I promised you a look inside a very talented, yet unorthodox cast of characters called my family. People who welcome you with open arms and who you feel like you knew for years when it’s only been a matter of minutes. Real salt of the earth. My kids joke that everything I am I owe to spaghetti. Well, truth be told, everything I am I owe to those who have gone before me. Like my dad always says:
We may not have it all together, but together we have it all…
- A Family Business or How Italian Food Conquered the World
Hardly a day goes by where I don’t pause to appreciate those who have paved the way for my family to succeed in all aspects of life. Whether it be a 30-year-old law practice; our growing SOUTH FLORIDA restaurant business or performance on the collegiate athletic fields, it all starts with a fundamental foundation.
- Who Do You Want to Be?
I recently attended my son Dan’s graduation from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. It was a celebration in many ways beyond the obvious significance of Dan’s accomplishment. From my own selfish standpoint, it marked the graduation of our fourth child from college (not to mention two who have completed graduate school) and the elimination of an enormous amount of tuition. But more importantly, it was yet another celebration of family and all the blessings a family can bring.
- Green This, Green That
Everywhere we turn nowadays, we are bombarded with “green this and green that” and the idea of sustainability. Many of you, including me, have probably wondered what does this really mean. In simplest terms, sustainability focuses on minimizing the impacts a particular industry has on our environment. In other words, sustainability is the capacity to endure and remain productive over time. Ways of living more sustainable can take many forms from reorganizing living conditions (eco-municipalities) to reappraising building practices (sustainable architecture and design) to basically adjusting individual lifestyles to conserve natural resources.
- Hire the Athlete to Represent You
A few months back the most decorated American Winter Olympic athlete of all time, Apolo Ohno, was a weekend guest at the home of my daughter Nicole while he was making a personal appearance tour which included Philadelphia. A gracious guest, Apolo openly shared much of his personal story as a youth as well as the philosophy he has discovered along the way. It’s a philosophy not just about sport, but about life. In his book Zero Regrets, he shares his secrets for achieving total focus and mental toughness. Of course, Apolo’s application of such focus is based in the experience of competing against the most talented skaters on the planet in full view of the eyes of millions of fans around the world. But Apolo’s philosophy is as much about life as it is about sport.
- The Sunniest Day of All
My wife Julia and I have been blessed five times with healthy children who have grown into young adults. It seems like only yesterday that all five were in tow loaded into the Volkswagen Vanagon for a trip to Grandmom’s, the little league field, or just out to get an ice cream cone. With ten hands to hold, every trip was an adventure. And who can forget our insane idea to go to Disney World. The endless luggage; the airport shuttle to the remote (a/k/a cheap) rental car lot; seven of us in a one-bedroom hotel and the madness of the daily trek to the park with five kids ages 1 to 10. How did we do it? Well the real answer is we didn’t do it, Julia did it.
- Luca Brasi Sleeps With The Fishes
Sleeping with the fishes is a reference to an old Sicilian message. Fish are wrapped in an article of clothing belonging to a person who has been hit, whacked, or otherwise killed, and it is then wrapped in newspaper and delivered to the Capos. The delivery signifies that the member is dead and at the bottom of the sea.But for Grandmom Stampone and all Stampones who have followed her, sleeping with the fishes is my reference to the hard work leading up to an elaborate multicourse celebration of La Vigilia (Eve in Italian), which takes place on Christmas Eve.
- Stampone Family Cookbook
Eating is a serious matter in Italy and is just as serious in the Stampone Family. It seems Italians learn to cook before they learn to walk or talk. Whether at home with family and friends, or in a fancy restaurant for a special occasion, cooking Italian style is synonymous with fresh flavors, great wine, and the best of friends. Whether rustic or sophisticated, Italian cooking has always been based on fresh seasonal ingredients.
- When You Come to a Fork in the Road, Take It
My cousin Kevin O’Brien recently graduated from Widener University School of Law and I could not be happier for him. Kevin was born to be an attorney; he is equipped with the passion, professionalism, and the know-how (not to mention the wardrobe) to be a successful attorney. While I am certainly envious he has scaled the mountain I have yet to begin, he has left in his wake a trail for me to follow. I began working at Stampone Law this past September and already Kevin has been a great mentor. But I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s backtrack to May of 2011, the month I graduated from Catholic University in Washington DC. Like many of my peers, I walked off campus diploma in hand, ready to tackle the world, and began to think; what now?