Robert Geller June 2017

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BARRISTER’S BRIDGE

June 2017

A Tale of Two Irwins My parents, Irwin and Marilyn Geller My father-in-law, Irwin

then come get her afterwards. He only knew how to work one way —hard. I loved my father dearly, and he loved all of us. He and my momwere a great team, and although he’s passed on, I find myself thinking about him often. But as I mentioned, there are two Irwins in this story. I’m lucky to have a great father- in-law, who is also named Irwin! He’s a great father who raised my wife, Helene, and her brother Jeff. Irwin is a great grandfather as well. I’m really lucky to have a wonderful man like him to spend time with. Whether we’re traveling to the Superbowl in San Diego to watch the Bucs bring home a championship or just sharing a good beer (the only kind of beer Irwin will accept!) on the back porch, I consider my wife’s father a close member of my own family and a good friend.

did everything he could to give us a better life. He also loved and took care of my mother while serving as a role model for me, all the while holding a demanding job. He was also a great people person. He could start a conversation with anybody, and everyone loved him. Even after his stroke, his sense of humor remained. “I’m strong as a fox!” he’d proclaim, eliciting laughter from the people around him. That was my dad. Unfortunately, the economy turned against the Greenpoint Table Company; it was cheaper to import items from China than to buy American. When I was a kid, we used to always have a new dining room set every week or so, because Dad would sell the old one. But after a while, we ended up with a set for longer and longer. Dad would end up doing more sales than manufacturing, and eventually, he moved us to Miami and worked in sales pretty much full-time. Even when his health was failing, Dad would drive Mom to work, drive around all day doing sales, and

Thinking about Father’s Day, I’ve been lucky enough to have two great Irwins in my life. The first Irwin was my father, Irwin Geller. The son of a furniture maker, my dad grew up in Brooklyn working in the family business, the Greenpoint Table Company. They had a small operation on Empire Boulevard right there in Brooklyn, the kind of mid-sized American company that you just don’t see much these days. You don’t see too many men like my father, either. He was old-school in his work ethic; he worked a lot of Saturdays, and sometimes I came with as well. We stayed busy, as did my grandfather and Uncle Richard who were also heavily involved in the business. I always liked helping out in the factory, and it certainly gave me an appreciation for what previous generations of my family had built so that my siblings and I could have a good life. My father did not have a lot of hobbies, but he had his family instead. He loved his kids and

Wishing you the best this Father’s Day,

– Robert Geller

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