HE SAYS:

I have already mentioned that I first came to USFSB in order to help take care of the business during my brother’s illness.   There is much more to the story then that.

Paul Cardamone was a consummate politician and the successful owner, operator of USFSB, but, most important to me, he was my younger brother.   He was vibrate, energetic and, certainly, was enjoying his life as an eligible bachelor.

This all changed when our mother passed away in 1993.   He took her death very hard and over the course of the next year he lost a lot of weight, drank heavily, and let his heath deteriorate.  In the fall of 1994, his behavior and conversations started to become bizarre and became progressively worse over the next several months.  

Friends and business associates of my brother started to contact me to both tell me how strange he was becoming and to ask me to intercede before he destroyed himself and his business.   Even his employees contacted me in an effort to stop him from running the business into the ground.  It became a full time job protecting my brother from himself and the many predators who were trying to take advantage of his condition.  Luckily, both my legal training and the fact that I knew many people in the community provided me with the ability to keep my brother from getting into any serious trouble.

Thinking that my brother might be having a nervous breakdown or suffering from a mental illness, my wife and I, with my father’s blessing, recruited some close friends of my brother to have an intervention.  The intervention did not go well and resulted in the police being called and my brother being admitted into the hospital for observation.   He blamed me for the intervention and this caused a rift between my brother and I that was never healed.  He lashed out at me and even tried to sue me.  In his condition, he simply could not understand that I was only trying to help him.

Eventually, we learned that my brother had a terminal illness that was affecting his brain. This caused him to become bedridden and non-responsive for the last year of his life.  He needed round the clock medical assistance, in his home.   Since we did not want him to be cared for only by strangers, I would take time from operating USFSB and my law practice to visit with him almost every day even though he was unable to communicate with me or even acknowledge my presence.  My father and I would stay overnight with him each night.  My father during the week and me on the weekends.  This put quite a strain on my life and family, but, fortunately, my family understood and supported me in this effort.

The loss of my only brother was profound, particularly, since we never had any closure.  Coming to USFSB was not an easy thing for me to do, under these circumstances, and there is not a day that goes by when I do not think of my brother as I sit in his old office here at USFSB.

WHAT DO YOU SAY?