OUR FATHER: Luciano Gentile

The founder of our company and coincidently, founder of me, bade his last farewell to us all recently. His name was Luciano Gentile and he was a pretty good guy. Aside from when I was away on a trip I saw him pretty much every day of my life. I had no choice. He kept showing up at my work. He hung around for ninety-two years. You can’t help but learn a few things by breathing for that long, and if the people around you are lucky, you’ll teach them some of it too. My father certainly did that. What may seem obvious to the reader and was certainly obvious to my Dad, was not always clear to me until he made it so. In one of our more animated discussions, when I was a bit younger and even less wise than I am today, he taught me that we were not simply a family business but that we were in the business of family.

Celebrating one of the first steps toward building a family and all of the milestones that follow is what we were and are really all about. When we celebrate an occasion, we recognize and pay homage to its importance. As saccharine as it may sound; nothing sits as comfortably high upon life’s pyramid as family. Be honorable. Respect your friends. Care for the ones you love. If you make kids, love them and for God’s sake; make sure you give them all plenty of reason to love you back. My father spent close to one hundred years adhering to those beliefs. This is what he raised me to understand and these are the principles by which I try to abide both in work and in life.

My father along with my brothers and I have had the unfairly good fortune of being part of so many important moments in the lives of those kind enough to have stepped through our doors over these many years. That his introduction (push), a little hard work and the kindness of others allows us to continue doing what we truly love and coincidentally; the only thing we’re actually qualified for, is something for which we are grateful beyond measure. Emotional brides, jittery grooms, beaming mothers, tearful tough guys and proud grandparents; sometimes confused but always elated, have colored the landscape of our lives over what is with an alarming speed, approaching five decades. To say we appreciate the opportunity of sharing in their most treasured moments is a considerable understatement. To say we will miss the man who opened the door for us to do so is a monumental one …So Dad; I’m not sure what your access to Instagram is like up there..but if you can read this; we loved you back.


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