Things My Father Taught Me: Jen Goldszer
I can’t recall how it was we first came to know one another, but Jen Goldszer, director of public relations for America’s leather jacket company, Schott NYC, is one of the nicest people I’ve met in this business of men’s clothing. I’m so happy to share the story and lessons of her father: adventurer, sailor, physician.
My dad got his first sailing lesson from my mom on the Charles River in Boston. It was one of their first dates; and while they ended up capsizing their sailboat, my dad gained a lifelong partner and hobby that would provide some of my favorite family memories. Our summer weekends were spent sailing in and around Boston Harbor, Cape Cod, and on some overnight trips to Martha’s Vineyard. My dad taught my sister and me about nautical navigation, that good knots can be easily untied and to shift back and forth from port to starboard when tacking. I did not know then that what seemed like lessons in leisure would help me navigate life.
As a young, single man, my dad was quite the adventurer. He rode alone on his Triumph Bonneville motorcycle across Europe in 1970. He then went overland to India via Turkey, Afghanistan and Pakistan; it was there, after witnessing so much illness and disease, that he decided to become a physician. I can only imagine the people he met and the places he saw. The world was a very different, much simpler place. From these experiences, he has taught me to expand my horizons, be open to new ideas and opportunities, and he has always encouraged me to try new things. He believes that no matter what the outcome is, failure or success, I will have at least learned something.
Most people would agree my dad is one of the most diligent, dedicated, inspirational people in his field. I believe he has gained respect and success by always remaining positive and looking for the good in all situations. His “don’t take ‘No’ for an answer” approach to life has helped me many times when applied in the competitive world of New York City. If my dad wants to make something happen, he will present a variety of possible options with all paths somehow ending in his favor. That way there appears to be some semblance of choice, but ultimately very little. While it can often create a wake, I have seen how far determination has taken my dad.
I can relate to my dad now more than ever. Life in New York can be demanding; it makes me yearn to decompress on the water. There are no buildings, cars, phone calls, or e-mail, just sky, sea and solitude. It gives me a feeling of freedom unlike any other. We still spend our time together sailing and fishing on Nantucket. Together, we take in the sun, the waves and the salty sea air, all the while shifting starboard to port and port to starboard when tacking. It is probably the most important thing he has taught me; to shift effortlessly between hard work and adventure, to know which way the wind is blowing and always being in tune to the balance of the boat.