Column: Marriages – Some are great, others great stories |

Column: Marriages – Some are great, others great stories

Maybe it’s the water or just good, country living in Seward, Neb., but there are lots of couples in Seward County who have been married for 50 years or more. Recently 103 couples gathered at the Women’s Club for a salute to their unions. The couples shared stories of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and their secrets for staying married so long. ”A lot of blessing, patience, communication, love,” said Herman and Ruth Glase, who have been together 50 years. Harold and Velda Rohren, who have been married 53 years, say sometimes couples just need to ”be still, shut up” and eventually a problem will go away. George Brust said his secret to 63 years of marriage to Ida Marie is simple: ”I let her be the boss.”

How sweet. And oh so admirable.

However, in Akron, Ohio, Joseph Pileggi thought he knew the woman he was marrying. But the woman he wed three years ago apparently wasn’t 83-year-old Ducile Palermo. It was her 61-year-old daughter, Carli Buchanan.

Run that by me again …

It’s no surprise that Pileggi, 69, says he was shocked when he came across the marriage license that had Buchanan signed as the bride and Palermo as a witness. He says he thought he married Palermo, with whom he’d lived since 1992.

”He truly is in a state of disbelief,” said Russell Pry, Pileggi’s attorney. ”This is something he can’t understand, particularly at this stage of his life. He still has a hard time believing what happened. He wants this over with yesterday.”

But the daughter claims Pileggi knew he was marrying her and that they consummated the wedding the same day.

The matter is now in court. Much of the confusion may be traced to Palermo’s tendency to use her daughter’s name.

”I’m not sure what names were used in the wedding ceremony. I’m not even sure Joe knows,” Pry said.

Poor guy, getting swindled when all he wanted to do was get hitched.

Then we have a guy who isn’t married but that could soon change. Pastor Doug George, of Belleville, Mich., has given his blessings to dozens of couples at the altar.

But finding a bride for himself is another matter.

If his church’s youth group gets its way, he’ll be engaged soon.

The young ones are schooling 32-year-old George on the etiquette of dating. They’ve even given him a makeover, including a new hairstyle and fashionable wardrobe.

”We’re desperately trying to hook this man up,” said Jason Yaeger, 17, a parishioner at Belleville Church of God. ”He needs a woman in his life.”

George is tickled that his youth group in this Detroit suburb is eager to help him into wedded bliss. To the youth group, the only way he’s going to find a wife is by cutting back on the hours he spends with the 25-member youth ministry – something George has been reluctant to do. So the kids, ages 13 to 18, have taken it upon themselves to play Cupid.

”Everywhere I go, I try to keep an eye out for someone who’d make a good wife,” said Yaeger, George’s hair and fashion consultant.

And this is one of my favorite happy-ending wedding tales. Well into their golden years, George Nemes and Muriel Lange, of Detroit, are newlyweds after tying the knot – at a Big Boy restaurant where their romance began.

”I’ve been coming here every week for 20 years,” the 91-year-old Nemes said after exchanging vows with 90-year-old Lange. ”We decided to get married here because this place has been a part of our lives.” Nemes had invited Lange for coffee at the Big Boy more than a year ago after a weekly card party at their senior citizens apartment complex.

The Big Boy was packed during nuptials carried out by Macomb County Circuit Judge Peter Maceroni, also a regular at the restaurant. The couple’s respective children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren filled most tables.

Booth No. 26, the one where Lange and Nemes had their first date about 18 months ago, ceremoniously was reserved.

The marriage was the second for Lange, whose first husband of more than 55 years died four years ago. Nemes was married to his first wife for 44 years before she died in 1981.

There are good marriages, not so good ones and those that are so sweet they make your heart go pitter-pat just to hear about them.

As for the 90-year-olds getting married, I’d say go for it with all you’ve got.

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