"Norton, let's face it, I'm a man with big ideas, and sooner or later, one of those ideas is going to catch on", Ralph Kramden. Perhaps we can divide the way we accomplish tasks, build buildings, develop academic programs, run a business, or achieve just about anything by identifying three key types of required people: idea guy, implementer and glue guy. Why didn't any of Ralph's ideas ever succeed? There was no glue guy. A critical leg for success and for small projects and small businesses the role is often borne by the idea guy, but as in Ralph's case, most idea guys are not well suited to be the glue guy.
I had the great honor to work with a remarkable glue guy, Jack Friedman, Executive Director of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, who passed away last week. I met Jack shortly after opening Thai Rock and he quickly revealed himself to be a tremendous facilitator and an ardent supporter of the Rockaway's and its improvement. I soon clearly saw he was in it for the love, for the passion and he was an inspiring human being. Jack exemplified an altruistic desire to help and work, a rare person indeed and one that I turned to numerous times each with a better than expected outcome.
Jack was a supporter and promoter of HEART for Rockaway Beach and the reason that the Queens Chamber is a Sponsor of the Taste of Rockaway Beach. He was a glue guy, a complex role requiring understanding, compassion, and sensitivity with a desire to achieve, build and grow. He never asked anything for his efforts not even a single favor and he always picked up his phone, or called back promptly. He made everyone feel bigger than they are and promoted every good cause with the joy and giddiness of a freshman. Jack was a role model for me and his loss is deeply felt. Next week's Taste of Rockaway Beach is now dedicated to the memory of Jack Friedman. Rest in Peace dear friend.
The quote from the Honeymooners ends like this:
Ralph Kramden: "... And when they do, I'm going to be a big shot. And do you know what happens to people who become big shots?"
Ed Norton: "Yeah, they forget their relatives."