Family History In New York

NYC 2015-07-02 4 (120 Wall Street)

This is 120 Wall Street in New York’s financial district. It is the last building on the iconic thoroughfare, standing by the FDR Drive and East River. (They say that Wall Street begins in a graveyard and ends in a river. It’s literally true.) The photo was taken from the Brooklyn Bridge.

My father, John Crowe, spent most of his career working in this building. He was not in securities or banking, but rather commodities. Sugar, specifically. The company was a brokerage, middlemen between refiners and food products companies. He was the sales manager. Pepsi-Cola, for example, bought all its sugar from him. He wrote the weekly sugar column for the Journal of Commerce, a business newspaper that once rivaled the Wall Street Journal.

His office was on the side of the building seen here, facing the East River. When I was a child I loved to go with him on Saturdays. While he caught up on paperwork, I would play with the office equipment, including an old-fashioned switchboard, and watch the boats chug up and down the river.

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