It’s Good to be (Sky) King

Traffic jams are for the Little People

Traffic jams are for the Little People

Brunswick Boys golf team, stuck in traffic, calls Dad for a chartered flight to Fisher’s Island.

We all want to raise our children to be determined and resourceful, and what demonstrates those qualities better than knowing when to pop out the ol’ cellphone and call dad for a quick flight?

Greenwich Time reports that the boys won their match but I believe they’d already done that when the Beechraft Bonanza touched down on the runway.

18 Comments

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18 responses to “It’s Good to be (Sky) King

  1. InfoDiva

    Did they get from the airport at Fishers Island to the golf course by chauffeured limousine?

    I’m a former Brunswick parent, and I’m appalled. No wonder no one connected with this is returning calls.

  2. The Duke of Deception

    blah blah blah carbon footprint blah blah blah…

  3. Riverside Dog Walker

    Maybe all these people posting as Anonymous and making ridiculous statements about other people’s IQ, not being safe in any automobile other than an AMG, etc. are Brunswick grads………

  4. Old School Grump

    I bet this will get picked up by the national newswires and printed all over the place in order to stoke the fires of class warfare. Note to people who can afford things like this: Discretion is a good thing! Learn to enjoy yourself without being a showoff about it!

  5. WickDad

    Wealth and discretion do not always go hand-in-hand, at Brunswick and elsewhere. However, in this case, we might want to consider that it was the exigent circumstances that forced a resourceful kid to find a solution to a sudeen problem.

    Yes, it is over the top but does anyone consider that a truly outrageous case of over indulgence would have been if the team had taken planes out of Westchester County Airport in the first place. Given you can nearly throw stones from the Brunswick King Street campus to the runway at HPN, that would have really cut down the commute time to Fischers. But like every other school in the area, the kids were using personal vehicles and driving to the game.

    I am a Brunwick dad with several sons at the school. I am not one of the uber-rich and I do not have any friends with a couple of small planes at my disposal. I am not a hedge fund centimillionaire nor the beneficiary of generational wealth.
    Given my middle class upbringing, I can assure you that I bristle at the ostentatious displays of wealth that sometime intersect with the Brunswick experience (i.e. having a popular touring band perform at a bar mitzvah). Some parents have more money than they know what to do with and feel no obligation to teach their kids about how the rest of the world lives. Others do.

    Was this episode newsworthy? Sure, but only because it is so unusual. Sadly, other aspects of Brunswick life never get mentioned in the press. Have you ever read that a part of the 8th grade spends hours each week doing community service? That some of the boys visit children with serious or fatal diseases at a children’s hospital? Do you read about the boxes of “goodies” that the boys assemble and send to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan? The food drives? The charitable fund raising conducted by the boys? How about the boys who visit the elderly at the local nursing homes? One could argue that these efforts are a bit contrived and I would not disagree. However, at least there is an attempt to teach the boys something about giving back. Unfortunately, seldom are these efforts newsworthy and, like many things, it is the more inciteful episodes that get the press.

    I appreciate that it is easy to read an article like the one above and be troubled by the display of wealth that it represents. I understand that there are readers out there who for a range of reasons are inclined to believe the worst about the families who send their kids to expensive private schools. And I further appreciate the nasty little corner in many people’s brains that takes some enjoyment in watching the overlords get their cumuppence, even if it is just a bit of local public embarrassment. The Seymour-Brant divorce articles are clearly another recent example.

    However, I object to the broadbrush that some may be inclined to use to paint an entire community based on the actions of a few. Not all that go to Brunswick are children of Masters of the Universe nor will then become Masters later in life. In fact, many of the boys, even those whose parents are well off, have a healthy sense of value and fairness.

    While I am inviting ridicule with this comment, I would hope that those of you not prediposed to a negative view may put this episode into a broader perspective.

    Thanks.

    • christopherfountain

      I realize that we live in an unreal world, WickDad, and I’m not really bashing the kids – but here’s a story told by a friend of mine:
      Some years ago, when his boy was 8 or 9, my friend got a call from the father of one of his son’s friends, inviting the boy to join them for “the car race”. My friend agreed and the father, a very nice, famous celebrity here in town, said, “great! The driver will pick him up and take him to Teterboro – we’ll have him home right before 10 tonight.” It turned out that the invitation was to fly by private jet to Indianapolis to watch the Indy 500 that day. My friend gently thanked the man but declined on his son’s behalf. As he explained it to me, he didn’t want his son to grow up thinking that that sort of fling was a normal part of life.
      I’m with my friend. Were the Brunswick boys way out of line? Of course not – they had a problem, one of the parents could solve it, hey, grab a plane. I just wonder if that’s the best lesson they might have learned from th eexperience. Sometimes, disappointment and not getting what you want are educational opportunities, too.

  6. Retired IB'er

    Most fun I ever had on Wall Street was as a young associate I had to bring the presentation to a meeting outside of NYC.

    Well the work took longer than we expected, and the senior bankers flew off commercial. I was instructed to finish work and follow on next plane to make the meeting.

    Turns out there were no more commercial flights, which would get me there on time, so I hired a private jet out of Teterboro on the basis of my business card.

    Way cool for a 24 year old back in the early ’80’s.

  7. Retired IB'er

    Further this issue, if I was the Dad, or the guy supplying the plane, I think I would have demurred. I cannot begin to wrap my litigious avoiding mind around the potential liability if there had been a crash.

    And small planes seem to have less success defying the laws of gravity.

  8. edgewater

    congratulations on your thoughtful reply to the brunswick’s dad’s defense. your last sentence says it all, and says it well.

  9. WickDad

    Chris – Yes, there are dozens of such stories. Birthday parties with several Harlem Globetrotters in attendance. The aforementioned party with the full rock band treatment. Quick trips to Montauk for a “little fishing trip” that ends up being aboard one father’s 55′ Bertram for a major tuna tournament. The quick “ski weekend” not in Vermont but in Beaver Creek or at Thunderbird via the private jet. One of my favorites is the family that attends every Notre Dame football game on a day trip using the corporate jet. Think about the carbon footprint of that one!

    And that’s on top of the “standard” yet outrageous ski vacations in Aspen or Vale. The Islands over Christmas. Safaris. Canal trips in Paris. Meeting any number of celebrities back stage at a major act’s concert at the Garden. And that’s just things that come to mind in the past year or two.

    Rest assured, my Wick-attending kids experience “disappointment” almost every day, especially over the past 24 months. They’ve learned that not everyone can keep up with the Joneses when it is the Tudor Joneses.

    By your point on disappoint and the lessons it teaches is well taken. I interview kids like this on a fairly regular basis and the sense of entitlement is surreal. One guy, not yet out of Yale, came to interview for an entry level position on Dad’s request. His suit was custom cut, his shirt from Pink with cuff links that perfectly matched his Zena tie. I am not certain about the shoes but I think the were cordovan. While he was perfectly dressed it would only have been perfect for someone in the C-level suite.

    Anyway, after I spend some time with him, I send in my #2 to pick his brain. My 25 year old son of a hardware salesman comes back after ten minutes with the most confused look on his face. It seems after a couple of superficial questions, this MotU in the making asked my guy, who may have a say in his hiring, “How long do I have to stay in this department before I can transfer to somewhere more interesting? You know, private equity or your internal hedge funds.”

    Needless to say, this punk did not get the job. When his father, a fellow Wick dad called to ask why, I suggested he might have spent less time getting his son custom fit for a $3,000 suit and taught him something about interviewing skills , reading people and restraint. Let’s say I will not be invited to that dad’s club ever again.

    Sadly, I later heard that the kid did find a job in a major hedge fund making more than my #2 gets paid. However, God showed his sense of humor again because Master Jr. got canned when the crap hit the fan at that fund in Summer 07. He now works for his father because he couldn’t find anything else to support the bills he accumulated while working at the HF.

    True story!

  10. Walt

    WickDad –
    Get a life. And welcome to the party. You have several sons at the school? Good for you. So you are no slouch. Now let the pimply faced little kids work at McDonalds and flip Chris a burger. So they will understand what work is.
    And if you see Stephanie, ask her to call me. Chris keeps dropping the ball on this.
    Thanks.
    Your Pal,
    Walt

  11. digler

    http://www.wired.com/cars/coolwheels/news/2009/05/corporatejets0513

    Their flying days may be numbered. Let them enjoy their time in the air while they can.

  12. InfoDiva

    I am utterly certain that if Tom Philip (headmaster at Wick) had been consulted before this debacle, he would have nixed the plane trip.

    There are many, many good things about Brunswick. They do an admirable job teaching privileged boys restraint and responsibility. Unfortunately, there are parents who undermine this message at every turn.

  13. WickDad

    Walt:

    Eldest son is just 14 so I can’t have them work legally as yet.

    However, last Summer I had him work with my landscaper for a week. Rakes, brooms, shovels and lots of sweat. As they say, priceless.

    BTW, I know a McDonalds franchisee in the area who says they don’t hire high school kids because they are too unreliable. I may have to ask for a favor on that one as your advice is well taken.

    • christopherfountain

      WickDad, are you old enough to remember (I am, alas) when McDonalds kids actually added up purchases and calculated change due back on paper pads? Simple math, and there were occasional discussions over whether my math or theirs was correct but for the most part, the system worked. No disprespect to today’s McDonald’s employees but I suspect our educational system isn’t producing many kids who can do that anymore.

      I, by the way, got as far as applying for a job there at 16 but as I was in a back room filling out an application one kid came to work and donned a “Trainee” hat and someone with more experience put on one proclaiming “Hot Apple Pie!”. I left the application on the table and pursued self-employment.

  14. Walt

    WickDad –
    I can hook the kids up with a job. No problem. Seriously.
    And if I owned a McDonalds, I wouldn’t hire them either. The things they think are funny can be pretty disturbing. I had a friend who worked at Chicken Licken and…. Oh forget it. Not going there.
    Anyway, enough about your pimply faced prodigeys. Prodigies? Oh frig it. Your kids.
    If you bump into Stephanie, tell her to call me. She will be glad she did. Chris keeps slacking off on this.

    OFF TO DINNER!!!
    Your Pal,
    Walt

  15. WickDad

    Yes Chris, I remember. I nag my first newspaper delivery job when I was 9 (illegal by two years) and had to collect money each week, meet the area supervisor each Friday to pay him and I had pocket money. Sun, rain, snow nor homework could keep me from delivering those papers. I can’t imagine my 11 year old doing that now, never mind my 9.

    Before fraduating from high school I had also worked scooping ice cream, bussing and waiting tables. I assembled trophies in a trophy shop, fixed and assembled bicycles in a bike shop, pumped gas and fixed flat at a local station. My least favorite job was as a cashier at an A&P in the pre-scanner days. After 3 days of standing in the same place I switched to stock boy.

    I walked or biked or took a public bus to work. At 9 my paper route stretched over three miles round trip and my parents never worried. They also never drove me around to make ny deliveries as my last true paperboy did in Riverside.

    So, can you imagine any of my kids or their peers doing any of these jobs, never mind all of them?

    And Walt, contrary to what ypu may think, I did have quite a life as a kid. Lots of lessons learned about people, money, responsibility and the value of the few bucks in my pocket. And I regret that my kids will not learn similar lessons in a similar manner due to today’s world.

  16. Riverside Dog Walker

    http://www.askmen.com/celebs/women/models/18_stephanie_seymour.html

    Walt,

    You have done as much due diligence on this topic as you did on Bernie. The photos you link to are almost 20 years old. Look at her now, at the ripe old age of 39. She looks like she has been ridden hard and put away wet, a concept you surely understand. If you ran into her in FoodMart, you wouldn’t give her a second glance.

    Best,
    RDW