Arlene “Cookie” Hutt, of Medford, recalls the sweet treat her future husband, Alan, gave her when they first met.
I remember the first time I saw Alan in 1948. He was wearing his high school football sweater and my heart went pitter-patter. We lived around the corner from each other in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. When I found out that he worked at his father’s store, Marine Park Pharmacy on Nostrand Avenue, my girlfriend and I walked to the pharmacy and pretended to look at a stack of books while sneaking peeks at him as he worked behind the ice cream counter. When we finally went over to the counter, Alan made me a very large sundae and asked for my telephone number. He had noticed me, too.
He didn’t waste any time and called me right away. We went to see a movie at the Avalon Theater on Kings Highway. We were both students at James Madison High School. I was 15 and a sophomore, and Alan was 17 and in his senior year. He played on the school’s football and baseball teams. We soon became high school sweethearts and continued seeing each other after he graduated.
When I turned 16, I started working part time at Rio Dry Cleaners in the neighborhood and was made an assistant manager. In 1951, I graduated from high school. We became engaged that year and I started working at the Brooklyn Borough Gas Company.
On June 21, 1952, we were married at B’nai Jacob on Eastern Parkway and had our reception there. My dad paid for the wedding cake and Alan’s parents paid for the music and flowers. Alan and I paid for everything else. We went to the Nevele resort in Ellenville, New York, for our honeymoon.
We lived in an apartment in Brooklyn until 1959, when we purchased our first house in Deer Park. Alan coached various youth softball, baseball and football teams in the neighborhood.
In 1980, we moved to a condominium in the community of Blue Ridge in Medford. We enjoy playing boccie and golf along with participating in the clubhouse activities. Alan also serves on the community’s board of managers.
He has worked in the floor-covering business for 63 years. He was a salesman and now, at age 85, is a supply distributor with Empire for Nassau and Suffolk counties. He is former president of the Long Island Flooring Association and is also a charter member and lifetime trustee.
I worked at Abraham & Straus department store in Huntington from 1970 to 1995, the year it was bought by Macy’s. I continued working for Macy’s at that location until 1996. I then got a job at NYCB Bank in Patchogue, where I worked as a teller and sold insurance annuities. I retired in 2003.
We are blessed that our family — three children, their spouses, seven grandchildren and three adorable great-granddaughters — live nearby and we get to see them often.
Most of them were able to join us on a trip to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, to celebrate our 65th anniversary this year. Every night, at dinner, they toasted us. Life is good in our old age.
— With Virginia Dunleavy