In loving memory of my dad, Carl Charschan

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In loving memory of my dad, Carl Charschan Who was my dad, Carl Charschan? My dad was a kind, gentle and fun man with a great sense of humor.   He had a caring warmth about him and would always ask you about how you were doing.   He was a great listener and would often offer great advice based on his many years of raising a family, having a great marriage, having traveled to many places around the world. He had an intuitive business sense. My Dad, was very close with his brother Sid, and they constantly looked out for one another. They were both brilliant engineers, and my dad graduated City College as a civil engineer. My dad looked for better opportunities as an engineer after he helped a company he worked for secure a huge profitable project. He saw the potential to do this on his own and was optimistic he would succeed. He left his company after meeting Paul Bunea who owned an ornamental steel fabricating company called Theiss Ornamental. Paul needed the talents of an estimator since his company at the time was unprofitable. My grandma placed a huge bet on my dad and my dad, knew that going into business when he had a wife at home with a small child, me was risky, but he had faith in himself and saw this as a defining moment for his career as an engineer. What once was an unprofitable company became a great opportunity for both Dad and his partner. The success of Theiss allowed my dad to buy his first home in Woodmere where my parents lived until just a couple of years ago and where Rich and I grew up. Both I at the age of 18 and my cousin Bill for a short time in between his school semesters, worked in my dad’s shop. These were memories that cousin Bill and I still treasure in our memories of my dad . I remember one day, I had to deliver a 2 ton piece of steel placed on the top of this old truck which had thousands of miles on it and had a stick shift. My dad trusted me to deliver this to the job site and was optimistic that the age of 18 I could do this safely, so off I went, learning how to drive a shift with tons of steel on top of it. The truck stalled out at an intersection on Queens Blvd among honking car horns and traffic. I finally got it started again, got it in gear and made it to the job site.   Perhaps this is why I have my fathers can do attitude.   My father was an optimistic guy and doing scary things like this may have helped me overcome many obstacles in school and while growing up. I was unaware that I was being mentored in ways I could not fully understand at that young age. Paul and Carl had the foresight for buy the building that Theiss was located in which was a great decision that paid off many years later. Eventually, he and Paul eventually sold the business when Dad became ill. This was a difficult time for all of us, since it coincided with my entering college which originally would have included going away to school. Since my dad was not working, I went to Queensborough Community College instead as it was what we could afford. It was a great decision for me since I had a good education while meeting some of my dearest friends. A year or so later, dad met Burt Goldstein who sold construction specialty items but was barely making a living. Dad saw the potential for this business to grow.   In a few years, both Burt and Carl were making a nice income and I had decided to follow in my dad’s and Uncle Sid’s footsteps, by going to University of Buffalo for biomedical engineering.   Those of you who know me, know that engineering turned out not to be my true calling. Dad and Burt eventually purchased a building to house their growing business. After a year there, working very hard, my parents suggested looking into chiropractic as my career path.   I eventually took the risk with the support of my parents who turned out to be right. My dad had faith in me that I had what it took to become a doctor of chiropractic. I graduated, got my first two jobs as a chiropractor and then dad and mom helped me get into business by myself, as my grandmother did for my dad years ago. I hope I have made them both proud. My dad was a forward thinking optimist who looked out for his boys and helped guide them into their respective careers.   He also helped us understand the value of money from the time we were young. Dad’s philosophy was that if you want it, work for it and you can buy it.   While it was tough having to work for everything, it gave me and my brother Rich a great work ethic and his sense of optimism.   It also helped us develop the drive to achieve our dreams, without short cuts. We learned to depend on ourselves, our skills, and have faith that things will work out if you think optimistically. My dad also helped my Brother Richard develop his business while he worked for him. He mentored him and for two years helped him get his business off the ground. Today, my brother a very successful home theater design business that is housed in my father’s old building. I am very proud of him and my dad was too. I remember years ago we would go on party boats fishing with a few family friends.   My father understood the Maimonides Quote; “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” He taught this to his sons. We live that way and I hope my children are learning these same life lessons. He would always say “Think positive and positive things will happen”. As my wife Beth would tell you, I am the eternal optimist, courtesy of my dad.   He was right. When others worry about what if, I think about how can I and then make it happen. My dad was an eternal optimist and it rubbed off. My engagement party could have been rained out in my parent’s back yard but it didn’t. Other events they planned never had a plan B. Even with health, optimism prevailed regardless of the outcome, because things can always be good or get better and there is no reason to worry unless there is a real reason to. He also led by example.  He always told me to own my own real estate for my business. Owning the property was great business advice and I am thankful I listened to him years ago . Dad and mom had a great marriage, traveling the world, sharing a great friendship while always stressing the importance of family.   Holidays were family events and their home was often the center of it, during thanksgiving and Chanukah. We have now taken over that role for certain holidays and my brother Richard has taken it over for other holidays. We hope our children will do the same. My dad was never wealthy, but yet he was in that he was with a wealth of great friends, a good family, a great marriage, a home in Florida they loved and a good business and business sense and he traveled and experienced the world. My dad had it all. He was honored by Construction Specialties, the company he represented and did most of his business with over the years. My dad was a good salesman, a successful business man and it must have rubbed off on his children, myself and Richard. When I was young, before I had my first car, I depended on bicycles to get to my friends.   My parents always told me that if I wanted to go somewhere, get on your bike and go. Were these roads dangerous; for most people, yes but my bike was my main transportation method while I was younger and I did not have a car to drive. I’m still here and have very few fears as a result of these experiences. I would always get on my bike with the optimism I would arrive safely and that I would be fine. My dad was optimistic I would be ok as well. Dad could always eat me under the table at most restaurants. We always wondered where it all went.   He was never a heavy man and was athletic in his prime, playing tennis in a regular game, similar to what I do now. Coincidence, I don’t think so. My dad taught me many things.. Who was Carl Charschan? An eternal optimist. A great teacher and mentor. A great family man who even toward the end stressed the importance of family. A smart man with a great amount of ingenuity. A loving father. A loving father in law A loving grandfather A great Husband. And a great friend to everyone he knew, especially me. Dad you will forever be in our hearts, minds and memories. We love you dad. One more thing... My mom wanted a grave site service.  There was no contingency for bad weather, other than bring an umbrella. The weather held out until our service ended and our own personal last goodbyes were said by those who loved him.  Then, after we had finished, we saw thunder in the distance and then it rained hard on the way to my brothers home, flooding out roads along the way. We sat shiva with family, friends and loved ones. In the spirt of my optimistic dad, there was no plan B.