Well, Randy Reid, Editor of Edison Report really started something. With the able assistance of Paul Pompeo, Donny Wall and Sam Sinai, they decided to honor some ole timers with a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Lighting Industry. So honored were John Daly Sr, Mel Fite, John Selander, Bill Warren, Howard Wolfman, Jack Zuckerman and yours truly. Yes, me……how about that! After my son David made the toast and introduced me at the gala event, and with great pride in my youngest son who also chose to be in this wonderful lighting industry, I started by saying, you live long enough and anything can happen. I felt like George Burns who said: I don’t deserve this award but I have arthritis and I don’t deserve that either….bada bing!
Let me share with you what I said that night since I left out a few things. First, my sincere appreciation to Randy Reid for this special honor. Thank you Randy, it really means a lot to me.
I’m really all about family and friends. And most of us on occasions like this go back to Mom & Dad. I was very lucky……loving, hardworking middle class folks who ran a shoe repair shop together in Bayonne, NJ for over 65 years and never retired. Everyone in that town knew my Mom & Dad and really loved them. The teaching moment for me was when my Mom said: “you are going to get a good education whether you like it or not and then it’s up to you, choose something you’re good at and work hard at it.” Well, I chose marketing & sales and the lighting industry. I will never retire. Why would anyone want to stop what you love to do and are good at it as Paul Tarricone, Editor of LD&A reminded me.
I’m sure we have all had many teaching moments in our lives. I chose to remember and share two:
1. My mentor and brother by choice was Jack Briody. As many know, he suffered from cancer before he passed. Well, one day he was in a New York hospital recovering from shoulder surgery. I went to visit….he just got out of surgery and was in post-op. I forced my way in telling them I was his brother from Arizona, yea, right. Well they let me see him. When I walked in the room, he slowly opened his eyes and said: “hey Attardi, how are ya…..did you hear the one about a guy who walked into a store………” He told me a joke while he was flat on his back. Even in the toughest of times, he found time to laugh. Jack never lost his sense of humor. That was a special teaching moment. I loved Jack Briody and miss him every day….God bless you Jack. Every time I laugh, I think of you.
2. My son David is my youngest and I have to say it again, he chose the lighting industry, FSG, and I am so very proud of his accomplishments in such a short time. He found what he is good at……
Having kids is special but having grandkids is really special. At his son Stephen’s baptism, he got up to thank the big family gathering for coming and as they all knew, our grandparents came from Sicily in 1904. He then introduced my Dad as the oldest of the first generation of Attardi’s; then me, the oldest of the second generation; then his bother Bill, the oldest of the third generation; then he reached in the crib and held up his son and said: let me introduce Stephen Wade Attardi, the oldest of the fourth generation. He starts high school this September, CBA, where my three sons went. I have eight grandkids from 8 to 14………4 boys and 4 girls. I go to all their games. Now you know why it’s all about family for me.
It’s all about my friends too, lifetime friends: Bill Brown, Steve Brown, Bill Warren (sorry I missed your award my friend but I had to leave), Dave Levinson, Dave Shapiro, Leon Mowadia Jr, Joe Reuter, Dave Morales, Jerry Mix, Jay Goodman who took the time to be there and the many who could not be there. (I hope I did not miss anyone but I’m sure I did….I had to leave early to get home to teach my final class). Special note to my close friend and fellow debater Chris Brown. The smartest distributor I have ever known. He is so far ahead of us all. I really do agree with most of his conclusions but just love the Chicken Little vs. Captain Sunshine fight that I don’t want to give it up. His new word is ILLUMITUNITY! I agree……
Chris and I gave our presentation at the IMARK Showcase recently and afterwards he asked me: “if you had to pick a timeframe in your life, when you were the happiest, when it all came together for you, when would that be?” Well, life is full of ups & downs and if you just think about it, there has to be those special times when you are at the top of your game, when it really does all come together. It turned out the answer was the same for both of us: IT WAS RIGHT NOW! We are both very blessed……family and friends and work we just love. Lighting is exciting….it really is the best of times. My wish for each and every one is that the best of times in your life be NOW / RIGHT NOW!
Bill Attardi video: http://youtu.be/aWoFSpjq6YI