To a Real “King”
Today started out like all the rest, with a little extra traveling to boot. I traveled to west Los Angeles to see two clients in the morning. They were remarkably on the same street about 3 blocks from each other. The first client I visited remembered me from seven years age when I had done some window treatments for them in their Malibu home. This time around I am making roman shades in their upstairs den and woven shades in their family room. As Sherrie looked through my sample book she reminded me about the vertical woven shade I made for her in Malibu. With all the clients I see and all the window treatments I do its hard for me to remember but all of a sudden a flash went off in my brain. “I remember, it was for a sliding glass door in a 17 year old’s room, and we wanted to make it easy to enter from the outside if they came home late”. She was impressed, and quite honestly, so was I.
At my second appointment we discussed custom draperies on iron rods and various Hunter Douglas products. I took measurements and photos and will turn the information over to the interior design firm in Encino that scheduled the appointment. I then drove all the way to Canyon County to meet with Bea to do some Hunter Douglas Palm Beach shutters for her. Bea is a new client that found us by going to the Hunter Douglas website and searching for dealers in her area. She told me that of all the companies she called we offered the most help and were the most pleasant to deal with. It’s good to know that “the King” has an outstanding “court”.
My last stop of the day was by far the most important. I picked my mom up and headed back to Westwood to attend the memorial of our extended family member, Steve. Dr. Steven Rado is my brother in law, Ron’s, second father. Ron’s father passed away in the early seventies and Ron’s mother Rochelle married Steve a few years later. I have known Steve for more than 30 years and to me he was always just Steve, a soft spoken lovely man.
My nephew Brandon has worked at Galaxy Draperies for just about a year now. Steve Rado was Brandon’s grandfather and I thought it would be a good opportunity to let Brandon know how much I respected his grandfather and maybe at the same time sneak in a little worldly advice. I planned on telling Brandon how important it was to take good care of your body. His grandfather played soccer well into his eighties. I wanted to tell Brandon how important it was to have a quest for knowledge. His grandfather was very bright and I would soon learn how bright he really was. Lastly I wanted Brandon to remember how much Steve loved his grandmother. I used myself as an example and told Brandon that I would hope that I could be like Steve. If I could only be one tenth as good as his grandfather I would consider myself successful in these areas of my life. I had the good fortune to see Steve at family gatherings at least once a year. Whenever I had the opportunity I would seek out a little private conversation with him. I would always get real close to him within whispering distance. Steve spoke softly and had a strong Hungarian accent. I got close so I made sure to not miss a pearl of wisdom he would artfully slide into our conversation.
There was a beautiful slide show and story about the life of Steve Rado. I was about to learn things about Steve that will forever be with me. My goal is to be “King of my Castle”. I was about to find out that all those years I was around Steve, I was in the presence of a true King of mankind. Steve was born in Hungary in 1920 to a Jewish father and a catholic mother. As a young man he worked for MGM pictures in Hungary making the titles for films that we see in the beginning and at the ends of movies. He enlisted in the army in 1938. Soon after enlisting the Nazis army took control of Hungary and sent all soldiers of Jewish descent to work camps. Steve saw the writing on the wall and quickly escaped. Back home he put the talents he learned from working at MGM and established a forgery operation. Both Jews and any other group of people that were being persecuted by the Nazi regime were provided forged documents that allowed them to escape the grips of the Germans. He saved thousands from the fate of the death camps. A few years later when the Russian army came storming through he joined the underground and once again helped countless numbers of people escape into Austria. Here I was, having spent over 30 years knowing this man and not knowing about this part of his life. I was in the presence of a true king. A king of humanity.
This would be an amazing story if it was to end here, but it didn’t. I always new Steve was smart but I had no idea how smart. I remember telling him that my oldest son, David, with taking physics in college. His eyes lit up and he started asking all sorts of questions about David’s class. I couldn’t answer for David and David wasn’t at this family function to answer for himself so the topic changed to something else. Now I know why. Turns out that Steve wrote a couple of books about physics. This is a story about a quiet soft spoken man that I know as just Steve. Quite a man in deed, and quite a life story. The story of a life well lived. I only hope that I can live up to just one tenth of the man Steve was. If I can, I too can say, that I had a life well lived.