|By Fuat Kircaali||
|May 13, 2009 11:00 PM EDT||
In July 1999, a man opened fire and killed 22 people at a day trading office in Atlanta. The firm was owned by Harvey Houtkin and that was the first time I saw him - on CNN during the news coverage. That day I realized Harvey's office was located in Montvale, New Jersey, the town next to Pearl River, New York, where SYS-CON's headquarters were located.
Pearl River is a quiet little Irish town where many residents are cops and firefighters in New York City. We lost many of our neighbors during the 9/11 attacks, with countless funerals taking place in our churches. I remember seeing Bill Clinton one day attending one of the funeral services.
When we moved our offices to Montvale, New Jersey, the buyer for our old office building in Pearl River happened to be Harvey. That's how we met for the first time. Today I drove to Pearl River, had a meatball hero from Munnos Italian Deli, the best lunch in town, and visited the building I sold to Harvey. His reserved parking sign was still there. I don't know how many people in Pearl River actually know what H.H. means.
Harvey later moved his radio studio to this building. A few years later I ran into him at Stein's Bagels in Montvale. I said "Harvey, where have you been? You disappeared. I haven't seen you for a long time."
He said he had moved to Florida and gave me his business card, which read "Harvey Houtkin, 95' Azimut." He bought a nice-size boat and was living near Miami, enjoying life. He invited me on his boat and I visited him one weekend. He had his trading station set up in the bow stateroom, and was having a good time while working. I invited him to a reception I hosted at Cipriani in New York City. Harvey and his beautiful wife Sherry joined us. That was the last time I saw Harvey.
Last Friday I was on the phone with one of our attorneys who happened to be Harvey's tenant. Janice told me about his passing. It was shocking news to me. Harvey will be missed by his friends and all the people who knew him.
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