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When I was just 10 years old, my parents decided to move from Long Island to a remote area of upstate New York, at the southern tip of the Adirondack Mountains. My folks had always dreamed of pursuing the ‘country life’, and after years of searching, found this property with 70 acres, cabins to rent and plenty of space to raise crops and livestock.
While the countryside might have been bucolic, the economy in the area was challenging, and my Father struggled to make the income he had known in the Big Apple. Since the monetary resources were so limited, the family became very self-reliant, making repairs, building things and taking on tasks normally assigned to specific tradesmen. It was a modest way to grow up, but a strong character builder for my brothers, sister and me.
As time moved forward, eventually it was time to think about college. Having come from a senior class of 70 students, the prospects of going to a school other than one of the “state schools” in upstate New York, was not within my world view. I recognized my humble beginnings and shied away from other opportunities. My high school English teacher had a different view and insisted that I apply to Dartmouth College, just 100 miles away in New Hampshire. I was very resistant but was unable to withstand the ‘persuasion’ she applied to her suggestion. As it happens, I later would come to learn it was only her recommendation that convinced the Admissions Office to accept the young lad from upstate New York. She also made me aware of a needs-based scholarship that made the Ivy League cost less than half the out-of-pocket expense for the state schools I had initially selected. The decision was then an easy one to make.
Soon enough, I found myself in Hanover, NH wondering how I was ever going to survive the rigors of a school like Dartmouth. My fear of failure spawned a commitment to really dig in and commit myself to serious study, and as the trimesters came along, the grades improved each step along the way.
By the time I graduated, the degree came with honors, magna cum laude, and the option of law school became a real possibility. After a year’s sabbatical, and some time to reflect, I enrolled in Albany Law School, with the idea that it was a good place to prepare to practice law, back in upstate New York. That decision would lead to becoming a sole practitioner in Glens Falls, NY, where I focused on real estate transactions and related matters.
I eventually learned that being an attorney in a small town, and functioning as a sole practitioner, would lead me inexorably to a life of over-work, with little down time and the deterioration of health and vigor. After 23 years, I realized that a change of direction was required, and found my way to Colorado, joining my younger brother in the mortgage business. The level of engagement in that venue, as well as the variations of my involvement, are evident in the resume section.
After retiring from full-time engagements in the mortgage world, I have begun a new life focused on that “Second Mountain” journey with a relocation to Aiken, South Carolina. This is a time to give back to the world from which I have received so much and from which I have learned even more. My hope is that my experience and expertise, enriched as they are by the humble elements of my ‘first mountain’ journey, will allow me to be of exceptional service to those whom I will come to know and serve.