When a Station Wagon Is More Valuable Than a Red Ferrari

A Good Man – Chapter 15 – JohnA Passaro


I have learned
To be with those I love
Is enough.

Walt Whitman


East Hampton is a beach town.

In the summer the store would be filled with people in bathing suits.

One day, two twenty-something-year-old girls in bikinis came into the store and started flirting with Bill.

Just like Christie Brinkley did in “National Lampoon’s Vacation” when she pulled her red

Ferrari alongside Clarke Griswold’s station wagon and flirted with him as his wife slept in the passenger seat.

It was all very innocent.

Until it wasn’t.

Just as suddenly as Christie Brinkley stripped and jumped into the pool to skinny-dip and urged Clarke to join her – the two girls in bikini’s did the same.

The two girls in the bikinis didn’t actually strip and go skinny-dipping, but they might as well have.

Their flirting quickly escalated to an offer.

I remember very clearly what Bill said as he twirled his wedding ring on his finger.

“I’m flattered – but I’m married.”

But it was in the way he said, “I’m married.”

It wasn’t “I’m married – are you OK with that?”

It was “I’m married” – STOP SIGN.

The two girls didn’t pick up on the difference.

They said, “We’re fine with that.”

To which Bill replied, “I’m sorry – I’m not.”


At the time the eighteen-year-old version of myself thought Bill was crazy.

Today the fifty-year-old version of myself understands he was brilliant.

Character, is doing the right thing, which is always the hard thing, even when no one is watching.

Too many people think the right thing is doing what you want to do, regardless of how it would affect others, and the wrong thing is only to get caught.

Not many people in this world understand when a station wagon is more valuable than the red Ferrari.


Read the next chapter – Mr. Moneybags


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