HOWARD ARKIN -
Crackerjack Sales Rep
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
I was born in the Williamsburg section
of Brooklyn in 1934. With my parents and
younger sister Carol, we then moved to the
East New York section of Brooklyn. Five
years later we then moved again, this time to
Cypress Hills, where I attended Franklin K.
Lane High School. Not having much money
at the time, my family resembled the family
in Woody Allen’s film, “Radio Days.” We had
aunts and uncles galore coming and going at
our small three bedroom house.
WHAT DID YOU DO
AFTER HIGH SCHOOL?
In 1952 I enrolled in Brooklyn College.
At that time my interest in sports ran deep--I
could tell you who won every World Series
from 1903 to 1954, but could not conjugate
a verb. I left after two years. At the time
my father was a member of Local 3 of the
International Brotherhood of Electrical
Workers (IBEW) and he was able to get me
a job in the electricians union. For that time,
the money was pretty good, but that wasn’t
for me either.
During this time we still had a draft. I wasn’t
too interested in spending three years in the
army, but there was a program which allowed
me to spend 6 months in active service and
five and a half years in the army reserves. I
joined up and spent all of my six months of
active duty at Fort Dix, New Jersey. I will
always remember those six months for two
reasons. The first was getting into the best
physical condition of my life and the second
was learning how to type. Needless to say the
physical improvement is long gone and has
anyone seen a typewriter lately?
WHAT CAME NEXT?
After my army discharge I went to work for
a manufacturer’s representative. For over 49
years I was employed by the same company.
We represented major brands such as Cracker
Jack, Fleer’s Double Bubble, Lindt Chocolate
and Tootsie Roll. I primarily sold these prod-ucts
to grocery chains, tobacco distributors,
and dollar stores. I was elected president of
the New York Candy Club. In 1985 I was
installed into the Candy Club Hall of Fame,
which is in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
WHERE DID YOU MEET JANETTE?
After getting out of the army I was ready to
hit the “dance circuit” and look for Miss Right.
Dances were held weekly at New York City
hotels, Jewish centers, and churches through-out
the metropolitan area. These dances were
a challenge for me for two reasons. Being
somewhat shy, I found it difficult to speak
to girls and more importantly, I didn’t know
how to dance.
On a cold Saturday night in November of
1959 I arrived at the Forest Hills Jewish Center
with three friends and my life was about to
change forever. After some small talk I asked
Janette Brody for her phone number…and
she gave it to me. Less than two years later,
on May 29, 1961, we were married at the
Avalon Ballroom on Burnside Avenue in the
Bronx. After 59 years of marriage there are
not enough superlatives to describe Janette.
To know her is to love her.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY?
We have two wonderful daughters, Korey
and Andrea. They are both married: Korey
to Sam, a real estate developer and president
of Rolling Cash Equity Group. They both
graduated from CUNY, Korey with a B.S. in
Economics from Queens College and Sam as
a C.P.A. from Brooklyn College. They have
two children, Chelsey and Michael, who are
both at Hofstra.
Our younger daughter, Andrea, is married to
Larry. They both graduated from Albany State,
she with a psychology degree and he with a
degree in marketing. Larry is an Executive
Vice President with the
Their son, Austin, gradu-ated
from the University
of Wisconsin in 2018 and
their daughter, Camryn,
will graduate from there
WHERE DID YOU LIVE
TO NORTH SHORE
When we first mar-ried
we lived in a co-op
in Flushing called
Electchester, which is a
group of buildings built
in 1940 by Local 3 of the
electrical union. In 1971
we moved to a private
home a few miles east
in Hollis Hills. Little did
I know at the time that I would spend the
next 45 years in that house. We still see many
of the friends we made there and have fond
memories of parties at the Hollis Hills Jewish
Center and the vacations we took.
I have special memories of Halloween.
Because I was in the candy business, it was
easy to be generous and for kids, and 70-02
214th Street was the place to be on Halloween.
It was one-stop shopping.
WHEN DID YOU MOVE TO NST?
In 2015 it was time for us to put our house
up for sale. I opted for Boca Raton, Janette had
North Shore Towers in mind. Janette won out
and here we are. We had been to the movie
theater here many times and we would grab
something to eat at what is now Buffy’s. It was
called Wolfie’s or Pumpernick’s in those days.
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE
ACTIVITIES AT NST?
I remember going into Buffy’s one morning
shortly after moving in. I saw a few men hav-ing
breakfast and I thought I would join them
but was told I had to be a member of the NST
Men’s Club. Joining has given Janette and me
an opportunity to meet lots of great people
and eat in restaurants new to us.
Last year I was asked by the president to
write a monthly article on Men’s Club activi-ties
for our community newspapers. I agreed,
and now I can say I am getting the hang of it.
We enjoy the many programs and look for-ward
the re-opening of those activities the
virus has forced to suspend.
“Crackerjack” is a familiar expression
meaning “excellent.” There is also a popular
confection called Cracker Jack. Building One
resident Howard Arkin is both.
For many years he was known as an sales representative for a large company
that represented many popular candy prod-ucts,
including Cracker Jack. His story is
a familiar one, growing up in a family of
modest means and pulling himself up by
his bootstraps to forge a lucrative career in
sales and raising a successful family. He is
an important member of the North Shore
Towers Men’s Club.
Janette and Howard Arkin
4 NORTH SHORE TOWERS COURIER ¢ July 2020