My father passed away…the news is hitting me hard now. I’ve had a bad year - my very close mother-in-law passed away in April and my father followed in May, just a few weeks before we held our World Cup show in Rome. The Rome show kept me busy - too many details…focus, focus, focus. Well, the show is over and now I am trying to learn to live without my father or mother-in-law nearby.
It was my mother-in-law who watched my children while I worked and traveled for Tea & Coffee. It was my father who urged me to pursue a journalistic career when my chemistry and biology college grades spiraled frustratingly downwards with no end in sight. In 1993, when Tea & Coffee held its first Exhibition & Symposium in Vienna, I asked my dad to accompany me. It was with this show that I feel I reached a turning point - it had ushered me into a new phase of my career. I organized the presentations of international c.e.o.’s of many, many tea and coffee companies, and had to publicly address audiences made up of these and other professionals. Since my parents had paid for my education, I thought my dad should see the fruition of his time and money spent on raising me. Dad came… and we worked him for the entire show. He registered attendees and exhibitors, took their complaints, and passed messages for our staff, all the while visibly enjoying being an observer of the coffee and tea industries at work.
Dad also accompanied me on other business trips. We visited Costa Rica and the U.K. together, where he met several other parents of coffee and tea professionals.
Through the years, I often remark that we sometimes see our industry cohorts more than our family - so it is a pleasure to see how many families are involved in the tea and coffee business. Our parents build up and leave us a coffee or tea legacy that is priceless.
How many of us have learned the industry from our parents?
I bet the late Ruth Bigelow would be proud of her daughter-in-law, Eunice, for all the assistance and strength she has provided her husband and family in expanding Bigelow Tea, and of their recent purchase of the Charleston Tea Plantation in South Carolina, the only tea plantation in the U.S.
I’m sure the late Earl Lingle was proud of his sons, both Jim in continuing Lingle Brothers and Ted who is helping shape world coffee economics at the SCAA.
Importer Atlantic USA’s Steve Colten learned about the coffee business from his father; and our correspondent Timothy Castle, who was recently granted the Distinguished Author Award by the SCAA, received his early coffee education from his father as well
Those of us who have had our family so close in our life are so lucky.
If you want to send me a bill for this therapy session, feel free and thank you for listening.
Editor & Co-Publisher