New Book Offers Humorous Take on Younger Generation’s Views on Wealth

Glenn R. Miller


I turned the corner off Park Avenue and started looking for my newly acquired home. There it is, I thought, that one there.

On the tree-lined stretch of stately condos and apartment buildings, the structure that had technically been in my possession since 7:37 p.m. two weeks ago Tuesday—the determined hour and minute my father suffered his heart attack—announced itself like Dad invariably did when entering into any setting: loudly, with exuberance, and flashing money. I hadn’t seen the building before, much less entered its premises, but I recognized Dad’s unique style from a half block away.

The building burps marble, if not taste. White marble blocks, set at incongruous angles, cover the building’s 12-story facade; black distressed marble spans the distance from the gold-plated front doors to the curb; delicate, pink marble flower boxes hang beneath the second-floor windows and outside the building’s retail space; and finally, a marble statue of a bull protrudes from the building’s front niche.



While fervidly embracing his marble phase during the renovation of the building last year, Dad had informed me in one of our rare cross-country phone conversations that he had removed a headless Greek statue from the recess and replaced it with this commissioned bull. “Bulls signify wealth, Henry. Did you ever know that? Who knew that? But they do!” Adorning the building’s facade with marble blocks did not suffice in announcing my father’s arrival on the Upper East Side. He needed to ride in on a white bull.

Dad’s long-standing financial attorney and closest friend, Judith Guncheon, had reached me early that Wednesday morning, just as I was sitting down with my team at St. Benedict’s Shelter in Los Angeles. Had there been openings at a San Diego agency—or Barrow, Alaska, for that matter—when I was applying for such jobs, I would

have gone after them, thereby putting a few more miles and hills between me and New York City.

Sadly, nothing was available.



Judith informed me that Dad had died the night before from a massive coronary. One of his construction foremen had discovered his body behind a desk that morning within a small onsite trailer—an ignominious departure for the king of displaced and gentrified real estate development in the Triborough region.

It should be noted that that is not an official title, simply an honorific bestowed upon Dad by me, in one of my sniffier and more heated exchanges with him. It was yet another in a list of disparaging comments I aimed his way, immediately regretting, yet incapable of uttering anything that approached even a mumbled apology.

“It’s time to come home, Henry,” she proclaimed. Serving in the dual roles of both family lawyer and personal godmother, Judith was accustomed to issuing such opinions in my direction. Regarding moving back to New York, for the past 10 years, ever since I’d landed on the West Coast following my college graduation, she had been sharing this perspective with me during our sporadic phone calls. I assumed she did so on behalf of Dad, whose hope was to groom me for the eventual takeover of the business.


“And when I say, ‘Come home,’” she continued, “I mean move here. You’ll be one of New York City’s wealthiest 34-year-olds—”


“Better yet. That moves you up a couple of slots. Very, very eligible. Oh, and you now own that building your dad insisted on buying last year up near the park. You get the top floor. Nice views. Come pick up your keys.”


At this, I started to dry-wretch.

“All right, it sounds like our conversation is wrapping up,” she said. “As is your time in California. Oh, and Henry?”

“Yeah?” I said, wiping my mouth.

“I’m sorry for your loss. And mine. I know you and your dad had your issues, but I loved him like a brother. I wish you had known him like I did. See you soon.”



This excerpt from Doorman Wanted by Glenn R. Miller is published with permission. The book is available for pre-order from Amazon,, and wherever books are sold.


Author Bio:

Glenn R. Miller launched his professional career by working on television soap operas and game shows on the back lots of NBC Burbank. He holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and has served as a CBS-affiliate news producer, an executive speechwriter, and creative director at production agencies within the Twin Cities.

His published writings range from a regularly featured column in the Minneapolis-based Southwest Journal to the airing of a humor commentary on NPR’s nationally aired Marketplace. He teaches at Minneapolis’s Loft Literary Center

He and his wife, Jocelyn Hale, live in Minneapolis and are the parents of two grown sons.


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