Most students at the College would be lost without ’82 nachos and the work of the friendly and helpful custodial team. Team in matrimony and in work, husband and wife Scott and Paulette Huls keep the College running smoothly as parts of both groups.
“I spoil [students] at the grill. He spoils them at the dorm. We take care of them,” said Paulette Huls, one of the familiar faces behind the counter at ’82 grill.
When asked about her nine years with the College, Paulette responded, “I love it. There’s always crazy stuff in ’82. You don’t know what you’re going to get, what’s coming through that door. On weekends especially.”
Scott, who has been with the College for 24 years and currently works in Armstrong, added, “Once you think you’ve seen everything; you’re wrong.” His favorite part of the job is interacting with the students. “I get to meet 70 new students every year. It’s pretty cool.”
Scott and Paulette Huls will have been married for 25 years this coming December. Paulette is from Williamstown and Scott hails from North Adams, but despite both growing up in the area the pair did not meet until they were set up on a blind date by Paulette’s sister and her husband, who happened to be an old friend of Scott’s. The date took place over 30 years ago in 1983. “We went all over the place. And my sister was quite pregnant! Eight months pregnant and she was with us,” Paulette remembered.
After this first date, the couple started seeing each other more often and began dating. Scott said it did not take him long to realize their relationship would last: “I wouldn’t say [I knew] after the first date, but it wasn’t long after.”
As far as the proposal story goes, Scott said, with a chuckle, “After seven years, well, she kind of set the date.”
Paulette added, “It was like we were already married. We’d been together for seven and a half years. We lived together.”
The couple went to make it official with the Justice of the Peace in North Adams, followed by a large reception with family and friends.
After 25 years, three kids and 10 grandkids, the Huls say not much has changed. “Even after 30 years we still like hanging out,” Scott said.
One of the pairs’ favorite activities is following the College’s ice hockey and baseball teams, often with their six year-old grandson Carson. “He loves the kids. And even the Williams basketball guys. They’re coaching the youth center basketball so he started doing that this year too.”
Since most of the grandkids live nearby, the Huls get to see them a lot. The closest two, Carson and his sister Olivia, live in Williamstown and love visiting. “Carson likes to come and have sleepovers at Nani and Mimi’s. That’s what he calls me, Mimi. Olivia makes popcorn in our popcorn machine.”
“We like to have game nights with the [grandkids], when family comes over,” Scott added.
While Scott has worked at the college longer than his wife, Paulette has been around the campus for most of her life, having grown up in the area. “I have three brothers and two sisters. There were six of us. We grew up right here around the campus. We hung out in the dorms and played pool,” Paulette said.
In fact, the very sister that set up Paulette and Scott can also be found making sure the College runs smoothly, working in shipping and receiving. At any given hockey game, not only the Huls will be there – probably with Carson in their favorite spot behind the announcers – but also much of their family and friends.
Scott has two brothers and a sister, but they live farther away than Paulette’s family, so he has become part of his wife’s family, whether he likes it or not. “We’ve adopted him into our crazy clan,” Paulette says.
Paulette says that one of the things she appreciates most about Scott is how he is always there for her. “My favorite thing is how he takes care of me. I never ever have to worry,” she said.
For Scott, Paulette’s spaghetti sauce is a favorite. “Yeah, the cooking ain’t bad,” he said. “But we just kind of like hanging out together. I mean, working different shifts, during the week we only see each other a couple hours a day. So on the weekends and holidays we just like spending time together.”