My dad, Edward Stephany, was always the strict head of the household with some pretty hard and fast rules. He had strong feelings about a number of things, and right was right and wrong was wrong. That said, we kids were not held back but instead encouraged to go do what we were going to do.
Once we became teenagers, Dad defined how we would pursue higher education. First – he would pay for 4 years only. We could graduate or not (please do!), but 4 years was what he would buy. Further education was negotiable. He wanted us to study hard and do the very best that we could, but there was no oppressive mandate for high marks – unless he figured that we were goofing off and squandering our opportunity. Secondly, he wanted us all to leave the state of Florida. He thought that we had an “artificial” upbringing in surf sun and fun south FL; and he wanted us to have new experiences – real world experiences beyond the beach, boating and water-skiing. So it was with that attitude and advice, coupled with a subscription to National Geographic, which convinced me to not only explore outside of Florida, but also wander the world. After getting my degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in Washington DC, I began a few-decade career in international banking.
I love this photo of my father pointing over yonder, while we kids were too short to see over the hill and too inexperienced to know what we were looking at….looking for? Do I credit Dad with Pfeffersnaps? Kind of….he is quite the cookie monster. But perhaps in a more general sense he clearly said that he wanted us to do our best, and go find out what we could do. And there you have it…. can this former bank executive be a pfabulous cookie purveyor? Yes, indeed.