Chillin' Wit: Alan Butkovitz, city controller

Alan Butkovitz and wife, Theresa
Alan Butkovitz and wife, Theresa
Posted: December 18, 2012

AFTER HIS USUAL hyperactive week as the city's chief financial watchdog, City Controller Alan Butkovitz spends a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon chillin' a few blocks from home at the Country Club Restaurant in Rhawnhurst with his wife of 39 years, Theresa.

"We met in 1971 when I was late for a blind date with Theresa's friend, Mary, at Logan Circle," Butkovitz said. "Mary said she left after a couple of sailors tried to pick her up."

"I was in the room afterward when Mary told Alan off on the phone," Theresa says. "She didn't want to meet him, so I said I would."

Butkovitz says, "Theresa was beautiful and svelte, so I made out OK on the switch."

Four decades later, he says, "Theresa is my touchstone."

In July, when their daughter, Rachel Henderson, gave birth to baby Benjamin, the first-time grandparents flew to Durham, N.C. "for the birth and the bris," Butkovitz says.

For Hanukkah, Theresa says, "Rachel and her husband sent us a video of them lighting the candles with the baby." The Butkovitzes smile warmly at one another.

The grandparent talk conjures up Butkovitz's memories of his beloved grandmother, Rose Gelman Bell, whom he used to read aloud to - biographies of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.

His habit of reading aloud to a loved one continues to this day. He is currently reading Doris Kearns Goodwin's "Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln" aloud to Theresa.

The next time the Butkovitzes get time to chill, they plan to see the Roosevelt biopic, "Hyde Park on Hudson."

"I can't imagine Bill Murray playing anything but the Bill Murray of 'Stripes' and 'Scrooge,' " Butkovitz says, laughing. "I can't imagine him playing Franklin Roosevelt - unless it's Bill Murray playing the Bill Murray of 'Stripes' playing Franklin Roosevelt. Can't wait to find out."


On Twitter: @DanGeringer

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