EB: Giving ’em the business!

Brain dumps from the original Bonehead.

Astor Crap

I just couldn’t let this one go…

Brooke Astor died today at the age of 105.  That’s right, one-hundred-and-five.  As the heir to the Astor fortune, Brooke had a softspot for charity and gave millions of dollars to the New York Public Library, Bronx Zoo, and numerous other NYC hallmarks.  In her time she was often quoted as saying that “Money is like manure, it should be spread around”, and that’s exactly what she did.

Among the family’s lesser known charities was The Astor Program for Gifted Children – a program that offered a premium education to some of the top academic performers in New York City’s public school system.  I was entered into the program in 1980 which, as far as I can tell, was maybe five or six years after the Astor family had stopped funding the program — but I guess sometimes all you really need is a good foundation.

Despite inheriting many of my era’s top social, psychological, and economic excuses to grow up and become another heartbreaking statistic, I chose a different path.  A path made available to me thanks to good parenting, passionate schoolteachers, and a hellacious drive to persevere; and on that second point it stands to reason that a fair amount of the credit for the happy, healthy, and reasonably successful person I’ve found a way to become is due to the opportunity afforded me as a child… because of the well-intentioned manure that was spread my way.

Thank you, Brooke.  Rest well.


August 14, 2007 Posted by | Personal Revelations | 3 Comments