In 1969 Franni Bryson, 17, graduated from Deering High School. She left her hometown of Portland to go to Simmons College in Boston.

She met her future husband, Al Franken, at a college mixer.

“In a sea of pinstripe suits, he stood out,” Franni said Monday during a telephone interview from New York City. A student at Harvard, he stood out because he was not wearing a pinstriped suit. She loved his smile and his laugh.

“He asked me to dance and bought me a ginger ale for 5 cents. That’s what it cost then.”

In an interview Tuesday, her husband – who went on to become an award-winning writer and comedian for “Saturday Night Live” and today is a comic political activist – recalled that same night. He said he saw her across a crowded room. She seemed to be organizing her friends. “She was beautiful,” he said. “I asked her to dance. We just hit it off.”

In 1975, Al and Franni married. They have two grown children. Their daughter, Thomasin, 24, teaches third-graders in the Bronx. Joe, 20, is an engineering major at Princeton University.

Franni runs a small business centered around Al’s projects. Thirty years and two children later, Franni said she still loves Al for his smile and his laugh. “That hasn’t changed.”

And him? “She’s a sweetheart,” he said. “She’s open and positive. Also, she loves me. That doesn’t hurt.”

The couple plan to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary in Maine, surrounded by Democrats at a brunch and dance Oct. 2 at the Sheraton Hotel in South Portland. The $75-a-ticket party is a fund-raiser for the Cumberland County Democrats, chaired by Franni’s sister, Carla Bryson.

“It’s a great way to do our 30th,” he said. With Franni’s mother, sister and other relatives in the Portland area, it’s easier for everyone to celebrate there than in New York City, Franken said.

Their invitation reads: “Gather with fellow Democrats for a celebration of family values. … Festive dress.”

Does that mean pinstripes are out?

Nope. Thirty-five years later, Franni has warmed up to pinstripes. She just bought some for Al.

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