Barry Benepe and Adrian Benepe
DescriptionBarry Benepe talks to his son Adrian Benepe about growing up with a love of nature, his process of learning about art, and the Greenmarket in New York that he founded
Subject Log / Time Code
- Barry Benepe
- Adrian Benepe
Recording LocationStoryCorps Lower Manhattan Booth
Venue / Recording Kit
- anecdotes (humorous but true stories)
- Benepe family
- Castle Clinton
- Childhood Games
- craft, skills, and procedures
- family members in history
- family naming and nicknames
- Family Traditions
- family trips and excursions
- Frank Lloyd Wright
- gothic cathedral
- historical events/people
- memories of former times
- memories of growing up
- New York city
- personal experiences
- Portugese nanny
- school day memories
- St. Andrews prep school
- Steven Sondheim
- street patterns
- Tompkins Square Park
- Williams College
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00:03 Okay. Well, I'm I'm Adrian benepe. I'm 51 years old today is June 5th 2008 and were in the storycorps booth at Foley Square in lower Manhattan.
00:16 I'll be interviewing my father Barry better be
00:24 I'm Berry benefits. I am 80 years old and today is
00:33 Wednesday June 5th, June 5th, Thursday, June 5th, and I'm sitting in story Corps at the Foley Square.
00:43 And I am the father of heavy and Dana Peak.
00:49 All right, so I'm going to be interviewing. So why do we start at the beginning of talk about when and where you were born?
00:59 I was born here in New York City.
01:02 And to my father Robert and my mother Marjorie, I was the second son. I followed my brother by six and a half years and we are both born in New York City.
01:13 At the time I was born we were living at 9th Street and University Place and sort of artist studio apartment and a newly constructed building.
01:27 And I only lived here about a year and a half.
01:32 How am I was born in the hospital off Stuyvesant Square?
01:37 I'm not sure if it's named. I just can't recall for sure yet. I still have the birth certificate I should know but I don't.
01:46 And you're right you had a we had an older brother Bruce Bruce. He died in 1968 of prostate cancer, very young age.
02:02 He had been president of the company that he took over from my father. Call leacock & Company.
02:09 I know 5th Avenue to 35th Avenue company which imported Linens and sell them wholesale around the country quite a successful company initially was mainly hand-embroidered Linens during World War II when they're cut off from supplies from China and Portugal and India are they relied mainly and domestics from the gym and running more in the cotton some Linens and Prince more than embroideries.
02:39 I hate your father wasn't a New Yorker talk a little bit about 10 large family. I think you have a date brothers and sisters and he was born in Saint Paul Minnesota the benefit of family. Is there any benefits around the part of this family there were not there were this stemmed from family would sure be a man and maybe his brother who came over from Switzerland. I think first and 1798 again recorded as a first baby born with some, Canton, Ohio.
03:17 And I believe 18.
03:22 One but had not sure about that. The family was grouped into different parts of the country the Midwest and California.
03:30 And my dad always referred to what we don't want to know about the benefits in California. They're just a bunch of cattle thieves. And the young ones are the ones who are in Midwest to acquire political my his brother my Uncle Lou ran for state senator. He was defeated. I'm not sure what party he ran under but he was defeated by the opposition of LinkedIn the Communist by dropping leaflets from the air. It is picture on one side and the name of the Communist candidate on the other kind of underhanded campaign China. Yeah, right.
04:09 I did eventually your grandfather Lewis. Was he a doctor? I thought she was my aunt was my Uncle Lou was a dentist, but my grandfather is a doctor my other Uncle Jim was a doctor.
04:29 And there's a lot of doctors in family. My mother's father is a doctor. So intended to run the in both sides of the family. My mother is Marjorie Berry born in Portland, Maine and I spent Springs and Summers with her family early on in my life knew my both. I knew my grandmother and very better than I do any of the other grandparents. I don't remember either my grandfather's know where my paternal grandmother.
04:59 Yeah, that's so you never knew Louis her I guess Hattie was what do you think of the family legend that maybe had he might have been African American. I know she looks funny in her photograph inserted darker skinned, but that's all his face by there's nothing else was no literature or letters as far as I know. I don't have nearly as much history of head like to have for nothing was passed along and the best research was done by not a benefit by it. But a Bennett who did President sending it have been if he
05:34 And of course, I have this much of this material and has to be passed on to you and others to really complete the work and see if mr. Bennett is still living so we can gather his help. What was it like growing up as a child to your family? Would you describe yourself as a happy child? What did you do? That's very interesting question ever seen a very protective environment my cheap caretakers for a Portuguese couple Maria Manuel and man will I know is Nani memory was always Maria and my parents are very socially rat a lot of cocktail parties dinners Anda Sizemore in the care of Maria Nanny than I was in their care.
06:17 And summary was really the more the mother figure in a certain way. She was the one if I was sick was looking after me a lot. And in fact if I was really sick, she was sleeping in the adjoining bed and my brother might sleep somewhere else my brother and I until he went off to school and mind you since he was seven years older. He was off to school and I was still quite Young by the time I was 7 he was boarding school.
06:43 And she took my toenails and then when I was a child bathe me and
06:51 So she did a lot of the motherly things and strangely enough. They Maria and Nani would be off on Sunday nights. I was your night off and those are the nights. I had a repeated nightmare.
07:07 I just kind of interesting so they were interested in some ways more your parents and your parents were the ogres to discipline rather than the loving presence my mother as I became an owl. I found my mother more easily approachable to talk to other I certainly aware that my father cared a lot when I was sick. He would bring me presents and on Saturdays, he would always take me up at the office on 5th Avenue and he encouraged my drawing my mother did too cuz she was an artist.
07:43 Mother was a illustrative freelance illustrator did work for Lord & Taylor's lot of fashion drawing those stick figures of things to see in helmets in the
07:56 I think this is against for the hearsay. She never told me just directly but my father persuaded her to give up a professional career because according to the hearsay or heard at a cocktail party and I think my after they've moved to maybe 45 Gramercy Park from 9th Street, or maybe two on Lexington Avenue in both on Gramercy Park at a party and they both Apartments Lisa wanted Lexington Avenue is a duplex. So, you know this was it during the Depression years and people were trying to say, how can you avoid such as whether my dad overheard a conversation going on between people to party how to cut a afford a place like this and send me responding or don't you know much as a great job making $200 a week, which is a lot of money then
08:48 And so that really saw that his manhood and he persuaded her to stop working so you can be the sole Breadwinner. That is a myth that I picked up as an interesting one and one of the other missed I picked up which was sort of funny that she loved party. She loved entertaining. She said she would say getting gay having a cocktail party in chatting and when I talk about stories and she got on top of piano and began singing songs and but when I say I grew up she like to dance with me, she's right side of metal and
09:26 She's a very caring person but 10 Mile was the word. She was interesting person.
09:33 Did you as as you're growing up did you do you remember the first time you had a thought of what you might do when you grow up?
09:42 Not really, but I had interests which bridge to lot of divides. I was is a child was interested in why read the comics and go to the page with that archaeology. I like Prince Valium cuz it's about history.
09:58 And I like the the nun comic portions which Delta's mastodons and early life and I didn't listen to intriguer Flash Gordon in Buck Rogers rather is more of the things that were the early history. So that was a direction and remove moved to the farm in Maryland. I was 10. I collect everything I could out of the woods and the fields and I got interested in mineralogy. I buy had a mineralogist kit as a gift and some friends my father's who ran a mine and Dodge.
10:30 Wyoming or Colorado mining for copper or sent me a great samples of copper ores in various kinds of Malachite and Azurite fool's gold and I'm native copper band better than quartz crystals.
10:46 So that really sparked my interest in this earth Sciences, but as I approached College, I thought I would go with my brother didn't that is moved in the direction of the firm in The Firm of leacock & Company at that point have a lot of dealings with South America and I thought I would I took a course in Spanish. I went and economics thinking I was good preparation for business and I managed to get something like a glowing beam is an economics. My teacher would comment on these papers. Will you have all the right answers if you don't seem to show much interest in such as I remember seeing notes about you from your other certain point you went away to Saint Andrew's school and I think it from an early age. You were thought to be kind of different you were you had different ideas as they said and you were had very handsome, but you were unusually talented as an artist as a child.
11:44 Did you feel like you're every you sounds like you try to make up and move into the corporate world, but didn't did you serve always know that you're you're different or did I just saw the people know that I'm going back to the beginnings and in school and Grace would friends Seminary. I won some kind of international award for artwork things a picture of a boat. I got her truck had a great art teacher though and
12:15 And also I've came because my brother left I was still quite young. I never played much with him. In fact that he was like a Bugatti Rebecca. Robeson pepper gravy is my torturer. I recall once when I was running down the hallway and our stupid apartment put out his leg and tripmate and I had a really serious fall and he was he would like me to be walking down the road and Maryland punch me in the stomach and said you got to keep your guard up.
12:46 Hey, so I became very self-reliant and I learned play enjoy playing loan of being very inventive in my life. When things I like to do in the farmers collect arrowheads that was pursuing the archaeological event and was fascinated with a treasure Trove of things. We found in the fields and that's how did you end up your your city mouse? How did you end up becoming country mouse?
13:15 Well, we did course have access to the country is a child. As I said, I spend time at my grandmother's house called the camp on a lake house in the Springer house in Portland, and then we
13:31 Dad didn't had to run to the house and
13:35 In New Jersey
13:40 Turn right at the North End of New Jersey land of Highlands and we had a two car garage in this convertible Packard was marvelous guy and that was in the country in the edge of a bluff in the train Trail Road ran underneath and then after that during the mid-30s, we rented a house in and Bermuda near Palm Ridge and this was a place that had no cars or just wonderful having is a but I learn to ride a bicycle there. That's how you got around.
14:14 And I learned by then putting them in a bison and shoving me off see if I could stay up without falling over.
14:22 And so that was a real taste of the beauty of nature. He bought the farm in Maryland in 1938 when I was 10. I was still going to school at private schools in Manhattan beginning with friends Seminary and then Browning School.
14:43 And then St. Andrews was chosen when I was 13 you already were in the farm and Saint Andrews was and I have no idea why he picked from the eastern shore of Maryland.
14:57 I'm just wait we went down there last year is Fall going to trip after hearing about this for decades. I finally went to visit the farm and it's really just as magical as you describe it if not more so really beautiful part of the country on that the banks of Wicomico. I think you got this place was possibly it's possibly McKim Mead & White House with great big tower with turrets and huge wrap around porch in a swimming pool with a colorful past of colorful owners at the sound like a whole world open up for you. When you got up there it did and course until I had a driver's license at the age of 16 is kind of lonely world a my friends are either in school, which I didn't see during the summer or one or two friends having live nearby and so it I'm a became dependent for friends people in the
15:57 And a large part of a phone is a black community to my closest friend was the black young black boy who lived at find Leroy and by that time.
16:10 And we're going back to my artwork and I was in St. Andrews during World War II.
16:20 I was painting I was one of the things we did as soon and roses grow up in the tower of the building to look for spot friendly playing style in the profiles are Japanese airplanes matching ones Japanese train Trina Here. We are in east coast and then I was doing war bond posters. One of my biggest paintings was of a Dead Soldier lying in a pool of water in a trench with his arms hanging was done in front of learn colors and then shortly after that and going to 102.
16:58 Hey Student Competition and I entered in.
17:04 Two categories one was mixed media and the others oil.
17:09 And for my oil I did it I submitted appointment is my second oil painting my life and there's a portrait of Leroy and I found it really challenging because it is dark brown skin. So I put him against the blue background so that the highlights color highlights on his skin would be blue rather than yellow or white and I like the contrast in the background was a kind of a deep strong glue something hard like you seeing Van Gogh, although I don't know if I was at a weird angle, then it must have been and that Penny won the first prize at the student show and then the other painting was mixed media. I chose to work in pain and some choco and some watercolor and ink and it was one of the few pennies made it out of my head. I might have been the sketch but it was based upon watching a student's listing together to recording
18:08 Add music in the library interlibrary had these high windows divertical windows and the three students from the composition was pure a pyramid with the student was listening at the record. They'll have your phone. So they were all listening and the student at the record player had his head supported on his arms that became big Elena first triangle his men II triangular the figures themselves in the third generation triangle with a light coming through the window shining on them. So they're kind of different things going on here. When was the sharing of the sandwich couldn't be heard cuz there's recorded over there microphones and the other was the inspiration was came from outside and which is symbolized by the window. Do you have either of these two works till I had borrowed these II work? I don't know what happened the first one the second work I gave to my girlfriend is a wedding present Beverly Rogers, and she's happy.
19:08 Bend it back to me and I had a friend and send it back to her. So she has it now Willy Williams you had an acquaintanceship with somebody you work with who is very much into musical theater. And I think you might have built some sets with him and wrote the music and lyrics for how much is the series start of vignettes and each one had to be accompanied by a scene, but we don't have time or resources to build scenery. So I I painted the same way on big glass plates is projected on the back of the Cyclorama.
19:48 And so I would between classes and up late at night playing the scenes. I remember one of them was a mad scientist laboratory and it felt like the others were well it was on time like early as I can College. Well, I just remember music composer in and he was brilliant the music had a really captured the lyrics well and have as a live-in very vital. I didn't know him socially really only knew him to work with in this thing. I was saying that we'd love I sing in the choir so is and I took a course in music. I took my voice music at MIT exodus by Bob Barrel is a conductor.
20:28 Car conductor and he works very hard and I got some shake to do a concert at Carnegie Hall which we did jointly with a chorus from Bennett Bennington Women's Chorus and Paul Bentley who had a New York City Corso there three courses brought together in Carnegie plus the Philharmonic to do the Mozart Requiem Mass as a real exciting to do it, but something funny happened during rehearsal when I think it's probably the DAC remand
21:01 Barrel and not reversing the Star Men's section kept on saying he wanted it to be he would bet we would say he wanted Vera never talk about feeling rather talk about technique and he want us to be very powerful with this medicine play stopped as he said too much benefit. I think a lot of people over the years growing up on the farm. You mentioned that a lot of people worked in the farm where we're black. They live there on the farm when we went back to visit the other people that would where were young teenagers working a farm when you were young teenager and there seem to be a very special bond and it said if you grew up in some high wasp Society where they probably wouldn't been a great deal tolerance for that kind of intermingling and I got you you had a very humane
21:54 Aspect your life all your life and many of your friends and your your wife do if a Jewish you're mixed very easily with African-Americans is a child as an adult yet. There is a growing up. I knew that wasn't a prejudiced bone in your body is is that something that came from going up in the farmers that just do is just your nature you use you have a real he's with all kinds of people with you think it's helped you to great things in your career.
22:27 I'm about 20 years ago. When I was down at the Fort let's run up by the federal government for my aquarium and the two guys are both black people and I've caught myself with a presumption that owe this black person's not know history as well as a white person might and he was so well-informed blew my mind and it's one of the few times I caught myself with that kind of attitude, but it's probably hung on to some extent but I recall my mother when I was on the farm saying well black people can never be as intelligent as we whites. I was the only expression Prejudice and her part. The only other was
23:14 It's not you would ask if someone Soros Jewish which is a question, but never come to my mind. I work for a bell in my first job as an architect. She's very talented architect has very glad to get the job and couldn't pay us for in fact, they had me be turned when I went out to look at one of the houses. He designed I stayed there overnight. He asked me to take back a pair of trousers, you're barred out of the closet as client what you needed, but my mother is ask a question. I was missing as mr. Geller Jewish. And again, I didn't know it never occurred to me. That's the that's the thing. It doesn't occur to you that's always been part of the obvious warm with it and people had essentially been Major Field hands to you when you went back to visit and go back to visit with this kind of extraordinary you you made some choices in life that maybe your father and mother went ready to support you. You're married my
24:14 Mother yagna was a Polish immigrant. She wasn't part of that last Society you decided not to go into business, but to pursue a career as an artist talk a little bit about that don't know what's the point of not real confrontation Beverly a Breaking Point with your father. Probably Leonardo all the time and my dad and pack of sex ever used to walk to the office on Saturdays and he would do his work in his office and put me in here graphic designers work there who prepared the designs for the linen printer for the conference he made and he gave me pads and pencils and the coloring materials had their in fact he had his designer working me a few times art lessons. One of the people he hired for a while during design work with my cousin since died.
25:12 And so he was interested in visualize. He collected art. In fact, he had one time told he didn't tell me this. I heard he had a blue. Of one of Picasso's friend. Can we still have a lot of his American work a Robert Phillips Sawyer and so that he was not received and he encouraged the artwork and he was never one to say or you should go into business with me. It was sort of a natural directional logical conclusion. I was making I'm not sure why I came to that conclusion.
25:54 If I had my druthers.
25:58 How about education but this is a radical kind of thought is would be the same form is taking the 15th century is you go into training with the artist you want to work with and you go into early apprenticeship and develop in a field the way education is today. Oh, no, you don't do it. You don't specialize young age you go on and on and on learning all the tricks of the trade of the different trades and finally concentrate if you're going to go into medical school or something like that Cooper Union when I went to was based upon you go into three different Heights and then make a choice Williams required to take basic courses in different fields As you move through. How did you go from work to architecture?
26:46 Well, first of all, it took me awhile to get into right and I'll text you when I was at Williams and this I had a what did Saint Paul at Damascus and
26:58 Experience I had a vision but I should be doing and it occurred because and again with the encouragement of my father to an extent in my junior. I've been major in economics. Can I take in my first Carson art? My junior year had an extremely good teacher was head of departments name Lane phaeacians you and your live to a very bad stage only died about two years ago.
27:23 And when I took this course is like an eye opening.
27:28 I was just do it was open to Art and history and it brought everything together. I run my dad finance my trip to Europe and which is further open my eyes to culture because I could see when I went up in the tower at long Cathedral and saw the graffiti carved into the cathedral walls carbon not written in 1535. I said, oh this is Ancient Graffiti and experienced in my breast and culture being opened up to me and I've had the Good Fortune of coming back going over and coming back on a ship so that five or six days and ship give me time to imbue this experience to reflect on it and to think about it.
28:16 And I got back I went to decide I should really major in art. I went to sea Lane face and I said I want to switch from economics to Art and he agreed to it and it was a great blessing. Does it matter could concentrate for the first time in one field and took nothing, but our course is my senior year and that enabled me to spare word that I want to go in art. And yes, I have to tell someone they're going to make this life change. You know, I had to wasn't nervous really.
28:56 I felt like going into your
29:01 One time I consider going to the ministry and I had a fact I think the head of each church at Gramercy Park Calvary Church, Sam Shoemaker.
29:12 Came to me while I was in the hospital and infection. He came to visit me. Nice. Thought I should go to the ministry and I thought it was nice that he would think so, my mother is very touched by the idea. But and was similar when I went to see face and although I initiated the visit it was like going to Buddha they would you accept me and let the church know. I'm a Believer and it'll give you a hard time or is it a welcome to find him and had a great sense of humor and seriousness at the same time.
29:49 I took the comprehensive eye exam at the end of my senior year.
29:54 Ana comprehensive is very Broad and you look at works and you act as a Critic. Can you discuss them in a paper? And then the three guys are wet Stoddard and Bill Pearson Lane face and Bill Pearson was in America Nike mainly in and when facing was abroad picture and which Stoddard was mowing the medieval art and I think some sculpture and they read my papers. They would try to add paper type. No signature. I'm so you didn't know what papers are reading.
30:26 And I got a report back from phase and later that they would say well who wrote this great piece on this work in face and said it must have been benefits and which side of said no, he could never write that you have a you have a way of looking at things you have a way of seeing color cityscapes streets, but I think few people have that first trip to Europe is that when he first started to understand how the CDs work especially old the old sections of cities contrast between country and city and medieval cities are very sharp boundaries. And you could see this later on when we are in 59 from the are the edge of Rome's through the edge of Rome and this is part of history is because the countryside was on face Lie by Rich families and the church
31:22 And they didn't permit development and they didn't need developer that all the way out. They needed from texting their subjects so that the countryside was defined by medieval Society face cannot move forward in the current Society still maintain. So that's what I experienced and I would bite swelling of the Pure Country. No traffic was most beautiful Nirvana and in the cities were exciting or bubbling with culture with architecture and I still like today in Europe where the men take you back briefly to to a Maryland to Princess Anne you were in 1975 and 1976. You created the green markets to farmers markets in New York City that then became the models are farmers markets across the country.
32:11 You're able to taste Tomatoes rate for the field. They're going up in in the farm in Maryland that that since he couldn't ever get that in the city. You started Green Market first kiss probably more complicated than that the child Express in the form play into how you started greenmarket. I didn't realize I didn't know it at the time. I thought only two experiences are coming into play there 1 was my experience as a planner and seeing how far inland is being taken over by the development and the other was as a consumer New York sing with rotten quality to the vegetables and fruits and they are coming from California instead of nearby farms in Long Island and New Jersey in Hudson Valley. And so they saw this double whammy attacking Farms bad marketing and bad language practice and I married used to go and look at the models of other Farmers Market especially and
33:04 I think it was Rochester Upstate community and the work of writing of John has and working with my colleague. Bob Lewis. I'm he's actually my employee and really we are two person firm and we put this concert together farmers markets way of solving a planning problem not agriculture so much or planning food problem. And I was only later my father reminded me about my experience in the farm, which I had not remembered in my mind, but that obviously was what made me move in the direction. You used to load up the truck and drive to the wholesale Market in Princess Anne High did I had my driver's license? I would drive and get in line at the auction block of a line of lots of other trucks in all of these. My father's Fortune. He had a business supporting him in New York, so we could afford to buy a farm, but he wanted the farm to pay for itself as a farm.
34:03 Not to subsidize it. So he worked hard at making farming profitable was difficult for Farmers to subsist then because you Auction Block was a fraud the auctioneers not bid against each other. They took turns buying so then the farmers would be so upset. They would be disgusted and want to go home without selling a load and take it home, but they can't afford to I'm sorry. I learned the hard way that farmers were not making money growing food. He would send my brother to Baltimore of the wholesale Market. Sometimes he went once to New York to sell string beans. I didn't make those trips. So I learned the hard way of the difficulties acquiring and yet the beauties of finding a good vegetable stays like that. Just go totally out of his career and stuff like that you were you had five kids have been married three times and third one the longest of the mall in your life.
35:03 Made some amazing accomplishments as a as an outsider you created one of the greatest Innovations this city or any cities ever had anything that you
35:13 Most proud of and then any regrets the things that you didn't do either in your personal life or fat your professional life.
35:23 Pride is not quite the right word happiness is probably more accurate. And what happened with Green Market was seizing upon the times of the cooperation and love and help of lots of people lots of agencies, including yours and putting Henry Stern who other people like to portray him as somebody who was not helpful to the market in Galveston. He was I was put off by the idea of putting a farmer's market in a park didn't belong and Parks. It was only because someone in Lower East Side shelter Park was in desperate condition in a park brought into the
36:03 Entrance to the park would help bring it at Tompkins Square Park and helping some life into it and security and safety, but we ended up having many markets not in parks by the edges of parks in and it's a good place to have it because Metro is green around us rather than traffic but there many other Cooperative City agencies and perhaps the most helpful one was Department of Consumer Affairs. I nearly guggenheimer who was all gung-ho for farmers markets and then Department of Transportation, especially under R Us and our expanded Union Square to make more room for Farmers because at that time was being controlled by highways and traffic not Parks you can always Parks jurisdiction. So gradually we moved into incorporated city spaces, but there were no suitable spaces to Marcus anywhere in the city Union Square with the closest. We were working on closed streets. We had to move parked car as was difficulty all the time putting up sign.
37:03 Letting people know where we were because we're hitting away someplace. The city still doesn't have good public places for events. It needs to go a long long way to get there and that's part of my effort as a planner reshaping the city. So it's more friendly to people on foot. That's been my goal for 30 or 40 years in your life or your personal life. Talk about your family or your wife's.
37:28 Well, I never thought of myself as a good husband good family member on my kind of I love my children on Sundays with good things. Like my father took me place on Saturdays. I wasn't really a good full-time Dad read stories told made up stories made things made a doll house, but depend a lot on their mothers for the rear hub bearing the direction. Your mother was fantastic. She was a brilliant woman from the day. I knew we were in before a very caring.
38:02 Very determined
38:07 And the mother of my next three children was is this is new to her and she had she wasn't quite grasping raising children quite as fast but she did very well with him. She was an artist as well. Just rubbed off on at least one of the three children and two of them really I wouldn't of the Yards but Andrew being the oldest was the first grass hold of being a Creator and still wanted a Simon the youngest is still a Creator and work somewhere with a camera than with the drawing of Ages on a lot of drawings and kalimutan the music field so that he would you would you do if you are we all want wonder by chance to go back and do something differently. Would you do anything differently if you well your life over CS only one thing I would like to explore and worse in my work as an architect. However, that would have required really getting up everything else.
39:07 Is architectures one teacher one set of me is 90% business in 10% design and that's true and it's even worse probably 95% business today and so packaging and getting our to come as an architect would be extremely I have to be totally devoted. But I sometimes I Visions in my soul in my head of what a great City would look like I'll send text to make sketches of thumbnail sketches of the be more on my mind than anywhere else before you went to us here electric by Frank Lloyd Wright when I was very young. I think you were
39:42 Carrying me or something you wanted to know but you were just walking and it was a graduation talka gave its thing with Sarah Lawrence and y'all can I arrive late just for Change and so is we got a funeral and as that The Giver static in clothes Courtyard outdoors and and the place was just ringing as we walked up to the entrance to the Courtyard. So we were at the entrance and he was walking out and you stood out in front of him and blocking his way and he stopped and looked down he put his hand on your head and said and he will be 1:00 1:00 Sunday to be a great. What do you say? I think he will be one someday, but not saying one what they want.
40:41 The very few encounters it seem right personally, but he impressed me wants me to come into a room to talk to some Architects and when he walked in this is a cocktail party before so the rooms abuzz with people talking in the milling and he came into the side of the room to go up to the speaker stand and I don't have this ability. He had when he walked in the room, he would look around the room and noticed people I'm wash. I think you're a little bit that way. You don't have that capability of looking around and seeing who's there and making eye contact a good politician says that
41:18 But he would look around and engage people already as he walked in and another time when I call to find out about his hotel to see how long it's going to be in New York side missing the band and I said as mr. Right staying here and they said yes and put me right through his room and I apologize for interrupting and I said why I called I want to say he would how long would it be here? And I could see him looking off into distance and he spoke me phone. He said no. He said I'm going home now.
41:52 And those are the last words I heard from him.
42:03 Your father to people who?
42:05 Well, he said he's a very very complex guy and I was talking earlier in the interview heat. He sees things other people don't see you're not like that people running for the street. He sees color and Shadow inform. He's he's really got the eyes of an artist that I think that you're like a lot of very creative talented people having a family and some of them probably somewhat of a cinder block around his neck but he did it he became he grew into the role of father and he still going into it as his 80th birthday, which we celebrated a few days late last weekend. He said well, I'm 88. I think I might finally be turned into an adult's and all of his friends had not a chance it up a little bit pugnacious. Ignatius, but just always ask questions and he as an advocate for his causes and it's not just the Green Market. It's the zoning and planning in historic preservation.
43:05 Reservation for getting cars that he was when he led the effort to get cars at Central Park annoying in the nicest possible way. That's how we got all this accomplished she would persist with people and they would want to do things for him because I liked him and he was always it was very nice to people most lot of The Advocates we work with and some of the gadflies just annoy you and that's why he was able to get things done. He is just persistent. I think they'll also got this very a deep interior life and one of the things he's done all his life is both make and do wooden jigsaw puzzle and he Gardens extremely well, so this is part of him where you just likes to be alone or something socially Garden you're doing puzzles, but it's really time for talking's a time for being part of this world is so intimate world of images and shapes and colors of the bothan garden landscape design has a beautiful garden Upstate that where he's moved a lot of piles of rocks.
44:05 How they reshape the Labadee there's an interaction where I think he's very happy interacting with the physical world in an intimate way.
44:16 When start a PostScript was that I'm a member of a couple of things and in Saugerties at one time sharing start preservation commission note and I work in a conference of planning committee and I'll committee is made up of a broad range of citizens some of her know something about planning and most you don't but have very strong opinions and I was replaced as vice-chair of the group when I wasn't there my man who I thought was right kind of totally just interested in planning and just was there to listen and not to Riley interested right now down to a working group and mostly four to five people meeting weekly and the man is vice-chair has been attending faithful each of the working group meetings, and he said just the meeting this week this past Tuesday.
45:02 When were discussing issues dealing with Mining and I was putting money in the context of larger land use control issues and he said how much he learned from NE 71st came on. He didn't believe in and protecting the landscape and now he really sees and understands it and he said that he's really taught me a lot but he's like years ahead of his time and he wasn't if he was a child and it's just a shame about this. I think this is what has kept kept him. So young except where the hell sometimes just be really going at me about something in a park some design aspects of May should be changed. I feel like saying, you know, what about the park? Let's talk about your grandchildren. So I
46:04 I would say the very things he is describing me as is a person who loves the other world and what shapes it and that's why he's doing the job he is and he's totally devoted to his work as Parks commissioner, but going beyond that he's devoted to the city and what makes a city a great place to live so he would be good in a role as mayor.
46:33 Your sister said told me once you want to be mayor.
46:37 That's nice to be ambitious that way cuz it shows a really caring and that's what I like about him. And what the what links me with him in this context is just caring for dove caring about the city and its mother the same as mother was young and I was deeply caring about the city work very hard with groups on the Lower East Side to make life comprehensible and better to people living there and give them and putting them in control of their destiny.
47:05 So that's what I see is a continuity and Country the family to some extent.
47:11 I think our family in general has been more socially conscious of doing things for the public benefit rather than private wealth and I can see it a lot of my extraneous family members from all over the country.