Our eyes met. The deep lines around his eyes and forehead were new or maybe just more noticeable. He seemed apprehensive. His cheeks were pale and blended into the gray hair around his temples. He was older; today he looked really old. I glanced at Carman. He looked the same. My stomach tightened.
Angelo didn't waste time. He took his seat at the head of the table. He was the oldest of the three of us. After my father's death, Angelo had claimed his position, but filling my father's shoes was difficult for him.
My father had been sent one morning into Manhattan to do an estimate for man named Harry Hellman. The Rossetti brothers got the job, and my father supervised the entire project. That's how Harry and my father became good friends.
When the job was completed, Harry mentioned a new venture and said he was looking for investors. All my father did was express interest, and Harry brought him in. With a single handshake, my father had become one of the investors in the Empire State Building.
During the next two decades he acquired the Central Plaza, the San Maurice, and the Metro Tower our landmark a glass high-rise on Fifth Avenue. By the time of his death in l984, he had added two casinos, a high-tech plant in Seattle, a factory in Chicago and one in Pennsylvania, the Regency Hotel in Miami, and a Caribbean cruise line.
Angelo's voice brought me back. "Well, everyone's here. Let's get started."
The waiter refilled our cups and left.
Angelo sipped his coffee then stood up. "Gentlemen, I know you're wondering why Carman and I called you here. As you know, we have a lucrative business a worldwide business. No one knows mine and," gesturing to me and Carman, "my brothers' affairs better than you three. The fact is Carman and I are getting on in years and our health, at least mine, isn't what it was."
He hesitated then cleared his throat.
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