Tuesday, April 17, 2007

It is hard out here

It is a rainy night in, well, almost everywhere, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers

Global flooding
It was so cold and rainy in New York, in Times Square they hung Al Gore in effigy.

Put away forever
Did you see “The Sopranos” It was amazing. They sent a mob boss away to prison for life. Not for killing people and dealing drugs. He called a female basketball player a nappy-headed ho.

Cracking down
The NFL has suspended Tennessee Titan Adam “Pacman” Jones for one year following ten police-involved incidents in two years. It is all part of the NFL’s tough new “Ten Strikes and You Get a Year Off Work” policy.

It’s not TV, it’s HBO
Did you see “The Sopranos”? Geraldo Rivera played himself. Do you know what they would call it if they whacked Geraldo Rivera on the show? The best “The Sopranos” ever.

Paging Reverend Hypocrite
Jesse Jackson demanded the firing of Don Imus for saying nappy-headed hos. And then the Reverend Jesse said goodbye to his mistress, illegitimate child and boarded a flight to New York, or as he once called it: Hymietown.

Did you see the latest “The Sopranos”? They had a somber scene in a dark psychiatrist’s office, an A.A. meeting, a mob hit, a funeral. If all that wasn’t depressing enough they didn’t just show a prison and a cancer ward, they had to have a cancer ward in prison. The only way “The Sopranos” could have been more depressing is if Sanjaya had been voted back.

Got some sad news today.

My former La Jolla manager, Jack Frager, passed away at 73. You couldn’t say Jack’s name without smiling. He was a big, charming, handsome guy, a snappy dresser, an ex-fighter pilot and a man who was so popular, he could have run for Mayor of La Jolla.

And Jack would have won Mayor except the job would have kept him from playing golf at his beloved La Jolla Country Club, then knocking a few back while playing Bridge and holding forth with jokes with his myriad of friends. Jack lived pretty damn well.

What sticks out when I think of Jack –besides how much Tabasco he used to slather on his grilled fish at the Whaling Bar, I used to get heartburn just watching him - is just how much it can mean when somebody simply is nice.

When I was working at my first big-time brokerage job, my parents traveled a long way to New York from Chicago to visit me at work. My boss was a brilliant, powerful, wealthy guy who didn’t have to give me my first big break, but he did.

But he was also a wildly moody man. As it happened, he was in one of his foul, dark moods the day my parents arrived. As a result, he greeted my parents as sourly, curtly and as rudely as he possibly could which upset them, and me, a great deal.

A couple years later, when I had moved across country to La Jolla because my new manager, Jack Frager, hired me almost sight unseen, once again, my parents made a trip out. We ran into Jack on the street. Jack stuck out his hand, smiled his million-watt smile and proceeded to shower me with lavish compliments, both professionally and personally.

In other words, he fibbed.

It didn’t cost Jack anything to do that, but it meant the world to my parents. Jack’s kindness essentially wiped away forever their upsetting encounter with my first boss two years prior.

And when my parents passed away, that memory of them with Jack meant the world to me.

Thanks forever Jack Frager. You were a class act and I will never forget your generosity of spirit.

They just ain’t making any more like Jack.