Outward Bound has a motto, “To Serve, To Strive and not To Yield.” That describes my father. He served his community in many ways. By being the first child in his family to attend college he shined the light on the possibilities a higher education can offer to his siblings, his children and my cousins. He did once warn me that I was too smart for my own good. I responded “if you didn’t want us to think for ourselves, why did you encourage us to attend college?” But that’s what he did from the day I was born, he instilled in me the unquenching thirst for knowledge. Curiosity about the world around me, both ancient history and current events, is what has driven me to this day. My love of storytelling, or as the Irish say, the gift of the gab, comes from my mother’s family who were involved in the arts but also my father who introduced me to the world of books. I blame my 10,000 volume library on him.
Whenever he was asked about the possibility of getting fired at one of his pre-game press conferences, former Knicks head coach Mike D’Antoni would smile at the media and respond, “I am 60 years old and I am not worried.” The implications of that statement were (a) he was financially secure, and (b) he could probably find another NBA head coaching slot with relative ease.