Monday, June 8, 2009

Chapter 2: The Beginnings of an Idea

Chapter 2: The Beginnings of an Idea…

Captain America: I eventually left Fiserv only to return a few years later, in 2000, this time as General Counsel. Dave had long since left to join J.P. Morgan. Shannon and Jen were still there. Dave and Shannon got married and Jules and I had our first son, Luca. We were all making that transition from young, struggling graduates to somewhat established thirty-something professionals with families. We were all office workers of various varieties. Jules, by this time, had set aside the practice of law for a time to focus on our young son. In April of 2000, you might remember the tech bubble bursting and the problems that caused in the stock market . It was not a fun time to be in the securities business. The hours were long. Paper multi-millionaires were suddenly millions of dollars in debt to our firm (thanks to borrowing on margin) and their debt was our risk to manage. Before long, I started to realize that the stresses of the work I was doing and the responsibilities of a young family were beginning to get to me.

One afternoon, Jules and I went to visit our buddy Rob and his wife who had just had a daughter. Dave and Shannon were going to be there too. We were all going to visit and “see the baby”. Jules and Shannon were in the living room with Rob’s wife “seeing the baby”. All babies look the same to me, so Dave, Rob and I were sitting in the dining room, drinking a bottle of wine like it was the last one remaining on earth and talking about our respective jobs. We quickly agreed that we needed a change in our lives. We also, almost as quickly, realized that we were not qualified, at this stage of our lives, to really do anything other than what we were presently doing. That, however, actually proved to be a pretty liberating realization. If we are qualified to do nothing else, then there are no limits – we would have the whole wide world of things we are not qualified to do to choose from. Once we choose something, all that would remain would be to become qualified to do it. Drinking wine truly does inspire genius...

I believe I was the one that held up the bottle we were drinking and suggested we start a winery. We decided on the spot that it was a great idea. We spent the rest of the afternoon planning. We even gave it a name - “Aquila Verde” - which is Italian for “Green Eagle”, all of us being devout fans of the Philadelphia pro football team. Being as Dave and Shannon had just bought a house in Woolwich Twp., New Jersey, Dave volunteered to turn under part of his two acre lawn so that we could plant a test plot of grape vines. He was tired of cutting so much lawn anyway. Do grapes grow in New Jersey? Beats us. It is the Garden State right? So why not?

No comments:

Post a Comment