High school sweethearts reflect on growing up in the '50s
By Francine Maglione

The News-Times/Michael Duffy
Mary Ann and Joseph La Cava, members of Danbury High School's Class of 1955, have been married 45 years.
When a young Joseph La Cava, then an eighth-grader in St. Peter's School, first spotted Mary Ann Young across the street at Main Street Middle School, it was love at first sight.

"I saw her there and said, 'That's the girl I'm going to marry,'" he said.

In high school, they were a stereotypical couple - he was the captain of the football team and she was the captain of the cheerleading squad.

Today, the members of Danbury High School's Class of 1955 are still together after 45 years of marriage and are all smiles and laughter.
Mary Ann Young

"Our love for each other has kept us together," said Joseph La Cava, 68. "We've had our ups and downs, but that's kind of good, I think. I guess that's healthy."

The La Cavas, Newtown residents for the past 40 years, now spend their retirement days visiting their four children, ranging in age from 39 to 43, and eight grandchildren.

"Together we like to read with our grandchildren," said Mary Ann La Cava, 67. "It's wonderful to be with them."

Joseph La Cava, a former employee of Newtown Savings Bank, enjoys golf and works at the Newtown Country Club pro shop once a week. Mary Ann La Cava, a former teacher at Middlegate Elementary School in Newtown, spends her time immersed in Bible studies and prayer meetings.
Joseph La Cava

Faith played a large part in joining these two otherwise different people.

"We had nothing in common," said Joseph La Cava. "We didn't even like the same kind of pie!"

"The biggest thing we have in common is prayer," said Mary Ann La Cava. "Our faith was strong and still is."

The La Cavas first officially met during their freshman year at DHS. They had their first date sophomore year.

Mary Ann said she was not very interested in Joseph at first, but later had a vision and realized he was the one she was meant to be with.

The couple began going steady their junior year.

"It was just a loving time caring for one another," said Mary Ann La Cava.

After high school, Joseph La Cava attended the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, then joined the Army for two years. Mary Ann La Cava attended Western Connecticut State University.

The couple married July 16, 1960.

The La Cavas said things were much different growing up in the 1950s.

"Life wasn't fearful," said Mary. "They were good times."

"They weren't drug-related and alcohol-related," added Joseph. "You used to have to go to New York State to get a beer.

"You could leave your car out in the street with your keys in it and nobody would bother it," he added.

"We used to run into the store and leave it running!" added Mary Ann.

The La Cavas recalled days spent at the Danbury Fair on Fair Day when all the schools were closed, as well as going to the Danbury drive-in, taking car rides, going to high school sports games and dances, and taking trips to Fairfield Beach.

"We didn't do an awful lot because when we were dating we were saving money to go to college," said Joseph La Cava.

The couple attended the first DHS reunion as well as the most recent, and plan to attend the 50th. They attribute the strong relationships among the classmates to each reunion's large turnout.

"I'd have to chalk it up to everybody's parents, that's how all these kids came to be good kids," said Joseph La Cava.

"And I would say solid friendships," added Mary Ann La Cava.

Mary Ann La Cava said the kindness of her husband and good communication has kept their marriage strong.

"We're very thankful that we're still together," she said