Although I have always been extremely goal-oriented and motivated to achieve the skills and knowledge base necessary to assure myself a position at the highest level of my chosen field(s) I have always promised myself that in no way would any professional successes I was fortunate to achieve come at the expense of my family life.
Perhaps the most vivid example of my enforcement of this principle was my resignation as Principal Violist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at age 30. Although this decision was a terribly difficult one there was absolutely no doubt that the many weeks of required touring associated with my position was having an extremely negative impact upon my three young children and creating a serious strain on my wife.
While life typically places various demands and obstacles on most families and individuals over the years….. the long periods of home absence created as a result of my position was unquestionably brutal! Now, looking back in all fairness, certainly my resignation did not completely solve or eradicate all of the issues or problems facing my family but the change did largely eliminate many of the negative ramifications.
I have been blessed with an amazing family, both in the nuclear sense as well as in the broader, more extended definition. I met my first wife, Marie, while we were music students at Indiana University. She was an outstanding cellist with a spirited personality and captivating natural beauty. Our almost twenty years together produced three fantastic children…..two daughters, Manon and Vanessa and a son, Sean.
Manon, our first born, has professionally become one of the most respected experts in the field of “cloud” computing and owns her own international consulting firm. Next came our son, Sean, who has over the years established himself in both the automotive world and the real estate industry. Last but certainly NOT least is Vanessa….the Phi Betta Kappa of the bunch. Immediately following the receipt of her Doctorate degree from University of New Mexico, Vanessa accepted a position as Assistant Professor at University of Washington, where she currently teaches in the areas of her specialty which includes “Spanish and Latino Culture” as well as “Chicano Literature”.
These children have collectively blessed us with five grandsons ages 3-18.
In the mid 1980’s my family life changed dramatically with my marriage to my second wife, Evelyn. No, Evelyn was not primarily a musician although she had been active as a church pianist and possessed a major love of music. Formerly a Registered Nurse she had become a successful businesswomen and one of the most respected leaders of the real estate industry in California.
It was Evelyn who strongly encouraged my love of real estate and convinced me to become an active real estate educator and guest speaker/lecturer. Evelyn brought to our marriage two children from her previous marriage, daughter Lisa and son, Michael. My two step-children were slightly older than my three own children, but Lisa , especially, was close enough in age , to blend right in.
Lisa , a great lover of horses and now former rancher, has ultimately become a dynamic elementary school teacher. She and her husband have not only blessed us with two additional grandchildren (one girl and one boy) but have afforded us the luxury of having spent the past ten years living just across the driveway from each other on our scenic family compound in Bloomington, Indiana.
As you can imagine, with a nuclear family currently comprised of three daughters, two sons, three sons-in-law, one daughter-in-law, six grandsons and one granddaughter….Evelyn and I never suffer from too many dull moments!