2018-11-30 / Front Page

Renys at the root of this adventure

By Abigail Worthing Staff Writer


When Dolly and Phil Curtis visited the Gardiner Renys, a clerk was ready as the company had sent out an alert. They celebrated their honeymoon visiting all 17 Renys locations. (Courtesy photo) When Dolly and Phil Curtis visited the Gardiner Renys, a clerk was ready as the company had sent out an alert. They celebrated their honeymoon visiting all 17 Renys locations. (Courtesy photo) After a lifelong friendship, two local Renys shoppers have tied the knot and taken a “Maine adventure” honeymoon, visiting all 17 Renys locations over the course of a weekend.

Dolly Anagnostis, now Curtis, 71, married Phil Curtis, 80, during a ceremony at First Parish Church in Saco on Nov. 3, surrounded by their friends and family, with a reception following at the couple’s home in Old Orchard Beach. The couple originally planned to have a small ceremony in a friend’s living room, but Dolly’s daughter, Lara Favreau of Saco, objected.

“My daughter said, ‘There’s so much sadness in the world, we should celebrate something good,’” Dolly said.


Dolly Curtis is dwarfed by the mountain of shopping bags filled with everything from chocolate to her favorite wool socks, the spoils of her honeymoon with her husband, Phil. The couple took a long weekend and drove through the state, visiting all 17 Renys locations. In the foreground is the sign the couple placed in the back window of their car (Courtesy photo) Dolly Curtis is dwarfed by the mountain of shopping bags filled with everything from chocolate to her favorite wool socks, the spoils of her honeymoon with her husband, Phil. The couple took a long weekend and drove through the state, visiting all 17 Renys locations. In the foreground is the sign the couple placed in the back window of their car (Courtesy photo) There was only one problem with the scheduling of the wedding: it conflicted with the Renys annual Early Bird Sale. Phil is an avid Renys shopper, and was dressed head to toe, from undershirt to socks, in Renys garb during a Nov. 26 interview.

“I kept threatening that I was going to go to the sale from 6 to 9 a.m. to buy my outfit for the wedding,” Phil said.

As wearing a new outfit from Renys turned out to be a logistical impossibility (the groom wore something from his closet) Dolly came up with an even better idea: on their honeymoon drive up the coast, they would stop at each Renys location in the state, 17 in all.


Longtime patron Phil Curtis arrives at the Madison location of Renys on his “Maine adventure” honeymoon with his bride, Dolly. The two have been friends for 40 years, supporting each other through the losses of their respective spouses, and celebrated their new love with a drive up the coast visiting all the locations of their favorite store. (Courtesy photo) Longtime patron Phil Curtis arrives at the Madison location of Renys on his “Maine adventure” honeymoon with his bride, Dolly. The two have been friends for 40 years, supporting each other through the losses of their respective spouses, and celebrated their new love with a drive up the coast visiting all the locations of their favorite store. (Courtesy photo) Starting with the southernmost location in Wells, the newlyweds drove north, stopping in the Saco location, which Dolly and Phil visit regularly. The couple planned the drive up Maine to coincide with visits with friends, and a lunchtime stop in Bath gave them the opportunity to have lunch with Dolly’s friend Marcia, whom Dolly credits with their happy ending.

Their trip took them zig-zagging across the state, stopping in locations from Damariscotta, Camden, Belfast, Ellsworth and Dexter. Along the way, Dolly and Phil would pick up something from each store, with a focus on their favorite item from Renys: wool socks.

“I think Dolly finished all our Christmas shopping on this trip,” said Phil, gently teasing his new bride.

“Well, we certainly won’t need to shop for socks again for a very long time,” Dolly replied.

By the time they reached some of the store’s northernmost locations, word had spread through a company-wide memo that a couple on their honeymoon was visiting all the locations. When the couple reached the Gardiner location, a clerk stopped them on their way in.

“He looked at us and said, ‘Hey! You’re Dolly and Phil on your honeymoon!’ Renys had included our picture in the memo, so employees recognized us as we walked in,” Dolly said.

In the Topsham store, the newlyweds were met with a congratulatory gift basket on behalf of the store, featuring dark chocolate bars, Renys mugs and a bottle of sparkling cider.

To signify the trip, a sign was placed in the back of their car, reading. “We’re on a Renys Adventure.”

By the end of their weekend, finishing with stops in Portland, Windham and Bridgton, the couple’s car was stuffed to the brim with bags filled with gifts for the couple’s children (Phil has three, Dolly two and one stepson) and collective grandchildren (12 altogether).

The couple’s family followed the trip on social media, and Phil’s daughter Catie Curtis, a songwriter, commemorated the event with a song.

“Paris, or Hawaii, that’s what people say. But not Phil and Dolly, they don’t do things that way. Who wouldn’t dream of a lovely drive in sunshine or in rain, to every single Renys store in the state of Maine? 700 miles of driving, that’s one way to say I love you. Never too late and not a minute too soon, Phil and Dolly’s honeymoon,” Catie Curtis sings in her YouTube video, a cheerful ode to the couple.

Dolly and Phil have known each other for more than 40 years. Their lives have intertwined during the years, from Phil’s daughter having babysat Dolly’s children to Phil and his late wife Catherine driving Dolly to her wedding to her late husband John in 1987.

Last year, Phil invited a large group of friends to head north to see his daughter, Curtis, perform in Bath, and Dolly was the only friend who agreed, to both watch the performance and visit her friend Marcia.

“If it hadn’t been for Marcia, I might have canceled, too,” Dolly said. “We often say that if it hadn’t been for Marcia, we might never have gotten together.”

On the long drive north to Bath, Phil and Dolly had a chance to get to know each other on a deeper level than they had before, talking about life and grief with mutual empathy, as both had lost their respective spouses.

“It was one of those long talks where you just feel like you really get to know someone. Usually when we would say goodbye, I would give Phil a friendly kiss, but this time I couldn’t get out of the car fast enough. I knew something had changed,” Dolly said.

After their courtship, Dolly and Phil moved in to a new condo in Old Orchard Beach, having sold their respective homes in Saco and Biddeford Pool.

When Dolly first downsized, she sold some of her collectibles to Phil, who began dealing in antiques after a career as a teacher at Thornton Academy.

“Now I have all of it back, so that didn’t really work out the way I planned,” Dolly said with a laugh, gesturing to some items around their home.

As the couple embarks on a new life together as husband and wife, they do so with the memories of a unique “Maine adventure,” and of course, plenty of socks.

Contact Staff Writer Abigail Worthing at news@inthecourier.com.

Return to top