New York, New York

WTC Memorial

WTC Memorial

I have just returned from visiting my son in New York where he works for a b2b software company, Lattice Engines, that is experiencing explosive growth. He’s been with them just shy of two years and has already received two promotions. The first promotion was to a company wide position that upper management created to take advantage of his intelligence and skill set. My brother Mark who was a visionary engineer and inventor of robotics equipment used to say that Matthew had a “blue sky mind” like his. Lattice Engines has four offices in the States and a fifth office in Beijing. With his first promotion he was doing work that affected and involved engineers company wide, not just the NYC office. A few months later the CEO and CTO promoted him to a managerial position. He now works with and manages teams of engineers around the country. The company fired a forty something manager and replaced him with a twenty four year old who had never held a management position before. He’s taken it in stride. My son Matthew is getting impressive reviews for his work from upper management. I know, because when I went to his office I specifically asked the VP how Matthew was doing. I guess you’d never guess I was a proud and obnoxious pappa, would you? But that’s why parents go through years of sacrifice raising their children. I can only speak for myself, but it’s the most important job I ever had or will have.  I wish every parent could be as proud of their children as I am of my son. The years of sacrifice were worth it. My son has become a worthy man. Self sufficient, bright, loving, disciplined, responsible and accountable, with a strong moral code and a principled and ethical nature. I couldn’t ask for more.

New York is a heaving city. People everywhere at all hours. The streets are jammed with cars. The sidewalks with people. I engaged people and police in conversation wherever I went. Virtually, everyone I talked to was friendly, happy to stop and talk, and helpful. I went to a bar with my son on Saturday night to watch Stanford play USC. The bar was full of Stanford alumni. Matthew introduced me to many of his friends. They were all friendly and very nice. Before long, the bar filled up with mostly Stanford grads. When  the Stanford team began to assert its muscle and dominate USC the place went crazy. I begged off and left early with a splitting headache. In case you don’t know, Stanford beat USC.  Prior to the Stanford game, USC  had  been undefeated and ranked #3 in the country. Suffice to say, USC is no longer ranked #3 in the country. It fell out of the top 10 completely. Guess which team rose from #21 to #9?

On Sunday we took the Staten Island ferry across the harbor. We passed close to the island where the Statue of Liberty stands. Have you ever wondered where the strange crown adorning the head  of the Statue of Liberty comes from? I can guarantee you it didn’t come out of the mind of the artist who designed the statue. That crown is very deliberate and has a hidden meaning. You will discover that meaning it in my new novel, THE SILENT STEPS OF GRACE. It’s a great read. It will move you. It will inspire you.  It will educate you in many ways. Just go back to the home page on my site and you can purchase a signed copy with a personal inscription directly from me, or from amazon. digital versions are also available from amazon, barnes & noble and apple (itunes). You will find the links for all versions of THE SILENT STEPS OF GRACE on the homepage of

On Monday Matthew returned to work and I went downtown to see the World Trade Center Memorial. What an ordeal. First I had to stand in line for half an hour to get tickets. Then I had to walk several blocks to the memorial site. Then I had to stand in line for another hal fhour to go through security.At last,  we were permitted to go into the memorial area. At least I met a lovely couple from Tulsa while waiting to go through security. I asked them about Tulsa. They loved it. I said, “I’ve never there.” They said, “if I loved boring and lots of churches I would love Tulsa.” I replied, “Then I have no incentive to go to Tulsa.  I have all that  already in No Carolina.”

The WTCmemorial site was solemn but somewhat disappointing. Two large reflecting pools with the names of those who had died engraved around the lip of the fountains. I said a prayer for the dead and a prayer for the future of this country and moved on. There were police everywhere. It seemed like a full batallion of men and women in blue. Wall St. was completely shut down. They wouldn’t let you walk down it. That’s O.K. It didn’t look like much anyway. Sort of disappointing, like Rodeo Dr in LA. The Occupy Wall st protest was still going on across the street at Zerconi park. Drums were beating, horns were blaring, people chanting, all the while surrounded by news teams and police. It was a zoo.