"Nearly half of all executives would become entrepreneurs tomorrow, if they had the capital."

-- The conclusion of a national survey of big-company executives by Accountemps, a temporary-staffing-services company

Father, Son, & Co.

"After almost 45 years on Seventh Avenue, at 68 years of age, my father has retired from the apparel business. No, you don't know my father's name; he wasn't a famous designer or a licensing mogul. (In the pantheon of Ralph, Calvin and Donna, there is, alas, no George.) . . . My father was a converter -- someone who printed the pattern, or color of the moment, on raw fabric . . . and sold them to dress manufacturers who made the midpriced clothing sold in Sears, J.C. Penney, Kmart and Macy's. (His greatest hit -- the thing that put me through college -- was a knock-off of the Nik-Nik patterned shirt John Travolta wore in Saturday Night Fever. . . . )

"I bring it up, quite simply, because it's Friday. And at 1 p.m. on almost every Friday afternoon for the past seven years, my father and I met for lunch at a delicatessen in Herald Square. A cheap meal. Nothing special. Just two men spending two hours over sandwiches and coffee on a Friday afternoon.

"And so it is Friday afternoon. My father is home in New Jersey, with my mother, packing for their move to Florida.

"At 1 p.m., I will not appear in front of the Herald Square deli, smile at the sight of him, and ask, 'How's business?'

"He will not kiss me hello, and reply, 'Lousy. What about you?'

"I will not shrug, and say, 'Awful. Let's have lunch.'

"There's a hole in my schedule this afternoon. More to the point, there is a hole in my heart."

-- From "New Yorker's Diary," by Bruce Feirstein, in The New York Observer (May 2, 1994)

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