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Thursday, April 18, 2024

Romantic Chronicles: Daily Gazette Readers Reveal Their Stories of Love, Soulmates and Beyond


As we approach the season of love, signs of affection are everywhere. From greeting cards to candy hearts, and beautifully wrapped treats, the air is filled with the sweet scent of love. These symbols of love, some of which have been on display since the start of the year, serve as a reminder to celebrate love in all its forms.

But what exactly is love? This is a question that has been asked by many, including us. In response to our inquiry, our readers shared their personal experiences of love, recounting memories of loved ones, miraculous moments, and what they consider to be the most profound love stories they’ve ever known.

On this Valentine’s Day, we at the Daily Gazette Family of Newspapers wish you a day filled with love and joy. Enjoy the heartwarming stories shared by our readers below.

Contributions from:

  • Ron Sutler, Gloversville
  • Meda Rigatti, Rexford
  • Marilyn Fuller, of Glenville
  • Gary Labelle and Michelle Wright
  • Lewis M. Elia, of Niskayuna
  • Mary Jo Venditti
  • Michael Glenn
  • Brian Kreis
  • Tom and Teresa (Briggs) Young

*Editor’s note: Some stories may have been edited for length, style or other reasons.

Words to Love By

From reader Ron Sutler, Gloversville

While settling my late father’s affairs, I stumbled upon a collection of old letters. These letters, exchanged between my grandparents who grew up in rural West Virginia, painted a picture of a love story that I had never known.

My grandfather, Boyd Sutler, was an orphan who lived with a family friend on a farm outside of town. He met my grandmother, Gladys Cobun, at school, and they began a secret courtship, exchanging letters filled with beautiful poetry.

These letters, which I found among my father’s belongings, revealed a side of my grandfather that I had never known. He was a romantic, expressing his love for Gladys in eloquent prose. One of his letters read:

  • “Life’s moon will soon be waning
  • And it’s evening bells be tolled;
  • But my heart will know no sadness
  • If you’ll love me when I’m old.”

These letters, filled with declarations of love and affection, were a treasure hidden among my father’s belongings. They culminated in a proposal, leading to a marriage that lasted until my grandfather’s passing in 1991.

Submitted by reader Ron Sutler who currently lives in Gloversville.

Maria’s Love Story

Submitted by Meda Rigatti, Rexford

After losing her husband, Maria, a young widow, moved to the United States. She was taken in by her cousin Mario and his wife, Clara, in New York City. Despite the challenges, Maria found happiness and even love in her new home.

One day, a young man named Vincenzo, whom she had met on her journey to the United States, came to visit her. He was persistent, and over time, Maria found herself falling in love with him. They both became U.S. citizens, and Vincenzo proposed to Maria in a unique way, hiding a ring inside a cream puff.

They built a life together in America, with Vincenzo opening a barbershop and Maria continuing her work as a seamstress. They had two children and their love for each other never waned.

Submitted by author Meda Rigatti who wrote, “I am sending you my grandmother’s love story as told to me when I was a child.” Meda grew up in Schenectady and now lives in Rexford.

Summer Camp Soulmates

Submitted by reader Marilyn Fuller, of Glenville

My husband, Glenn and I met when we were 16 years old and working at the same summer camp, Camp Pinnacle. Despite the distance between us after camp, we kept in touch and eventually rekindled our relationship. After I moved to New Jersey, we got married and have been together for 37 years. We have three daughters and recently welcomed our first grandchild. We are truly blessed.

Submitted by reader Marilyn Fuller.

Our Boy Jack

Submitted by Gary Labelle and Michelle Wright, both longtime Daily Gazette employees

When we first saw a picture of baby Jack, a Black Labrador, it was love at first sight. Despite his initial mischievous behavior, Jack grew to be a loyal and loving companion. We took him on countless adventures, and he brought so much joy and love into our lives. Even though we lost him in 2024, Jack will forever live in our hearts.

Submitted by Gary Labelle and Michelle Wright who are both long-time employees at the Daily Gazette Family of Newspapers. Gary also wrote, “Born on December 17, 2009 and left us on January 15, 2024. He was 14 years and 29 days old. Thank you all for letting Jack into your workplace and into your hearts. We will be eternally grateful for your kindness, treats, belly rubs and love you gave to Jack.”

Love Strikes When Least Expected

Submitted by reader Lewis M. Elia, of Niskayuna

My parents, both immigrants from the Salerno region of Italy, met in New York City. They later moved to different parts of the country, but fate brought them back together. My father, on vacation from his job as a longshoreman, visited my mother in Saratoga Springs. They discovered they were born in the same house in lower Manhattan, and this sparked a love that led to their marriage.

Submitted by reader Lewis M. Elia who wrote, “I always loved my parents’ story. It proves that Cupid’s arrow can hit at any time, even when it’s not expected.” Lewis is originally from Saratoga Springs but now lives in Niskayuna.

A Young and Lasting Love

Submitted by reader Mary Jo Venditti

In the summer of 1968, I met Tony, the son of the owner of the cabin my parents rented on Sacandaga Lake. Despite his initial refusal to let me accompany him to Saratoga Springs, we exchanged addresses and kept in touch. We got married in 1971 and have been together for 52 years.

Submitted by reader Mary Jo Venditti.

Natalia’s Story

Submitted by reader Brian Kreis

When I retired, I decided to help seniors.

Rafael Torres
Rafael Torres
Rafael Torres, a native of Schenectady, has returned to his hometown after several years of reporting in the Midwest. A graduate of Missouri School of Journalism, Alex is known for his empathetic approach to local news, covering everything from community events to local governance, always with an aim to bridge diverse perspectives.
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