Her father was aghast: there on the doorstep of her family's West Brighton home in Staten Island stood Carlton W. Bartels, suitor. "Carl had thick, wavy brown hair, down to his shoulders," recalled Jane Bartels, the object of his affection, decades later. "And a suede fringe jacket."
The couple managed to date and grow close, but then careers separated them. While in his 20's, Mr. Bartels took an 18- month trip around the world with his savings. He asked her to join him in Jakarta, where they inched toward Europe. They married in 1988. Mr. Bartels was an electrical engineer by training and had become, at 26, one of the top utility regulators in Vermont. At 44, he was a partner at Cantor Fitzgerald, specializing in using the commodity markets to encourage the reduction of greenhouse gases.
Mr. Bartels had his antic side, Mrs. Bartels recalled. While on his epic trip, living in a Thai village, Mr. Bartels took to wearing a favorite sarong, a black-and-white skirt with Buddha figures. But one day, the villagers giggled. He was wearing a sarong for a woman. Unfazed, he continued to wear it, even back home, years later, when the couple had settled back in Staten Island. Their daughters ‹ Melina, who turns 8 today, and Eva, 4 ‹ loved it.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on November 24, 2001.