Getting To Know Someone: Part 2
I want to thank everyone who took the time to respond to Part 1 of “Getting to Know Someone,” which we published last week. Many of you said that you thoroughly enjoyed reading the column. Several people said that this is a very big idea and some even volunteered to participate in future interviews.
Many years ago I was having dinner with the famed investor, now retired, Jean Marie Eveillard of the SoGen and First Eagle Funds. He was born, raised and educated in France. We were discussing lifestyles. He said to me – “Ron, Europeans work to live, Americans live to work.” I have been thinking about that ever since and have personally been trying to achieve a better balance between work and living. As Americans we are too focused with hard work, make money, save money mentality. We need to change the conversation to living a more balanced life. That’s the message I am trying to achieve with this column.
This section (Live) of the newsletter will be dedicated to learning more about the lives of others. Think of it as a lifestyle section but with a purpose of connecting with the “Live” part of our Plan, Achieve, Live philosophy.
Interview with Ron Rogé: Part II
Have you met anyone famous? If so, where did you meet them? The list is very long so I’ll mention just a few interesting ones. Roe and I were in Toronto on a Sunday morning about 11:00 am shopping at Tommy Bahamas on Bloor Street. The only people in the store were Roe, myself and two store clerks when Rod Stewart walks in with his wife and body guard. We said hello and let them do their thing. We spent about 20 minutes trying on clothes with Rod and his wife. At another event, in Las Vegas, we were attending an Elton John show – The Red Piano. Roe and I were asked to join Elton John on stage. We were on stage standing at the end of the piano’s keyboard singing and dancing to “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.”
Describe what your perfect weekend looks like? There are several perfect weekends for me. One would be a visit with the grandchildren, Ben and Samantha and their parents Steven and Sue in Massachusetts or here on Long Island. Another is a weekend with no schedule and no “To-Do List.” Having a nice dinner with friends on Friday night at LaVolpe’s, in Center Moriches, waking up on Saturday morning having coffee and reading the newspapers on the patio with Roe. Perhaps driving to West Hampton for lunch and then dinner with friends at B Smith’s or Muse in Sag Harbor. Sunday more newspaper and magazine reading and having a an early dinner at Pierre’s in Bridgehampton. Then returning home and watching some of our favorite miniseries shows on Showtime or HBO.
What was the best gift you ever received? A birthday gift from my wife Rosanne. It was a trip to Rome with many off the beaten path tours of ancient Rome.
What was the best gift you’ve given recently? I bought Roe an iPad with a pink Bluetooth cover and keyboard from Brookstone. She loves it.
What are you eyeing to buy next? A mattress for our bed.
What’s the one thing you would collect if you could? Anything ancient. Autographs, Letters, objects owned by people hundreds or thousands of years ago.
Tell us about a recent find? Breakfast at Gabreski Airport Café, right under the tower. The food and service are good. You can watch planes take off and land, see gliders being towed into the air and land. Watch the rich and not so famous pull up in their Gulf Stream Jets come in to the Café, sit at the counter, have breakfast, get back into their plane and head off to places unknown. Perhaps lunch in Martha’s Vineyard.
What is one object you would never part with? My iPhone. It’s the modern day version of the Swiss Army Knife. There are Apps for everything.
What’s one indulgence you will never forego? My morning shower followed by a cup of Starbucks Coffee made in our Keurig brewing machine. Starbucks now has their coffee available in “K Cups” for the Keurig Brewing System. Makes one cup at a time. No more wasted coffee.
What was the last meal that truly impressed you? We were on vacation in Tuscany last fall and we were taking a cooking class at Il Falconeri, a 5 star restaurant. We prepared the three course lunch, the staff cooked it for us and served it to us in their beautiful five star restaurant.
Who are the people you rely on for your personal grooming and styling? I just use a local barber shop for haircuts. Chris, at Tailored Male Barber Shop, in Eastport, cuts my hair.
What’s the one personal grooming staple you are never without? My shaving equipment and aftershave (Burberry’s Summer or Armani’s Acqua Di Gio cologne ).
What music do you listen to most often? Anything produced and played by the world class guitar player Jesse Cook and a lot of Jazz.
What was the last music you downloaded? An album by Jackiem Joyner, called Jackiem Joyner, it’s really cool jazz.
What book is on your nightstand? Actually I download my books to my iPad. I am about to start reading “Onward – How Starbucks Fought for Its Life without Losing Its Soul.” by Howard Schultz.
What book have you recently completed reading? I just finished reading “Hannibal Crosses The Alps; The Invasion of Italy and The Punic Wars” by John Prevas. Prevas actually researched and followed the path taken by Hannibal to invade Italy. Extremely interesting, loaded with detail (there were only 36 Elephants and they know the name of the Elephant Hannibal rode).
Tell us about the most memorable speech you have listened to or read? Recently, I listened to David McCullough, Jr.’s speech to the Wellesley High School graduating class. It’s a really great speech titled “You’re Not Special.” He captured the current cultural climate in which American’s find themselves today – thinking they are special. We are not and he proves it in this speech.
What will we always find in your fridge? Fat free milk. I drink a lot of coffee and use fat free milk in my coffee.
What are your favorite website(s)? Google for research, Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times for News. I have a new hobby, researching my ancestors on Ancestry.com.
What is your favorite room in your home? The study. It has everything I need to rule the world or at least attempt to.
Tell us something about you that most people don’t know? I worked while attending college full time and paid my own tuition for my undergraduate degree in Chemistry and my Masters Degree in Business Administration without taking out any student loans. I also attended Stony Brook University’s PhD program in Economics. I did not finish that program because I had a family to support and a very good job, at that time, and the PhD program required full time attendance during the day. Right after college, I also served in the Navy (Naval Air) during the Viet Nam War.
Tell us about people that you have met that had a big impact on your life and the choices you have made on your journey in life? My high school chemistry teacher, Mr. Frank Siracusa, who encouraged me to attend college, even though I had no plans to do so because no one in my family’s history ever attended college. He not only suggested I do so, but he helped me make the right contacts and completed the process of applying. Then there is Dan Sullivan of The Strategic Coach. Dan taught me how to think about a problem, bring clarity to the problem and put a plan of action in place. I have been attending The Strategic Coach for 15 years and I am still learning how to get better at creating the balance between work and my personal life, while continuing to delivering ever increasing value to our clients.