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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN / The DNA of Character / Editorial List

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Gary Barg

The DNA of Character

Maybe it took decades (okay, many, many decades) for the picture to become clear. But, as I know that so much of my make-up can be attributed to DNAóGrampís hairline (for that I am thankful), Dadís height (nothing personal, Mom, but thankful once again)óI am also drawn to consider the DNA of Character.

Of course, I see traits of my family in my own personalityóMomís humor (check), her sense of style (no trace of that in me), Grampís love of mischief (check), Dadís calmness and ability to reason (well, sometimes). But, as I think back to my childhood, I can also see parts of me actually attributable to my extended family of neighbors.

When I was six, we moved into a neighborhood in North Miami Beach, Florida, and those couples living within the six or eight houses around us became an extended group of parents to me. I now see clearly what parts of my DNA they each provided. Whenever I felt a little Buddy Rich cool (wouldnít that be nice), or stylishly classy (not too very often) or even a fleeting moment of business savvy, I can point out the specific person in our little neighborhood with whom that moment most puts me in touch.

This map of my extended family DNA of Character would not be complete without our beloved Gilda who we lost this week. Calm and always equipped with a wry and warm smile, one of her traits that really stood out for me was her sense of humor. So, if you ever see me being even slightly bawdy in the humor department, you know who you can thank for that. And I do.

If those folks who make up parts of your own DNA of Character are still around, call them today to say thanks. If not, take a moment to thank them in a silent prayer. Like DNA, they will always live on in you and in the loved ones whom you influence, and in those whom they influence Ė and so on and so forth.

Thanks, Gilda. You will always be remembered.

Gary Barg

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