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Long IslandLI Life

Love Story: Annabelle and John Pilkington

John and Annabelle Pilkington as seen in a

John and Annabelle Pilkington as seen in a recent photo. Photo Credit: Handout

Annabelle Pilkington of East Northport recalls the ski weekend where she first met future husband John.


I was 24 and working for New York Telephone Co. in 1970 when the company set up a weekend ski trip. My friend at work and her cousin had to talk me into going. None of us could ski, but they assured me it would be fun.

We took a chartered bus to a hotel in Lake George and attended the arrival cocktail party. A tall, handsome young man with blondish hair and wearing lavender pants -- it was the '70s -- sauntered over and asked me to dance.

John, 23, and his friend had driven up from Flushing, Queens. I lived in Forest Hills. He was a lot of fun and a real gentleman, too. We had a great time, but when he asked for my phone number I thought it was too soon. I told him I was in the telephone book!

The next morning someone started knocking on our cabin door -- at 7 a.m. It was John. He wanted to take the three of us to breakfast. That earned him some points.

Afterward John and his friend drove to nearby Gore Mountain while we took the bus. We met up with him there, and he showed me his skis. His name was written on them, and he asked me to read his last name out loud. I thought that was odd, but read it and said, "Pil-king-ton". He said I got it right, explaining that most people had trouble pronouncing it. I guess I earned some points.

My roommates and I headed for the beginners' slope. When I got to the top, I was afraid to ski down. Lo and behold, up the slope comes John to help me. Points for him! He stayed with us the rest of the day. He also kept asking for my phone number, but I'd just laugh and tell him, again, that I was in the book.

John took the bus back to the hotel with us and sat next to me. The bus made a short stop at Stewart's Ice Cream Shop. He got off and brought me back a double scoop of chocolate ice cream in a cone, and earned some more points.

The day after I got back home, John called asking me out. He said my co-worker had given him my phone number on the first day. He took me to an Irish pub in Manhattan for dinner, and we continued to date.

On Dec. 3, 1972, we got married at St. Mary's Nativity Roman Catholic Church in Flushing. It is now 40 years later, and I guess the points have added up on both sides. We have three children and four grandchildren. We are certainly blessed.

We are parishioners of St. Anthony of Padua Church in East Northport, where we serve as Eucharistic ministers and run pre-Cana programs.

John worked for Citigroup for 38 years until he retired in 2010 as vice president, director of internal audit. I worked at Underwriters Laboratory in Melville for 11 years, then for Telephonics in Farmingdale, until I retired in 2007.

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