Volume 75, Number 42 | March 8 -14 2006

Sweet home Alabama: Perry St. leader and husband leaving Village

Betty Rinckwitz, president of the Perry St. Block Association, and her husband, Frederick, who was born in the house at the corner of Perry and Bleecker Sts., are leaving the Village at the end of this month and their friends and neighbors will gather on March 13 at St. John’s-in-the-Village to bid them farewell.

They are moving to Guntersville, a town on the Tennessee River in northern Alabama where Betty’s family has property.

“It breaks my heart to leave the Village,” she told The Villager last week. “But three flights of stairs are becoming too much,” she said, explaining that she had an operation a while ago that impaired her stomach muscles. “I didn’t realize you need stomach muscles to climb stairs, but you sure do,” she said.

Frederick, 88, was born in the four-story walkup at 88 Perry St. “His mother didn’t believe in hospitals,” Betty remarked. But even though he likes Guntersville — where the couple has spent summers — leaving the Village will mean a big adjustment for Frederick, even though he’ll be glad not to have three flights of stairs to climb. “He’s lived all his life in the building except for four years’ military service during World War II and four years when he was working in Cincinnati,” Betty said.

Perry St. residents will have to elect a new block association president and the Board of Elections, where Betty has served as the Republican appointee, will have to find a new staff member.

“I started as a poll watcher 30 years ago,” said Betty, of her Board of Elections position, “and I’ve been a polling coordinator for some time now,” she said. Even though Republicans are few and far between in the Village, she is sure the board will find a replacement.

The block association will be in good hands, she assured The Villager. “Jerry Banu has been doing most of the work anyway,” she said.

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