Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11/2001 Remembering John Schwartz......

A Lifelong New Yorker

John Schwartz may have spent his childhood in the suburbs, on a rustic property in Alpine, N.J., but by the time he was grown it was clear to his family that he would be a lifelong New Yorker. "It was hard to drag him out to the country to see Mom and Dad," his mother, Joyce, recalled, "because there was always so much in the city that interested him."

Mr. Schwartz, who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, frequented museums and took long walks along the river with his wife, Ching-Ping Peng. In warm weather he could be found on the roof of his apartment house on the Upper West Side, sometimes with a glass of wine in hand, always gazing out at the urban panorama below.

He loved art and music and history. When he traveled abroad, he always knew more about historic sites than most of the other people visiting them.

"If he went to an old monastery, he would walk in and he already knew what to look for, or he recognized the old masters on the walls," his mother said.

Here are some of the nice things people had to say about him.


John's passion for his work was without limit. When he worked for Prudential Bache, he would call me nearly every day and keep me on the phone for an hour, though most of the time he put me on hold so that he could deal with his accounts.
When he moved to Cantor, his time was at a premium and communication between us during the day was mostly by email, but there was a ton of that coming from his desk. After 27 years of friendship, this gave us the opportunity to communicate by writing, which opened up new levels of expression. His accounts of watching hawks from the roof of his apartment building were very florid, or he would go into great detail about a new opera CD he had just acquired. When I visited him at his apartment, after removing my shoes, giving his cats a loving scratch and settling in on his sofa, I might be subjected to a healthy dose of Wagner, followed by Mr. Tambourine Man, by The Byrds, his favorite rock and roll group.

In recent years, John became an avid fan of European travel. He adored the French countryside and the beauty of Italy. A few weeks ago, my phone rang. It was John calling from Pienza, Italy. It was 11PM there and I could hear churchbells tolling the hour. John had called to share the experience with me. He wanted me to feel, see and hear the peace and beauty of the people and the place. I'll never forget his saying, "It's only $1.35 a minute... Who Cares?!" He continued walking from church to church so I could hear the bells. He said he was in heaven. We will all miss him deeply.

And, my message to John is, "My heart and mind have a permanent place for you."

Mark Lee Rotenberg (Milford, NJ )

March 11, 2002
John and I were basically aquantances for 6 years. I would see John at the gym almost everyday(and I work there) and we would always say hello by name. He was one of the people that made going to the gym feel like home and I am only sorry we never got to know eachother better. Always happy and always sweating and working hard. I envied his work ethic.

pete dominick (new york, NY )


Blogger Sara said...

Randi, that is a wonderful thing for you to do. Thank you.

11:05 AM, September 11, 2006


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