The Villages - May 2017 - 37
High School Sweethearts
Nina (Sammartano ) and Tom Materazo
Chaminade High School and H. Frank Carey
High School, Franklin Square, New York
She was a twirler attending H. Frank Carey High
School in Franklin Square, New York. He was 16 with no
interest in girls. But then they met at a basement party
one evening in Long Island. In those days, there wasn't
much mingling, Tom said. Kids were shy, and only one
of his friends, a fellow fraternity brother at Chaminade
High School for boys, had a girlfriend. At the party, girls
clung to the wall like ivy on bricks and Tom stood on the
boy-sanctioned side of the room. Emboldened by the song
"Donna" by Richie Valens, Tom suddenly jumped to his
feet to take the hand of the prettiest girl in the room.
"Nina was a knockout," he said. "She was back then
and she still is now. Her hair was long and
beautiful, and her eyes were so blue."
After they danced, Tom told his
friends to forget about Nina. She was
his from then on. And Nina was equally
"I couldn't believe he picked me," She said. "He was
handsome and kind, still is."
Nina and Tom have been married for 52 years and they
haven't stopped dancing together. These days you'll find
them twirling on town squares to tunes by local musicians.
The two also like to golf, take long walks on scenic paths
near their Lakeshore Cottages home, play mah-jongg,
volunteer at the hospital and kayak on clear waters.
"We love it here," Tom said. "I couldn't have found a