BRIAN STEELE, MassLive.Com
WEST SPRINGFIELD (AP) — It’s the kind of story that can give all young couples hope in trying times.
Arnold Boido and Alda Tassinari met as children. Arnold grew up in Agawam and West Springfield. His family would visit Sagamore in the summertime and he would play with the neighborhood kids. As the years passed, Alda caught his eye in a whole new way.
First came love, then came marriage, and 70 years later, they are still going strong.
Arnold, now 95, and Alda, 92, sat at their kitchen table and recalled their courtship with blissful smiles and frequent laughs. They reached out and touched each other’s hands as they gently chided one another about how much they’ve changed since their wedding day in 1945.
Alda said she had forgotten her natural hair color until she was asked to find a picture from her youth. Arnold said his wife used to love his full head of thick blond locks.
Arnold enlisted in the Navy in 1939. When the U.S. entered World War II in 1941, he spent his leave time with Alda, and “we grew and grew and grew and grew.” But as long as the war raged, the couple were not willing to get married.
That hesitance didn’t last. The first time Arnold was given a 30-day leave, they were joined for life at a small ceremony on Cape Cod. That was March 3, 1945.
The war in Europe ended two months later, but Japan had not yet surrendered and Arnold was put to work to prepare for a possible invasion. The dropping of the atomic bombs made that unnecessary. Arnold ultimately was discharged as a warrant officer and he returned home.
That was the first time he and Alda were able to spend time together around the clock. And even though there were tough times as they aged, had children and grandchildren, built businesses, built houses and entered their Golden Years with their health intact, they remained in love.
They’ve kept the fire burning for seven decades, 13 presidents, seven popes, the Cold War, the space race, the Civil Rights Movement, the eradication of smallpox and polio, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the invention of the Internet. Arnold and Alda Boido have witnessed all these as a married couple.
“You have to have a lot of patience and try to see each other’s viewpoints,” said Alda, while admitting that it’s not always easy. “We have our disagreements about different things, but in two minutes, it’s over. We don’t argue.”
“For better or worse, for richer or poorer, and all that? That’s what we live by,” said Arnold. “I give her credit for all of it. She’s very, very forgiving … She put up with a lot of guff from me.”
Alda brushed off the compliment, saying they always “got along fine.”
Arnold: “You put up with a lot.” Alda: “Oh, stop it.”
It helped, Arnold said, that their children were well-behaved.
They agreed that, in the early years of their marriage, there was a lot to learn about each other. But now, they say they know everything.
“Maybe we’re learning things that we should forget about!” Alda said, laughing along with her husband.
“We got through it all, and here we are,” said Arnold. Alda added, “Everything is fine.”
The Boidos retired in 1985 and pass the time by reading, volunteering, working around the house and traveling.
“We still manage to do things together,” said Alda.
Life, of course, is not all wine and roses. Both suffer from macular degeneration and had to stop driving. Their daughter, Susan, helps with errands and paying bills. Their son, Tom, has their health in mind, making sure his father doesn’t overwhelm himself when he shovels the driveway.
They have a good attitude about it. Both laughed when they said they hoped to make it to their 70th anniversary in just a few weeks.
“We take it one day at a time … and just hope for the best. That’s all you can do,” said Alda.
BRIAN STEELE, MassLive.Com