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Belated Tribute

DURING MY 40-YEAR CAREER in home fashions, I learned many lessons. Some were painful, others not so much but all were useful.
     My first boss explained that our product was not cheap, it was inexpensive!
     And for salesmen, once the buyer said ‘OK' you shut up. That was known as the, "You made the sale, don't buy it back" rule.
     And a rule many good guys live by, "Don't confuse quiet and polite with weak and ineffectual."
     For 56 years my dad knew and followed these rules. But he also made a rule and lived by it his entire career, "If you can't be my friend, you can't be my customer!"
     My dad had more customers than any other salesman before or since.
     Or were they friends?
     My dad was Sol Resch. He left this world on April 13 following an unfortunate accident that cut short his life. He was 93.
     So how can I say his life was short when he reached such a respectable number?
     That's easy. He was not your typical "old man."
     Sol was the sales manager for a lining house, Marvin Fabrics, for most of his career and also sold pillows and other feather filled products for Hauptman Fabrics. When Hanes Fabrics took control of Marvin in 1990 they asked the 72-year-old Sol to stay on a while.
     Never one to cause problems or controversy, he agreed.
     But after retiring from textiles in 1992 Sol took up a new cause. He became a volunteer helping disabled veterans. Starting slowly at first he soon became the commander of the Jewish War Veterans Post No. 209; Jackson Hts./Elmhurst Queens. He proceeded to break all fundraising records along the way.
     For his tireless work on behalf of disabled veterans Sol received many accolades, not the least of which were official Proclamations from the New York City Council and the New York State Assembly.
     Sol's final tribute was given at his grave where the U.S. Navy played taps for this honorable and humble man and then handed me a perfectly folded ceremonial U.S. flag.
     Over the years, the Home Fashion Products Association honored many deserving "Deans of the Industry." They missed one.

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