Tucked away on the west side of the small town of Broad Channel in the middle of Jamiaca Bay is a narrow, dead end, street that goes by the name of West 12th Road. Those of us who live there know that the nice part about living in a small town is that when you are not quite sure what is going on, someone else always does!
[Peter J. Mahon West 12th Road, Broad Channel]
In 1950, Edmond Porcheddu sat at a pier in Manhattan waiting for his parents to return from a trip to Italy when he struck up a conversation with Michaelina Francavilla, who was waiting for her cousin to emigrate from Italy.
That two started talking about their families, and the conversation sparked a lifetime together as the couple soon started dating and eventually wed in 1952. Edmond and Michaelina noted that through their more than six decades together, they have had many arguments, though not all of them were major.
“I remember one tiny little spat, you would say, because you’ve got to be careful about the salt and the sugar and all of that,” Michaelina, now 87, recalled while sitting inside the Atria Lynbrook assisted-living facility, where they moved into on Feb. 2. “I bought shredded wheat for the cereal, and he goes, ‘What do I have to eat this hay for?’ I say, ‘Because it’s good for you.’ So he wasn’t too fond of that, but now he eats it all the time.”
The couple had three children together; Edmond, John and Angela; and have nine grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. “It’s had its ups and downs, but I knew they loved each other and respected each other,” Angela said. “And us kids knew they loved and respected us, too.”
On past Valentine’s Days, Angela said, Edmond would write poems for Michaelina and may again this year. They are planning on spending their Valentine’s Day and Edmond’s 92nd birthday on Feb. 13 at their new home at the Atria Lynbrook. They will be thankful they have each other, Angela said, and the family will get together to celebrate Edmond’s birthday the day before.
But their lives together have not been without hardships. In 2005, their eldest son Edmond, known as Eddie, died at the age of 50 from injuries he sustained in a plane crash. They also faced some health issues. When Edmond Sr. was 50-years-old, he suffered a heart attack at their Queens Village home, where they lived since 1955.
Eventually, the couple retired to a golf community in Fort Meyers, Fla., where they lived for 26 years until Edmond fell several times. “He wasn’t feeling that good and I was getting older and I was losing a lot of my friends down there,” Michaelina said. “And we had family and friends up here.”
They then moved back to Queens Village, which was close to their son John, who lived in Broad Channel. But after several more falls, the Porcheddus moved into the Atria.
Throughout their travels, the Porcheddus had several spats, but never let those fights get out of hand. “You know, you’ll always have arguments, but we never had a knock-down drag out marriage,” Edmond joked.
They have been together for so long, according to Michaelina, because they love and respect one another. “It’s an old cliché, they say, but you have to have love, you have to have respect, you have to have compassion for your partners little faults,” she said. “You know, we all do, and you gotta let a lot of things fly.”
Edmond agreed. “If you’ve got on about every little thing, you can’t live with anybody,” he said.