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MARTY RUSSO US. CONGRESSMAN By Chuck Giampa

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n an office in mature, moments like Washington, D.C., the these with friends that walls display pictures we haven’t seen in of former US Congressman, many years are true Marty Russo, with Former blessings and should be Presidents of the United States, current and former cherished. US Senators and Congressmen. However, the picture (Marty Russo that he is most proud of is placed in the center of is CEO & Senior Vice one wall directly under the Seal of the United States Chairman of Cassidy Congress. That picture is of his mother and father & Associates in taken at a Presidential Inauguration when Marty was a Washington, DC. He US Congressman. was elected to Congress How I came to be sitting with Marty Russo as part of the class of recently in his office exemplifies the benefits and values 1974 and served to that many of us who were fortunate to experience 1992. His tenure was growing up in an Italian-American neighborhood. That distinguished by his experience was the same whether that neighborhood involvement in a broad was in New York, Chicago, New Jersey, Ohio, California range of public policy Marty Russo & Chuck Giampa or any other such neighborhood across the USA. issues facing America’s I went to grammar school and high school with businesses. These issues Marty and his brother, Angelo. Angelo is one year older and Marty is included tax policy, federal budgets, health care, energy and environmental one year younger than I am. I had not seen Marty since I graduated high policy, transportation, crime, immigration, trade, telecommunications and school and have recently just seen Angelo again for the first time just a small business issues.) couple of years ago. I was attending a conference in Washington, DC recently when Angelo Russo called me on my cell phone. When I told him I was in DC for a conference, he told me I had to call his brother, Marty. I told him that I would love to but I haven’t seen or talked to Marty in over 40 years and he probably wouldn’t even remember me. Nonsense, Angelo told me, as he gave me Marty’s phone numbers. I called Marty and offered to take him to lunch. He told me that he would love to see me for a few minutes but he already had lunch plans. The “few minutes” lasted over an hour. It was as if we had just spoken a few weeks ago instead of many years ago. In my interviews, I try to avoid the clichés of only focusing on the “Sunday Italian dinners JOEL GOULD & ASSOCIATES with family” or what we ate on the different holidays. Treasured moments to be sure; but, this visit with Marty after many years is just as important, if not more so. • One of the greatest values and benefits growing up in our ItalianAmerican neighborhoods is the bonds, friendships and experiences we • shared with so many of our friends, families and classmates. And many of those bonds still exist after all these years. • Sure, Marty and I brought each other up to date since we last saw • each other. Sure, we talked about the values instilled in us by our loving parents, family, nuns and teachers. But it was amazing that we could • relax in each other’s company and just simply talk and reminisce after not seeing each other for such a long time. I could list Marty’s many accomplishments: his personal relationships with Presidents of the US, his visits to the White House, Camp David, etc. And I am proud of him for all of those and for the accomplishments I don’t even know about. 205 W. Randolph But most important, aside from whatever accomplishments we Suite 1550 each achieved, we were still just two neighborhood friends, hanging out, 5839 W. Belmont Ave. talking, laughing, and sharing each other’s company like we did over 40 Chicago, IL years ago. To me, that is one of the unmentioned values of our fortunate childhood. I know that the world is constantly changing and those Tel: 773.281.8744 We also speak Polish neighborhoods are not exactly what they were many years ago. But as we

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4 AMICI / Winter 08/09

Mario Batali  

17th Edition

Mario Batali  

17th Edition

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