Like Father Like Son
THE SUNDAY SUN – Sunday, June 18th 1989
It's Father's Day and what better tribute is there than to watch a son follow in his dad's footsteps.
Just ask anyone who's watched Harrison Ford and on-screen dad Sean Connery in this spring's smash hit Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
Closer to home many a proud papa will attest that nothing beats the feeling of passing the reins from father to son.
The reasons are varied, as many will admit. Aron Pervin, a consultant who specializes in advising what's best for family businesses, says, "over 80% of private businesses in Canada are family-owned and many find a way to combine business success and family accord, partly because nepotism is coming back in a much more acceptable fashion.
"But mostly because of a family's ability to find common ground between parental harmony and prosperity in business."
For the Ricci boys, dad Donato has been the driving force behind the success of their 25-year-old Four-Season Auto Collision company. Brothers Pat, 48, Mike, 45, and Mario, 42, admit the sprawling repair complex near Bayview and Eglinton is "dad's domain. Like clockwork dad leaves his home downtown every morning at 6:30 and arrives in time to take charge...been doing that for 25 years."
The octogenarian is as sharp and spry as ever, quips son Pat. "Dad was the one who encouraged us in the business, pushing us every step of the way. Now he never misses a day, sees all, knows all and keeps everyone in line!"
Brother Mario says the success is attributable to "family unity. We draw our strength from it."
Across town, the Edwards family has already completed half a day's work – and the morning rush hour is barely completed.
Father Edward Sr., and son Edwin, 31, both denture therapists, have been busy comparing complicated clinical data on various patients, as well as trading good-natured one liners – "just to keep ourselves on our toes."
The two admit to a solid, easy-going business and family relationship – not only do they share careers, but both work as extras for CBC television dramas and commercials.
Edwards Sr. admits his son, "could have had a full-time career in film – so it came as a surprise when he decided to change careers: I never leaned on him."
Adds Edwin: It was no big deal. What I do know is when you follow in your father's footsteps you have to leave a bigger imprint. Not that you have to live in the shadow of your father's greatness – you just have to make your own mark, establish your own identity."
The Cardella clan hails from a long, distinguished line of Italian jewelers, bringing to the profession a wealth of artistic talent and design.
The elder Cardella, John Sr., was taught as a teenager back home from a father who was taught by his father.
"We were known as artisans," recalls John Sr., fondly. "Our passion was in the perfection of our work. Today every-thing is so clinical, so computerized."
Says son John Jr.: "My dad was taught to create. To this day, he can be given a lump of 24k raw gold and within hours he creates a work of art."
To which elder brother Mario adds: "No matter how advanced technology becomes, the essence is still in the creativity of the human mind...and jewelry is an expression of the mind."
Would the two sons have considered different routes? "No," is the easy reply. "There's a certain renaissance quality to our craft...it's important to keep it alive."
One would need a land-fill to cover the footsteps of broadcasting maverick Johnny Lombardi. As president of CHIN Radio, Lombardi has been honored time and again by his peers and the every-day folks who love and respect him.
With the famous picnics, bikini contests and trademark cap on his head, he is, in essence, truly the mayor of Little Italy.
Today son Lenny has been gaining prominence as Lombardi's right-hand man. The two share an easy-going camaraderie picking up where the other leaves off.
Considering, says Lenny, "that for the longest time I worked very hard at ignoring his image, you might say I've come a long way. I was a bit of a rebel and didn't see eye to eye." '
But Lenny's come full circle, says dad, proving his mettle by working nights on the FM dial of the family station without his father's knowledge. "I'm very proud of him," says Johnny quietly. "Every father's dream is to have his kids walk the same road. Lenny's proven his worth – I can't say enough about him."
"My father's been an inspiration," adds Lenny. "I'm really proud of him for what he's accomplished. He stood tall through tough times and was always there to guide." Pause. "I love my dad."