When I met the young man who became my husband and father of my four children, he was working for his father, a successful builder in New York City and in Westchester. I refused to marry him until he got a job on his own.
He did. He also became a builder, and a multimillionaire, if that is your measure of success.
I am a first-generation American, starting upon my arrival in Elizabethport at age 11½. Everything I achieved in my near eight decades of working life was done on my own, and I did have good results in several careers before becoming a lawyer when I was 78 years old. Every friendship I made in business was based on respect, acknowledgment of merit and performance, and not on family relationships.
It is my experience that a parent rarely evaluates an offspring according to market metrics. Parents generally either over-estimate or under-estimate the performance of their sons and/or daughters. But life, especially in the marketplace of work, deals out a bunch of failures, as well as successes. If a person is sheltered from the consequence of his/her nearly unavoidable mistakes in the 20s, that person will never learn how to get back up from failure and will lack the resilience that is the hallmark of success, especially when one faces defeat or ruin, caused by marketplace circumstances, not from personal performance, for the first time in one’s 40s or 50s.
I, for one, had more failures by age 25 than most men double that age, because I tried so many routes to success. However, I was highly respected and successful in my prime career at the time, for six years in the job as senior editor in a business publication.
It is with that experience in mind that I commented on Zach Epley’s likely independence of thought in my last letter. I do not doubt that Zach may be very bright indeed, as expressed by those writing such similar vouchers for his excellence in their astoundingly parallel letters to the editor in the past two issues.
However, ask yourselves whether he is likely to have a voice in our Southampton Village affairs that differs from the one of his father, who brought us the McMansions all over our little neighborhoods, among other signs of the Mayor Mark Epley times? Is Zach Epley likely, as a trustee, to endorse actions that may stand in the way of his grandfather’s (and employer’s) interests?
Obviously, vote for Zach as trustee if you believe that his service as trustee would be totally independent. I do suggest that voters in our village keep those thoughts and relationships in mind when casting their vote in September.
Attorney at law
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