How We Met: The Girl Next Door
60 years later and still going strong
Nancy Bossidy wasn’t exactly the girl next door, but she did live in the same Pittsfield, Massachusetts, neighborhood as her future husband, Larry. She rode her bike to the local ballfield where her brother and the guys, Larry included, would have pickup baseball games. They attended the same church and often frequented the same movie theater. “I definitely knew who he was,” says Nancy. “Everyone knew him.”
Larry was a popular, star athlete whose name appeared regularly in the local newspaper. He worked in the family-owned shoe store and was an altar boy at their church. But while Nancy and Larry lived in the same neighborhood, they went to different high schools and hung out with different crowds. Larry was a baseball pitcher at Pittsfield High School, on track for a professional-baseball career. Nancy was a year younger and a cheerleader for rival school St. Joseph Central High.
While Nancy wasn’t totally certain Larry was interested, small things suggested that maybe he liked her. There were those frequent glances her way during Mass at the neighborhood church. She noticed the family car, an easily recognizable Hudson, riding around Park Square waiting for the last bus she often took home.
By the time he graduated from high school, Larry had a full scholarship to Colgate University. At the same time, he was to be offered $40,000 to play professional baseball. However, when his father got wind of a scout en route to the family home with a check in hand, he instructed Larry’s mother not to open the door. He believed there was more security in a college education than in a professional-sports career. She didn’t let him in.
That summer before Larry headed off to Colgate, Nancy was working the concession at the Palace Movie Theater. Her girlfriend worked the ticket booth. One day Larry showed up at the movie theater, marched right up to her friend and said, “I don’t want to buy a ticket. I just want to see Nancy.” And so began a courtship that ended after Nancy’s two years at St. Regis College.
Now after 60 years together, nine children, 31 grandchildren, and two great grandchildren, Nancy says they have been fortunate to have had such an amazing life together, which has included lots of travel. In razor-sharp detail, she recounts Larry’s successful career as a top executive at GE, and as the top executive at AlliedSignal and Honeywell. Financial World Magazine named him CEO of the Year in 1994, and CEO Magazine did the same in 1998. She credits a GE colleague of Larry who steered the couple to Ridgefield where their growing family could have more house for the money. “We are so grateful because we love Ridgefield.”
But there is one story Nancy only found out a few years ago. Larry’s glances at Nancy in church when he was still in high school always brought a strong reprimand from his strict and proper mother, who thought it rude. But Larry reassured his mom that in this case it was okay to stare because he was only looking at the girl he would one day marry.