Thursday, April 19, 2007


Though he may not be The Godfather, he is my godfather. And he happens to be one of the greatest people I know. David Schiffer has been a role model, a surrogate father, and a best friend to me since I was born. He and his amazing wife Linda, their son Mark, and daughter Taryn have become my second family. On David's urging, I stayed with them for the entire year in 2000 while I was writing a screenplay. Not only did he refuse to accept rent from me, but he and Linda loved me, fed me, and bought me a gym membership as a birthday gift. They supported my endeavor and believed in me. At the time, David was starting up a software business and working like a dog to get it off the ground. Suffice it to say, it has since taken off. His company, Safe Banking Systems, develops and distributes software to major banks around the world, all in the pursuit of nabbing money launderers. Long Island Business News recently did a profile of David and SBS that better explains the ins and outs of his complicated job. In a way, you could say he's a white-collar version of Jack Bauer.

Maybe not. But he is fond of passing on the wisdom he has acquired over the years. The first of his favorite sayings is, "See It From Above." This advice was usually given when my less-than-stellar sense of direction frustrated him. He told me to think of driving directions as if I was looking down from a satellite. I thought it was also a great metaphor for life (as he intended). If you remove yourself from the situation long enough to see it from above, you can gain perspective on just about anything. Schiffer's second favorite saying is, "Just Show Up." This applies to the whole of life as well. Be the kind of person who always shows up when needed, whether expected of you or not. In its complete version, the phrase actually reads, "Just Show Up, You'll Figure Out What To Do When You Get There." I honestly have no idea if these aphorisms are going to read corny or not, but I can attest to them as words to live by. Schiffer has always showed up for me. And I don't need to see it from above to know that he is a truly special person. Love ya, Davey Baby.

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