Andrea Schmutter of Oceanside recalls her early courtship with husband David.
I love telling our story to my friends and family. We met, or rather fell in love, in 1975 at Brookwood Camps, a sleepaway camp in Glen Spey, New York. Actually, we first met in April 1975 at a fellow camper’s Sweet 16 party. My name was Andrea Kaplan then. I thought David was very cute. He was 17 and I was 15.
I had been attending Brookwood Camps for the past six summers. David was a waiter there. The camp was divided into boys’ and girls’ sections, including the canteen, but we participated in many camp-wide activities. The first week of camp, I saw David again playing in a waiters versus counselors basketball game and was struck by Cupid’s arrow. He noticed me too, and very quickly we became an item.
We’d meet at a tree that marked the boundary between the boys’ and girls’ camps and would walk hand in hand to the canteen and to events.
After we returned home, David called me for a date. He drove his blue Chevy Nova from his home in Queens to mine in Brooklyn, where he met my parents. They liked him right away. We dated and kept in touch after David left for Syracuse University, always knowing that we’d eventually end up together.
David proposed in 1981. I was a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology and he was at New York Law School. One rainy night, he arrived at my house with Baskin-Robbins ice cream. When I said I didn’t want any, my parents, aware of the proposal and eavesdropping, came into the room. My Dad asked me to serve him ice cream. So I opened the container and found several containers nestled inside each other. The last one held the engagement ring.
We married on Nov. 27, 1982, and stayed two nights at The Plaza Hotel in Manhattan after our wedding. David had his law school exams, so we postponed our honeymoon to St. Martin until February 1983.
We moved to Island Park in 1985 and then to Oceanside in 1991. We are blessed with two daughters, a son and a son-in-law.
I have been working for a pediatric dental practice, All About Smiles, in Oceanside since 1998. I love working with children and have done numerous puppet shows on dental hygiene for our patients. I have been involved in PTA and charitable organizations. We have wonderful friends in Oceanside and many others from camp, college and school who we’ve known for more than 40 years.
David, a CPA and lawyer, works for a large consulting firm in Manhattan. He has been in public accounting as a specialist in state and local tax for more than 30 years. He is a mentor for many young people going into the field.
He is a wonderful husband, son and father. Family comes first for this outstanding man. He loves playing and watching sports with our son. He never missed a show, recital or game of our girls. He is kind, compassionate and loving. Friends always tell me what a great guy David is. He rarely says the word “no.”
This year, we celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary with a family Thanksgiving dinner. We also had an overnight stay at Gurney’s in Montauk. I look at David and still see that young man I fell in love with. I truly would do it all over again.
— With Virginia Dunleavy