Thirty-four years ago, I was hired as an Advertising Sales Assistant to a man named Jim Cappello. We worked selling advertising for a publishing company located in midtown Manhattan. I can still envision our sparse office located in that beautiful Art Deco building called The Chanin, between 41st and 42nd Streets. I recall the newspaper stand which stood in the grand lobby and remember with fondness the many dates I met in front of that bustling stand at the end of my working day. Some things in life never leave you. That job and working with Jim, the best boss imaginable, is one of those those things.
We worked together for ten years until the magazine closed in 1997. The memories are too many to mention but one ritual I never forgot was our Friday after work, “Screwdriver Parties.” To officially kick off the weekend, Jim and I would share a drink with our two office mates, Barbara and Irene, who sold the Classified Advertising. After the magazine closed Jim and I parted ways though kept in touch with a phone call once or twice a year. As time rolled on we lost each other once again. I vowed to myself I would call him but now married with two young sons in my life, found time and promises fleeting.
One afternoon on a late November day several years later, I arrived home to a strange car parked in my driveway. As the window slowly went down, the familiar face of Jim Cappello came into view. He told me he missed our New York City working days and decided to drive from New Jersey to my home in Connecticut – for old time sake. Stashed in his trunk were all the makings for our long lost screwdrivers along with a bag of pretzels. We went inside, called our two sidekicks Barbara and Irene (the Classified gals) on the phone and reminisced about our days together selling advertising in that small office on the 12th Floor.
Fast forward to present day. I had not spoken to Jim in over two years. But rather than call him, I decided I would take a page from his book and pay him a surprise visit just as he did for me eight years before.
So here we are today, together once again. But we are not at our desks. We are sitting in his nursing home bedroom with his daughter Annette by our side. The daughter for so many years I heard Jim speak of, but had never met until today. He recently celebrated his 93rd birthday and his smile is just the same. The screwdrivers I made for us were served in two shot glasses I brought hidden in my bag. They may have been a wee bit smaller than those of yesteryear, but just as sweet nonetheless. Read the original story here: