Reiken family photo
Happily Ever After: Danny and Bunny, and Hunny and Elliott, got married after meeting during the summer of 1946.
Happily Ever After: Danny and Bunny, and Hunny and Elliott, got married after meeting during the summer of 1946. Reiken family photo
As teenagers in 1946, identical twin sisters Hunny and Bunny Feller landed summer jobs as waitresses at the Laurel Park Hotel in New York's Catskill Mountains. There, they met another set of identical twins, musicians Elliot and Danny Reiken.
And so began a love story — or twin love stories — that included a double marriage.
Recently, Hunny and Elliot Reiken remembered what happened when the twins met the twins.
"When we met, you and your sister couldn't tell us apart, and we couldn't tell you two apart," Elliot says.
"We had a double wedding," Hunny says. "And it was two brides, two grooms, one set of parents for each. The gowns were identical gowns, the flowers were identical."
But even though both couples went to Miami Beach for their honeymoons, they took different trains down.
"Because we didn't want it to be so obvious that people would be staring at us, you know," Elliot says.
They found it a little embarrassing to be "the twins that married the twins," Hunny says.
Hunny and Elliot Reiken at StoryCorps in New York City.
"What'd you think about marrying me many years ago?" Elliot asks.
"You bowled me over with your way of kissing, and the way you hold me when we dance," Hunny says. "You're not a fantastic dancer, but you hold me fantastically, and I feel it, it's genuine.
"You're just not phony — I don't think you have a phony bone in your body. And I never thought anybody lasts this many years."
"Like just yesterday it was our 50th anniversary," Elliot says.
"Yeah, now it's 11 after that," Hunny answers.
After their honeymoons, the twin husbands and wives bought a house together in Brooklyn, N.Y. — where Hunny and Elliot live today. Bunny lives upstairs; her husband, Danny, died after having heart surgery in 1997.
Both couples had children: Bunny and Danny had a boy and a girl; and Hunny and Elliot had three boys. Hunny and Bunny were even pregnant at the same time, giving birth to their first children three weeks apart.
Today, Bunny and Hunny are 80. Elliot is 86.
"I never feel, 'What will he do if I die first?' " Hunny says. "You know how to open tuna fish; you know how to schmear it with mayonnaise — you will not fall apart. You'll feel sad when I'm gone, but you'll manage. And that makes me feel very good.
"Thank you for being you, Elliot. You made my life complete."
"And I say the same, you made my life complete — and I hope we go on for another 50 years," Elliot says.
"I'll take five good ones," Hunny says. "Five good ones and I'll say, 'Thank you God.' "
Produced for Morning Edition by Lily Percy. The senior producer for StoryCorps is Michael Garofalo.