy. (Doesn’t every
baby boomer have a mother named Ruth or Dorothy?)

They moved to Seneca Parkway in 1978 and still live there. A big house with a big pool
and a big dog.

Rachel and Jason

They had two redheaded children. I came a few hours after the nation celebrated its bicentennial. My brother, Jason, came on their 6th anniversary. Mom wanted her children to be Jewish, but we weren’t religious. We always celebrated Christmas for Dad’s mother, since we were her only family in town. Dad and I would always race through Midtown Plaza on Christmas Eve to buy presents for Mom.

Mom became a guidance counselor. Dad became a dean of students. They sent their kids to city schools in the same way Kodak workers bought Kodak cameras and GM workers bought GM cars.

Watching 3D TV

Dad is a tech nerd who rigs up the house with gadgets. Sometimes I can’t figure out how to turn on the lights in the kitchen. He loves home theaters and had laser discs and a 6-foot screen in 1980. He and mom now watch stuff on a 3D set. I don’t know how to turn on the TV, either.

Mom is very open and honest. She says things we don’t want to hear. I could tell her anything and know she’ll be supportive. There’s no bigger advocate for her kids. She never stops saying “I love you.”

No marriage is perfect. I only remember one bad fight when I was really young. I
decided to run messages between my mom on the second floor and my dad in the
basement until they made up. Over the years, there were disagreements about kids and
money, but I never once thought their marriage was in trouble.

Dad was so supportive of Mom when she had breast cancer – both times. Mom treated
Dad’s mother like she was her own. Dad took care of Mom’s mother when she suffered
from Alzheimer’s and came to live with them.

I don’t know the secret to their successful marriage. My parents are independent. They
each have their own interests. They still enjoy each other’s company. They love their getaways. They love each other and their children.

Mom has often said, “You marry the person you’re in love with at the time you’re ready to get married.” She stresses you must be in love and want and value the same things.

Happy Anniversary! I love you.

40th Anniversary Dinner

16 Responses to Happy 40th Anniversary!

  1. Thank you,Rachel, for this tribute to your dad and me, and to a marriage continually in progress! I am so proud that you are my daughter. And yet another time I can say “I love you!”.

  2. June 24, 2012 at 11:41 am jeanne responds:

    Happy anniversary!!! And we have benefitted from this beautiful union– we have an inspiring story about love and we have an excellent reporter!

  3. June 24, 2012 at 11:53 am theodore kumlander responds:

    thanks for posting this . I always wondered what your father did after he retired. we was well liked and respected at Edison Tech he was very good with the students, and treated the staff with respect.

  4. June 24, 2012 at 12:09 pm adam smith responds:

    congrats susan on your anniversary i nown u for many years at marshall as my guidance counselor in mid t late 90’s and yes rachel my mom name is ruth as well

  5. What a nice tribute to your parents! A beautiful story of their life and love for each other. It made me think of my own parents in another part of Rochester who also will celebrate their 40th Anniversary later this year.

  6. June 24, 2012 at 12:32 pm Pat Levin responds:

    Happy anniversary. I hope you have a least 40 more. It’s nice when our kids make us proud.


  7. What a wonderful tribute to two great parents. I believe the last paragraph says it all. Marry someone you love, who shares your values, when you are ready. I believe I have done that. We will celebrate 30 years next spring.

  8. June 24, 2012 at 12:58 pm lynn e responds:

    A nice tribute to a wonderful couple. Happy anniversary!

  9. June 24, 2012 at 1:52 pm Edward Richards responds:

    40 years ago today. wow! And nice coat. DAMN.

  10. This is absolutely beautiful, Rachel. You seem to be a wonderful daughter.
    Please allow me to suggest you read Exodus 20:12 and Proverbs 31:10 thru 31:31.

  11. This was a wonderful story, and I want to extend greetings to your parents on the occasion of their 40th anniversary. My mother’s name was also Dorothy, and as in the case of your parents, mine were also of different faith origins (father was Jewish, mother was Catholic). The year you were born (1976), I was doing daily comedy routines on local radio station WAXC.

  12. June 24, 2012 at 10:02 pm Tom Proietti responds:

    Such insightful words. They form a tribute that had me smiling, beaming, and reflecting. Milady and I hope to celebrAte our 45th anniversary on 26 August. Hope one of my children would write a reflective tribute to their Mom. She is the glue in our relationship. Thank you, Rachel. Your words are wonderfully inspirational. I am proud to know you and so happy for your parents. Alas, no Dorothy’s or Ruth’s amongst The Marinos and The Proiettis.

  13. A wonderful story. I wish everyone was as blessed as you three!

  14. June 25, 2012 at 8:02 am Jim Webster responds:

    Very, very Nice Rach. And very thoughtful.
    And and I celebrated 42 years on June 19.

  15. June 26, 2012 at 1:40 am Paul Quartieri responds:

    Rachel be thankful both of your parents are still alive my parents would have been married 55 yrs this year lost my father in 1988 and my mother to cancer last year cherish them every single day because you never know

  16. June 26, 2012 at 6:17 am RaChaCha responds:

    Congrats to Ma & Pa Barnhart!

    As someone who came along late in my parents’ life, I got to attend their 50th Anniversary celebration, which we held at a local church. I found an offering plate, put it on a chair by the door, and seeded it with a few dollars. By the end of the day it turned into quite a haul! True story 😉

    Very best wishes for the next 40!

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