I commute from Norwalk, CT to Hicksville, NY four days each week. 58 miles each way. 3 major traffic patterns. 2.5 hours each day. For some reason, last week as I was driving down the Hutchinson Parkway, it hit me that every day I drive right past the exit for City Island…
City Island just might be the very reason I’ve run my own companies for most of my life, because City Island brings to mind the best years of my Dad’s work life, and some of my best early memories with him. With not quite a 10th grade education, my Dad kicked around from job to job–some worse than others, but in early 1966 he scored big and bought a Snap-on Tools franchise. With that and a small box truck he was in business. His exclusive territory: The Bronx.
I vividly remember the sparkle in his eyes when he talked about “his business.” I casino remember his neatly organized office in the front room of our small rental house on Tremont Avenue in The Bronx. He’d come home from work and sit down to write up his product orders from a day full of stories of colorful mechanics, funny encounters, and tall-tales of sales closed and future potential orders. I was only 6 years old but I remember desperately wanting to go to work with him.
After a few months or so, he finally gave in (maybe it was me hanging onto his leg, crying hysterically every morning while he dragged me across the living room floor to leave for work that wore him down…). Wednesday was his shortest work day when his territory route took him to the auto shops, boatyards and mechanics on City Island, a small bucolic island nestled in the midst of New York City’s masses… and he said he’d take me with him.
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