Merlino & Gonzalez June 2018

June 2018





A Tribute to My Dad With Father’s Day coming up in June, I felt it only right to use this month’s newsletter to pay tribute to my father, Al. He taught me about the value of hard work and the importance of family. To this day, at the fit and fighting age of 93,

My dad was also quite the pool player. We had a table in the house, and he took great pride in teaching us all how to play. On the weekends, we kids would play each other in pool for chores. In every game, there would be a different chore at stake. As you can probably guess, the competition between us was less than friendly. When a hot streak left you with a free afternoon, everyone wanted to win. As he’s grown older, Dad has taken to the role of grandfather and great grandfather seamlessly. Last year, we got to attend two weddings, where he definitely enjoyed his status as the elder statesman of the family. He danced, enjoyed a glass of wine or two, and sat in his chair with a cigar in his mouth and a mile-wide grin. Having the ability to create great memories with him for so long is something that I never take for granted. When I became a father myself, I couldn’t help but emulate the great qualities of my dad. I strive to be an example of hard work, commitment to family, and responsibility. To do that, I think it helps to mix in plenty of fun. When my boys were little, I remember eating breakfast with them every day, always trying to make them laugh so hard they spit out their milk. Not everyone is lucky enough to have a father like I have, so I want to close by expressing my sincerest gratitude to my dad. It’s no exaggeration to say that I wouldn’t be the man I am today without his influence. I can only hope that one day my sons will feel the same about me.

he continues to be an inspiration. I probably can’t adequately express just how how much he means to me, but I’m going to give it my best shot. As a father of five, my dad had to work a lot. My mom stayed at home and raised the kids, so Dad’s duty was to make sure we had enough to live comfortably. I think hard-working fathers fall under one of two categories. They either work at all hours to escape their home life or devote themselves to doing everything they can to support it. Luckily, my dad is definitely a member of the latter group. Even when his schedule was packed, and it often was, he always made time for us. For nearly forty years, he worked at the historic Downtown Athletic Club in Manhattan. The club was home to the Heisman Trophy, and I still remember Dad taking us to see it up close. Whenever a famous athlete crossed his path, he was sure to ask for an autograph to bring home for us. He’s a die-hard boxing fan, so he made particularly certain that no fighter walked those halls without signing something for us. He brought home souvenirs from legends like Sugar Ray Leonard, George Foreman, and even Muhammad Ali. In my eyes, though, it was Dad who deserved the title of “The Greatest.”



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