Story by Sherry Mazzocchi
Harry Ettling took Rosa Naparstek to a swanky Upper East Side restaurant for her 70th birthday.
After they ordered dessert, Harry took out a small box, got up and walked around the table to where Rosa sat. He had warned the wait staff this would happen ahead of time. No need to worry, he wasn’t having a stroke.
Rosa and Harry had known each other for years, first as friends, then as collaborators. Eventually their relationship grew more intimate. But she was surprised when he got down on bended knee and proposed.
As he slipped the sparkling diamond ring on her finger, Rosa thought, “This is forever.”
Harry had several talents. He was, among many things, a writer, musician, outdoorsman and a photographer. He was also well known in Northern Manhattan for the rusted out 30-year-old Honda he lovingly called Bluey. When he finally decided to give up the car, he held a New Orleans style funeral for it on Seaman Avenue, complete with a brass band processional. Friends gathered at Piper’s Kilt for food and drinks after.
Various news outlets, including The Manhattan Times, covered the event. People from all over the world saw the event and contacted him. Even Honda sent their condolences.
Harry was born in Arkansas and had lived in Memphis, L.A. and San Francisco. He was outgoing and kept his charming Southern gentleman manners intact long after serving in Vietnam and then moving to New York.
Read more: “This is forever” | Manhattan Times
To help honor Harry and his love of Fort Tryon Park, a fund has been created to which all can donate towards a bench dedication in his name. “We went there often to watch the sunsets,” recalls Rosa. The fund will remain open until November 5th. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/1l3fWk1.
A memorial service will be held on Nov. 22nd at 4 p.m. at Our Saviour’s Atonement Lutheran Church, located at 178 Bennett Avenue (at 189th Street).