A Love Story

Albert Gottlieb claims he’s not a romantic. Read the following and decide for yourself.

Anne Arthur Gottlieb ’57 returned from her 50th reunion at Scripps last May with her eyes shining with excitement. “To say that Anne is devoted to Scripps would be a tremendous understatement,” says Al. Anne often talks about Scripps to friends and neighbors in their Westchester, New York, community, and her Scripps license plate holder proclaims her allegiance as well. The reunion had only increased her ties.

Al had been struggling to find the right gift for Anne to celebrate their upcoming 30th anniversary, and now he had an idea—a piece of Scripps jewelry. He went on the Scripps website and found nothing suitable. However, a t-shirt with two familiar Scripps symbols—an elm tree and a squirrel— and the Scripps name caught his eye.

Why not have a pendant made with that same design? But how to do this, and where would he present the gift?

Flash back ten years. On the Gottliebs’ 20th anniversary, during a visit to their San Diego daughter, they were dining at a Del Mar rooftop restaurant overlooking the Pacific Ocean. As the sun was setting, Al turned to Anne and asked, “If you had to do it all over again, would you marry me?” After the briefest of pauses, she said yes. Al said that was a good thing because there was something in his jacket pocket he had bought for her. Out came an engagement ring— something she had never had in their long marriage. At the start of their life together, with Al changing careers, and the two of them combining families (his five children and her three trumped the Brady Bunch by two), they needed to be frugal. Twenty years later, as Al put the ring on her finger in the restaurant, he remembers it as “one of those moments that you would see only in a Cary Grant-Grace Kelly movie.”

Now, how can a man top that? He can’t, but perhaps he can come close. Ever determined to please and surprise his wife, and with little time before the two were setting off for another visit to the West Coast, Al obtained the original squirrel and elm tree design from the Student Store, and found a jeweler in New York to make a one-of-a-kind pendant, in gold no less.

In late May, with the gift in his pocket, Al and Anne traveled to California to celebrate their 30th anniversary dinner at the same Del Mar restaurant. As Al tells it: “There we were in our 30th year of marriage at the same restaurant, overlooking the same ocean, with the same sun setting in its beautiful glory. So I asked her the same question again. That same delayed reaction took place, followed by the same affirmative answer, followed by my taking the gold necklace with that Scripps pendant out of my pocket and giving it to her.”

There is no surprise ending to this story. Anne was absolutely delighted.