A good friend once said that to me. How a man handles his money is how a man handles his money. We were sitting in a cigar shop and we were watching this guy trying to buy a cigar with cash. His hands went into his pockets and he pulled out a crumpled ball of money that looked like he had retrieved it from the trash. The customer behind him puffed, and not on a cigar, the cashier (is that what you call them? why does coffee get a barista but cigars get… cashiers?) sighed and everyone watched the bills fall to the floor, looking like Captain Hook’s origami. And my friend leans in and says, “How a man handles his money is how a man handles his money.” Meaning that if your cash is in disarray, good bet your portfolio is, too.
I have a sister (not by blood but does anyone care about that anymore?) who stopped over yesterday. Her father is in his 90’s, and I knew him well. He was by no means wealthy, but he bought few and well. Of everything. Same car for a decade, but it was sweet car maintained almost weekly. An honorable man. A Knight of Malta. Ran the finances for an Archdiocese into his late 70’s. Drove that sweet car into the city from Westchester for what, 50 years?
He just celebrated his 75th wedding anniversary in an assisted living facility, and his family is cleaning his house out. My sister stopped by to give me a hat of his:
And yes, the hat is cool and fits perfect. But what struck me was the old school way it was cared for. In a box. Shaped. Maintained. Wearable on my head without retouching from day one. AND a looker.
That is one of the things I am learning to respect as I write this site – people who buy well, buy few, and take care. It speaks to their character and their values directly (Oh my god he dropped the v word again and he is not perfect!!!).
But what I am also learning is that it creates a legacy, this stewardship of the classics. It creates an echo as clear as one’s original voice. With the cancer thing in my family we talked a lot about legacy over the last two months, and then this hat happened yesterday.
This summer my daughter came in and asked to borrow one of my WOCBD’s (oh my god he created an acronym!!!) to wear to the pool over her… well I am going to call it a swim suit but that is a discussion to be held later. She kept the shirt. And wears it. I don’t have a lot of them, this one is an Andover, but it looks good on her and if she wears it when I am gone, that is a good thing to leave behind.
I’m not going anywhere and don’t have cancer – in case that sentence I just wrote made that inference.
It is an Ivy value, and a good target, to build a wardrobe and an asset portfolio and a collection of your belongings that establish who you are in the present, but will also establish who you are as a memory.
And we will all be memories some day.
It would please me to follow in the footstep’s of my sister’s father, and to be able to leave behind a classic, orderly, righteous and good looking legacy.