How many married men can say, "I loved my mother-in-law and she loved me?" I can. Now that could be easy to say if you live in Hicksville and she lives in California [but] my mother-in-law lived [Rose Cuccaro Wenck] next door to me for 37 years. I used to joke about the TV show Everybody Loves Raymond. I used to say, "Debra's in-laws were all the way across the street, while mine are just 30 feet to my left." She's gone now. She passed away Sept. 26, 2008 at the age of 94.
She did, however, leave a legacy of paintings behind. When the funeral director found out she was an artist, he asked if we would want to show some of her work during the wake. We did and many people were astonished at what they saw. Her talent was wonderful, varied and very underrated.
She was a graduate of Hicksville High School in the class of 1931. She won the gold medal for art that year.
Her favorite place to eat was the Hicksville Sweet Shop. It was not just the food but the people that she liked there. It was "like being with family" she would say. She also remembered going to the Sweet Shop in her younger days when it was on the other side of Broadway.
Her family came to Hicksville in 1926. She knew all about the town and loved to take us younger people back through history at the Sweet Shop or anywhere else where someone would ask her about the town that she loved.
In tribute to Rose Cuccaro Wenck and through the generosity of owners Phil and Eva, some of her paintings are hanging in the Sweet Shop. So come by for a cup of coffee, a bite to eat and take a look. By the way, if you ever need stories about life in Hicksville, I can supply them.