Monday, March 15, 2010

What A Wonderful World

My friend Tom Cosentino makes his living in the world of public relations. The Bronx native is personable, always shares a wonderful story, (some of the ones from our college days I’ll keep to myself) and grins warmly when he shakes your hand. He's genuine too, always asking how the family is doing.

I've known Tom for 30 years -- yes, 30 years now. (Frightening, Tom, isn't it?) I thought I knew everything about him. Well, I don't. But this is the wonderful part of a long friendship. Each day brings the opportunity to discover something new and surprising.

Today was such a day.

I found out that my friend grew up on the same street as Jazz great Louis Armstrong's adopted son. Mr. Armstong sang one of my all-time favorite songs, "What A Wonderful World." I play it quite often to cheer me up on gloomy days. I also found out that Mr. Amstrong's adopted son, Clarence, was mentally challenged and faced the taunts and jokes of other kids.

Tom looked after Clarence during these rough times, took him to baseball games, involved him in street activities with the other kids. What Tom learned early on in life is that a person’s appearance isn’t important, but rather their heart and soul which matters most.

It would be an injustice if I continued on about Tom's sweet story and his memories of Clarence Armstrong. So, follow the link, and enjoy Tom Cosentino's wonderful world.