By Paul Pannone
Len, “Lenny”, Seidman passed away at the age of 90 on the 23rd of October. Seidman worked for Elite accessories in Miami in tha late 1990′s and early 2000′s as sales manager after a career in the military. His grandson wrote a touching piece about Len in New York Magazine that gives an insight to the man he was, detailing a rich life that he modestly kept to himself.
Regimented, not rigid, Lenny Seidman would listen, learn and in the end reason amicable conclusions to very complicated problems.
An interview with one of Lenny’s three daughters, Ilene, absolutely agrees with his depiction in the story …once he made up his mind that something was right, nothing could budge him.
“That was him alright. Dad would listen to every word you said but if he felt you were off base you would know it immediately. He didn’t mince words and always cut to the chase. He wasn’t one for frivolous discussion and always wanted to come away from an exchange with clear resolve,” says Ilene.
Our relationship with Lenny began with contentious exchanges regarding manufacturer abuses against retailers while writing E-Formal News; a pioneer newsletter to the tuxedo business that began in 1999. Seidman could not understand how anyone could question authority and criticize the structure of the business that had manufacturers controlling what was in style and retailers following their decree. For years Seidman sided with fellow manufacturers, polarizing the men’s formal wear business. The frank discussions did eventually bring about changes and gave retailers a greater voice in style creation.
The turning point in my relationship with Len Seidman and other manufacturers came on the morning of September 11, 2001. After a day of heated battle on the 10th of September, I awoke to the reports of what was happening in New York, Washington D.C and Pennsylvania. It was early in Las Vegas but I made my way down to the restaurant. Len was already there in his usual suit and tie, reading the morning paper.
“My dad read at least two papers daily, so yes, that was him,” concurs his daughter, Ilene.
Obviously Len didn’t have a clue to what was happening in New York. When I told him about the attacks he was stunned. I will never forget the look that came over him or what he said: “this is the first attack on American soil– ever.”
Len Seidman will always be remembered as a patriot and the love for his country. His embodiment and sense of strength for the injustices he fought against were the basis of why America was founded in the first place.
I lost touch with Len years ago. Although I wonder what he would have thought of the current events, specifically about the Occupy movement, I could easily piece together his views. They would include defending the right to assemble and protest. But also, Len would put the law and greater good of his beloved United States; the way he knew and saw it, before all else.
All Rights Reserved