R.I.P. Frank Critelli

Afternoon Folks!!

Took me over a week to be able to even write this post. Someone that had a lot of influence in my life died last week. I wrote a little about him here back in 2011. Who knew that just one person could have such a dramatic impact on my life and then my destiny. I really did not realize until this week that he was the 'Linchpin' of my life. It is where my life's story really starts.

Frank Critelli hired me THREE times back in 1973! Never fired me. For the same job. Gave me more chances than I ever deserved. As I said back then, he could take me with a grain of salt, but for whatever reason there has been a lifetime bond.

Without him hiring me and rehiring me again and again during a 9 month period when I was 19-20. I just don't know how my life would have turned out. That 9 month period gave birth to me and what I do and I trace it all back to Frank Critelli hiring me that day and exposing me to a world I would make a living at for the next 20 years and lessons I will carry until I die myself. Many of which I have shared here.

They are all dead now. Al Heller, Frank Critelli, Bob Hayde. All gone. But it was on their shoulders I built a life and a career on. I learned things when I was 19 that folks never see or learn. I made life long friends. 3 of which I have been in contact just today alone.

To reach back nearly 40 years and still have those friends is priceless. Who knew then? We were all 'Kids'. Frank was probably 24 at the time. Dave was maybe 28 back then and we have never lost contact. John was 18 or 19 and I had not heard from him in those 40 years until today via Seymour. Seymour was Ben's brother and Ben fired me I think 2x. Once because my hair was too long and once for the hell of it. lol But Frank would just hire me back the next day.

Frank was a short, stout, good looking Italian guy that you could see liked his pasta. He was smooth as silk and have not seen many in his league in all my years. Matter of fact, the class on 1973 at this 5 store bedroom furniture chain in Los Angeles produced some great talent. I was lucky enough to be there and to this day use what I learned. What Al, Frank, Bob knew and I was LUCKY enough to learn from the very best.

I did not know they were the best then. I found out years later. I went back to thank all three personally. Bob Hayde at a car dealer in Sunnyvale, California, Al Heller in Downey, California and Frank Critelli in Hemet, California. Those guys are my Mount Rushmore. A job that went from May 1973 until February 14th 1974 changed my life, my destiny and equiped me for everything else that came at me from then on. A directionless college drop out that was selling cars met a guy named Frank Critelli and tasted success for the very first time in life. I answered a classified ad and who knew that phone call would be the key to oife? R.I.P. Frank. Thank you!

So to Dave, Seymour, John, Ben and all the others, cheers to crossing paths then and now! That my friends is true destiny!

Rick Schwartz

Update Link Thanks Lonnie!