Fall is upon us. Pumpkins are appearing on doorsteps. Days are getting shorter, and nights are getting cooler. The summer flew by as it seems to do every year, but before we say a final farewell, we thought we’d re-visit the summer highlights of our HFA team. Many took amazing trips, while others enjoyed the beauty of Western NY. Regardless of the locale, spending quality time with family and friends seemed to be a theme throughout. We at HFA hope you also had an amazing summer this year in the company of your family and friends.
My summer highlight was probably the day I spent with my co-workers as we traveled to Canandaigua and points beyond. The weather was great, and the events of the day, lunch, the wineries, and the micro-brewery were all good experiences that helped to nurture the relationships within the office environment as we got to visit with one another in a totally different setting. On a more personal note, my wife Jo Ann and I welcomed home our grandson, who served four years in the Marines serving our country honorably, and we couldn’t be prouder of the man that he has become. He came home on May 5th, 2023, and went to work on May 8th, 2023. That is an admirable way to begin his civilian life, showing a willingness to go to work. He served his country unselfishly and shows a desire to contribute to society in a meaningful and purposeful way. Jo Ann and I are just returning from a mini vacation in Vermont as our summer transitions to fall, our favorite time of year!
After a hectic 2022 summer revolving around our oldest son’s wedding, this summer was much quieter and spent mostly at home gardening. However, we did spend the first ten days of September on a family trip to the Pacific Northwest, specifically Washington state. We were able to visit the three national parks (Mount Rainier, Olympic, and North Cascades) as well as Mount St. Helens with our sons and their wives. We also were able to visit the most northwestern point in the continental US, Cape Flattery. In previous years we had visited the most eastern point, Lubec, Maine. Now we just have to work our way across the middle of the US!
A late summer highlight was a recent trip to northern Wisconsin, which was right near the Michigan border of the Upper Peninsula (UP). Four college buddies (and spouses) spent a few days together at one of the roommates' summer house on a small lake. Although we apparently missed seeing a moose swimming in the lake, we did not miss telling the same stories one more time after 50+ years. Three additional friends had scheduling conflicts and could not attend. Most importantly, all seven of us remain quite healthy, for which we are most grateful.
My trip to Georgia was absolutely the highlight of my Summer. I headed down to visit my sister and take a trip back to our old hometown. We spent our days soaking up the sun by the pool, savoring mouthwatering southern cuisine, and tearing through the countryside on four-wheelers. Beyond the activities, it was the quality time spent with my sister that made this trip truly special. It was a perfect mix of reliving old memories and creating new ones. This trip was a heartwarming reminder that the simplest pleasures often make for the most unforgettable moments.
The highlight of our summer, which makes me believe we lead very boring lives, was sending our middle child off to his freshman year at St Lawrence University. We are enjoying being near-empty nesters (our youngest is the easiest of the three). We spent lots of time going for hikes and long swims in Lake Ontario and capped it off with short triathlon in late August.
My summer highlight was seeing my granddaughter, Olivia, graduate from the University of Pittsburgh. It seems like just yesterday that she was hanging out in her exersaucer with me while I recovered from my hip replacement.
My other summer highlight was being awarded the Rochester Business Journal Lifetime Achievement Award in the financial services industry and having the team at High Falls, my wife, Ellen, and some good friends celebrate with me at the award luncheon. This award meant so much to me and it is my family, my colleagues, the HFA team, and especially HFA’s clients that drive me to do what I do everyday and to be passionate about the financial services industry.
My summer was quiet this year. I didn’t do any big trips, well-known concerts, or skydiving. I did try to get outside as much as possible and see as much wildlife as I could. I can list fox, deer, snakes, coyotes, fish, turtles, and many bird species as my regular companions on my outdoor adventures. In addition to that I kayaked and added biking! (Once on the biking, but it’s a start.)
The summer is my favorite season and I try to be outside as much as possible. I photographed some very nice scenes, beautiful wildlife, and explored many parks in Monroe County that I didn’t even know existed. I did venture out to parks beyond Monroe County as well. New York is a beautiful state filled with lakes, streams, parks, and wildlife.
Going into the fall and winter seasons, I’m going to try to force myself to get out and hike in the cold and snow. We shall see how that goes...
Can you spot all three deer?
Every day is an adventure in my world, but my summer highlight has to be seeing Funny Girl on Broadway, with my mom, sister, and aunt. We took a quick 24-hour trip to NYC to see the show in August. My mom and aunt love the 1968 movie with Barbara Streisand, and I too have probably seen it a million times. Being able to experience it on Broadway with them was unforgettable.
My summer has consisted of a derivation of the Horace Greeley advice to Josiah Grinnell to “Go West Young Man.” In my case it’s Go West Old Man. Why, you ask?
Because on Thursday, April 13, we welcomed Benjamin Robert Same, our first grandchild, to the family. In his eagerness to see the big, new world he decided to make his appearance six weeks early and after almost two weeks in the NICU he went home to the delight of his parents, his GiGi and his Papa. On a side note, he’s PERFECT.
The dilemma is that his home is in East Aurora, outside Buffalo, hence Go West Old Man.
We’ve been making westerly, bi-weekly visits and every visit brings new delights. He’s growing like a weed, has found his voice, and has developed a smiley personality.
I could go on and on like a doting Papa but instead, I’ve got pictures I’m happy to share. Next time you’re in the office stop by and I’ll give you an update on The Benjamin. In the meantime, I’ll continue to Go West Old Man.
I started my summer with a trip to California to participate in a Women’s workshop. The best part of this trip was being there with my daughter and sharing this workshop experience with her. Having one-on-one alone time with her is rare and I enjoyed every second, even the three-minute ice bath.
The latter part of the summer was quiet, which gave me time to bike, run, and swim in preparation for my first sprint triathlon. This has been on my “I wish I could do that” list for years. I completed the race the last weekend in August. I was lucky to have met some new friends during the race who were so generous with their advice and support, especially on how to survive the swim and make the transitions. It was a great way to end the summer and would do it again (with perhaps a bit more swim training).
We took our kids on a family vacation to Florida—it was our youngest son Cameron’s first vacation. While in Florida, we visited with family and long-time friends. We saw the ocean, and, most importantly, took a two-day trip around Disney. My eldest daughter Charlie was able to meet all her favorite characters, including Minnie Mouse! We found out that Charlie, who is three years old, absolutely does not like rides, but Cameron, who was eight months at the time, loved every single one.
I have a bucket list—you know, the list of experiences you want to have during your lifetime. One of those items had been resident for many years. You see, I’m an Aircraft enthusiast. Back in the 1970’s as a Petty Officer 3rd class, it was my duty as a structural mechanic on the Navy’s hottest aircraft at the time to inspect and maintain their ejection systems, a job I absolutely loved. I was stationed at the Naval Air Test Center in Patuxent River, Maryland, the place where aircraft and special equipment are put to the test, and where their speed, maneuverability, and capabilities are stressed and documented for our pilots as they prepare themselves for combat. I was fortunate at that time to even catch a ride in the backseat of an F-4 Phantom and experience breaking the sound barrier.
As the years passed, I heard about the annual airshow at OshKosh, Wisconsin, where thousands of aircraft enthusiasts fly-in, drive-in, and camp-in during the last week of July. I have wanted to go ever since, but other life events seemed to keep me from the annual event, so in the bucket list it stayed—that is, until this year when my son and two grandsons hauled a camper and we made our way to OshKosh! It was a dream come true. More than 10,000 aircraft arrived! There were 3,365 show planes including: 1,500 in vintage aircraft, 1,100 homebuilt aircraft, 380 warbirds, 194 ultralights, 134 seaplanes and amphibians, 52 aerobatic aircraft, and 41 rotorcraft. Hot air balloons even took off one morning. There were fireworks and some nice night flying demos. Over 600,000 people attended.
Many military aircraft were on display. One morning, I met some of the enlisted navy personnel and we got to share our experiences and learn about the technological advances made since I served. What a treat—and sharing it with my boys made it even better. This bucket list item gets a BIG check and even surpasses my skydiving jump!