Hank Boerner
Hank Boerner


Boerner's Corner - The Spirit of America Update - (03-24-05) CAN THE SPIRIT OF OLD ANDY CARNEGIE GUIDE US TODAY?

June 2006 post


By Howard Fisher - Summer 2006

This is a different kind of success story.

Success is not always about wealth or fame.

For most, success is achieved through personal growth, satisfying careers, comfortable lifestyles and rewarding relationships.

This is a story for people of all ages to provide:

  • something positive and uplifting;
  • inspiration, not by famous movie, TV or sports stars, but by ordinary people;
  • examples of the significance in ordinary lives so people can feel better about their own lives;
  • youngsters with direction, motivation and experiences that illustrate how people order their lives and how parents can have more of an impact on the lives of their children;
  • an understanding of what values, traits and thought processes are essential to the development of successful lives.

It is hoped that my book will change some habits, nudge people of all ages in the right direction and encourage them to explore ways to make their lives successful.

This is a positive, upbeat, revealing portrait of 11 men from Holland Avenue in the Bronx, New York spanning more than 60 years. (The Bronx is one of the five boroughs or counties that comprise the greater incorporation of New York City.)

An emotional, passionate, psychological portrayal, the book shows how each of these Boys - coming from working class backgrounds -- developed with respect to personal growth, careers, lifestyles and relationships while maintaining a camaraderie, brotherhood and intimacy through interaction and support for each other.

Their stories vividly reflect character traits that have contributed to their successes and helped them overcome obstacles. The accounts show genuine feelings for each other, recounts poignant memories of their early lifestyle, informs as to how their successes have impacted on wives, children, parents and others and tells how they see their futures developing.

This book is intended to reveal much about human relationships and evidences the effect on the Boys' growth of environment, education, recreation, religion, societal and social pressures, family and peers. My book captures important aspects of their development, such as competition engendered by street games, reunions, role models and career, personal and educational choices.

Readers will be able to gain an insight into urban life of a now-bygone era in terms of values, support systems, opportunities and obstacles to success. This story also suggests how we can recapture some of these values and resources for current and future generations.

Holland Avenue in the Bronx

Holland Avenue in the Bronx Borough (county) may have been like thousands of other streets in New York City in the 1940s and 1950s. But some of its former residents have forged a rare bond and lived the good life for more than six decades. Their individual successes are not so different from millions of other big city natives. However, how they achieved these successes and the ties that among such a large group have endured and flourished over such a long period of time make this a compelling, revealing and instructive story.

The Bronx Times newspaper said about the Holland Avenue Boys' story, " It is a revealing portrait with ups and downs, heartbreak and hardship, camaraderie and conflict, joy and passion, love and reverence for a bygone era and spanning more than (60) years."

It is a piece of history that reaches across generational lines. The book is based on the acclaimed film of the same name. (www.A1documentaries.com)

A Teachers-Facilitators Guide, Pointers for Parents, Friendship Poem and the Boys' Creed are included in the book.

About the Boys in the Book

One man had an "ideal" divorce.

Another loved his wife so much that he married her twice.

One man's daughter proudly proclaimed that her father could "read a book and build a house." (He did.)

Another was told by his high school guidance counselor that he should not try to become an engineer because it was difficult for Jews at that time - even though he had built the Eiffel Tower out of toothpicks at the age of 9.

One man helped develop the granola bar and Uncle Ben's Rice -- after he almost didn't make it through college.

Another man founded a museum of jazz even though he never played a lick.

One of the Boys became a distinguished cancer doctor even after having been diagnosed with a debilitating muscle disease.

A college dropout became a jet pilot in the Vietnam war, the U.S. Presidents' travel advance man and Air Attache to Morocco, where his daughter played at the palace with the niece of the King.

One of the Boys became a world-renowned physicist - in Israel - and passed away before his time.

Another built a newspaper about antiques and collectibles topping 40 pages and 292 advertisers -- without any employees.

One of the Boys overcame a devastating business loss and resulting depression to rebuild his life and a new business.

Another built a 70-employee garment business, retired at age 48, but could tell people only that he was "semi-retired."

One of the Boys' father said "every one of them, The Holland Avenue Boys, I would be proud to call my son."

One of the Boys' wives had only one regret - "that I was not one of the Holland Avenue Boys."

For more information:

"The Holland Avenue Boys: A Success Story" authored by Howard E. Fischer
Published by Sundog Ltd. Nashville, Tennessee
ISBN 1-59744-059-0
Softcover, 176 pages with illustrations
Publication Date: September 2006

Contact telephone: 212-579-0689
Email: info@HollandAvenueBoys.com
Web site: http://www.HollandAvenueBoys.com

Copyright 2005 H.L. Boerner. All rights reserved.

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