I am John Dowling and I am here with Model Citizen Robert Bartol, a partner in the men’s clothier company in Glen Head, B2Bespoke. Now tell me because you’ve been in the men’s fashion world for quite a while, haven’t you?
Robert: I was, so to speak, born with a thimble. My parents were both tailors. So for my whole life, I’ve been in the business.
John: So, your parents were tailors?
Robert: Yes, they were. My dad was a tailor in Europe. He used to work in Germany at the Opera House. He made all the costumes for the theater, and my mom was a seamstress.
John: So, it is a family business.
Robert: Yes, it is very much a family business.
John: What drew you to men’s clothing? What is it about men’s fashion that attracted you to the business?
Robert: I always liked creativity, since I was born into this profession and it’s always been around me, I actually like the creative part of the job. I have many things I like to do like cooking, but tailoring is my passion. I like to make people feel good, look good, that is my passion
John: Congratulations Steve on being nominated for Model Citizens Magazine. You are a former County Executive, an attorney and now an author. I understand that you have a new book.
Steve: I do and I’m very excited about it. It’s called, “Solutions to America’s Problems”, with the subtext being; “A Politically Incorrect Conservatives Take on How to Maintain America’s Greatness”.
It’s going to be in the nonfiction section of bookstores and also available on Amazon. You can go to my website stevelevy.Info for more information
John: Tell us more about what this book is about, because you’ve been out of politics for a while now. For those readers who don’t know you were the former County Executive of Suffolk County, as far as I ever knew you did a wonderful job. Can you give me more details about the book, what do you think is going wrong and what do you think is going right, and how do you think we should fix it? Give us your Insight.
Steve: The point of the book was to put something out there that differentiates itself from the typical book that is yelling at the other side and basically restating what the problems are. We know what the problems are.
John: What are the problems?
Steve: I delineate about fifteen or sixteen different chapters dealing with everything from climate change to our electoral process to the Supreme Court, which is very timely. This was written prior to the Ginsberg passing.
John: I think everyone knew she was on her way out. She had such an amazing life.
Steve: Right, right, and now that leaves all kinds of controversies. I also talk about foreign policy and how to deal with the Middle East crisis, which I wrote about prior to these latest peace proposals.
I first hopped on the stand three summers ago, the lifeguard stand that is, unaware and nervous of when I would have to make my first save. I had spent the previous two weeks receiving the proper training and obtaining the certifications necessary to become a lifeguard. Despite all the hours of testing, countless laps, and many rescues I made throughout my weeks of training, why was I still nervous when I went up on the stand for the first time?
The last two words of that question are the most important, first time. No matter what anyone strives to be or achieve, doing something for the first time is always scary. Whether it be riding a bike, the first day at a new job (in my case) or going on a roller coaster, doing something new for the first time is bound to make anybody nervous.
As I sat on the lifeguard stand in my expensive bathing suit, with my sunglasses over my face and my red whistle in my mouth, I’m sure I looked calm, cool and collected on the outside. However, on the inside, I was a nervous wreck. I mean sure, I had done drills and made practice saves over and over again for the past 14 days, but if ever and whenever the time actually came, could I do my job?
Sometimes you just have to stop in the middle of an interview and wipe the mosquitos from your leg no matter what you do to the camera and the shot. No longer is it the air-conditioned studio or amazing restaurant as the set for interviews but parks and beaches. Even outside Model Citizens Offices.
In this case our socially distant makeshift studio was completely closed, iconic, Long Island Amusement Park, Adventureland. Yes Model Citizen Kershel Anthony brought his This is my Swag Foundation members to Adventureland for Model Citizens Magazine to produce his TV commercial and promotional photos for his upcoming event there. This socially disetant event will be much different than others.
Kershel Anthony has rented out the giant theater in the parking lot behind the park for a once in a lifetime event. That’s right the entire ginormous parking lot that has the huge dance stage across from the entrance to the park! Kershel and his This is My Swag foundation members are going to socially dance themselves into the future with music, and entertainment, and hundreds of children dancing safely together. Saturday, October 17th from 9 am till noon be prepared for fun!
John: Greg, you’ve been nominated as a Model Citizen for the October issue of Model Citizen Magazine because of your service to our country and our community, and because of the way you have battled cancer and survived, twice. For our readers could you first please share a little bit about what you have been through with your health and what your status is now?
Greg: Currently, I’m in remission from cancer. In 2013, I was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and immediately had to go into aggressive chemotherapy treatments for six months every 3-weeks having chemo sessions. I’ve made it through that.
John: What is it like to be on chemo, for someone who has never gone through it?
Greg: First I’d like to say I had a really good doctor, Dr. Gostanian of Medical Oncology,I must give her a lot of credit. She did warn me about my first chemo treatment brutal and would only get worse over time. It’s cumulative, a lot of people don’t know that.
John: A lot of people do not know anything about it.
John: Is it a chemical or a pill?
Greg: It’s a chemical.
Greg: That’s why you need to be closely monitored for your heart and lungs issues, there can be scarring of the lungs and other side effects. What it does is it kills cancer, obviously, but it brings you close to death.
John: Is it like I’ve heard where they bring you to the brink of death, so that they kill off all of the cancer cells they can, but it is still killing you slower than cancer?
Greg: You can’t stay on for too long, it actually does a lot of damage to your body, but it’s killing cancer at the same time. So it’s a good thing, but also a bad thing. A lot of people come out of it with a lot of side-effects that they must live with for the rest of their lives. Before I say anything else, I have to say I come from a family of seven. I had a single mother and I give her a lot of credit. She’s a very tough woman. I think that’s where I get my toughness from and my sense of tomorrow will be better, I get that from her.