Anna and Richard Hack of New Hyde Park met at work. Anna recalls their secret courtship.
I was Anna Ciraulo when I met Richard Hack in 1964. We both worked at BF Goodrich and had recently been transferred from different offices to the Park Avenue site in Manhattan. He was 34 and I was 23.
All the single girls were enamored of him; he was handsome, smart, loquacious, generous and funny. My mother always told me not to date a co-worker, so I turned down his numerous invitations to lunch. I later found out that he was smitten with me at first sight.
When I was promoted to executive secretary and assigned to Richard’s division, I was also elected to organize a large dinner party. Richard took this opportunity to give me advice on the area’s restaurants. When he heard that I, an Italian girl, had never tasted shrimp scampi, he insisted on taking me to a place that served the best shrimp scampi I would ever taste. I agreed to go, but things didn’t go smoothly.
One Thursday evening we arrived at the 4-star restaurant only to find a huge lock on the door along with a notice of closure by the city marshal. Richard scrambled and found a replacement. It was the first of many dates for us.
Our colleagues never suspected we were dating even though we took the same lunch hour every day. Each Thursday we dined at Manny Wolf’s Steakhouse on 49th Street and Third Avenue. Our regular waiter there began reserving “Table 99” for us.
When I started attending evening classes at Hunter College, Richard would go home to Elmhurst, then return to Manhattan to meet me after class. We’d get a bite to eat and he’d escort me home to Astoria.
He proposed on May 19, 1965, and we were married on Sept. 19, 1965, at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Astoria.
I lived around the corner from the church, but my hairstylist was late — which made me late for my own wedding. The officiating priest, Richard’s cousin, doused us with holy water for holding up the ceremony! Our reception was at the Villa Bianca in Flushing, and we honeymooned in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Richard brought me a dozen long-stemmed yellow roses every Thursday during our first year of marriage. I still get yellow roses for special occasions.
Richard retired in 1995 as a leasing manager with an automobile sales group in Glen Cove. I retired in 2014 as an administrative assistant for Canon in Melville
We are very proud of our two daughters, two sons-in-law and our grandson. On Sept. 19, we celebrated our 50th anniversary with them at Hendrick’s Tavern in Roslyn. We have made so many wonderful memories together and look forward to making more together!
— With Virginia Dunleavy