Star Sales Executive
While living at North Shore Towers for just
4 years, Bud has made a name for himself
as an excellent Bridge player and Master
of Ceremonies in various events. Born
and raised in an impoverished section of
Brooklyn, he rose in the sales world with a
variety of businesses. His sales experience
and ingratiating personality made him a natural
BY FRED CHERNOW
Photos courtesy of Bud Bank
WHERE DID YOU GROW UP?
My mother was a wonderful parent, but she
had two unsuccessful marriages. Her first husband
listed his occupation as “gangster” and
died in a bar fight. She and her second husband,
my father, produced three children. I was the
youngest. Actually, I was born in the ambulance
on the way to the hospital! Sadly, she divorced
my father days later and I never met him.
We lived on the border of Brownsville and
Bedford-Stuyvesant and were one of the few
Caucasian families left in the neighborhood. I
went to PS 144. The school had some old-fashioned
ideas about classroom management. One
day, I was accused of moving the teacher’s
chair from its usual position at her desk. This
caused her to fall to the floor when returning
from the blackboard. The class found this
funny and blamed me. As punishment, I had
to sit all day in the corner wearing a dunce cap.
The kids in my neighborhood were color
blind. Each afternoon, I played baseball with
nine Afro-American kids. In the summer, I was
pitcher on our softball team and was accepted
as the only white team member. This changed
when I went to high school.
WHAT HIGH SCHOOL DID YOU ATTEND?
We lived in the zone for Thomas Jefferson
and that’s where my older brother and sister
went. There was racial turmoil in the city at that
time, and in an effort to integrate the nearby,
but virtually all-white Franklin K. Lane High
School, they bused a large group of Jefferson
kids to Lane. I was part of that group. But
once inside the integrated school, I was seen
as white and didn’t “belong.” There were black/
white rallies or fights after school. Something
I never witnessed in my home neighborhood.
It was an example of when there is natural
neighborhood mixing of races it is fine. But,
when government tries to impose artificial
integration, it seldom works.
While in high school I worked at Hadden
Hall, a popular ice cream parlor on Pitkin
Avenue. I was known as a soda jerk. It was a
great way to meet the pretty girls who stopped
by for a soda. My specialty was mixing the
perfect “egg cream,” which had neither egg, nor
cream. I had a knack for mixing just the right
amount of milk, chocolate syrup and seltzer.
Soon, I graduated Lane at age 17 and went
to Brooklyn College. That lasted one semester
and I decided to join the army. I didn’t feel the
need to graduate college first. I wanted to do
my part in “saving America and fighting the
bad guys.” My older brother set the example by
fighting in World War II and the Korean War.
I went to an army recruiter and was told
they had something new: six months active
duty and seven-and-a-half years of reserve time.
That seemed perfect.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
I was stationed in Fort Knox, Kentucky, and
had some “maturing experiences.” After my
active duty and my reserve duty, I received
my honorable discharge. Two months after
my discharge, my unit was sent to Vietnam. I
didn’t want to go back to college and chose to
get a job and make some money. I answered
an ad to become a management trainee. It
was for a retail store near City Hall. I worked
there for 5 years and was offered a partnership,
but I wanted to go into outside sales. Dorothy
Grey was a large company which hired me at a
salary, a company car and an expense account.
I did very well calling on customers, and five
years later, another company called Bonnie
Bell coaxed me to leave for more money, a
larger car and commission package. This led
to an offer from a still larger, more prestigious
company, and I worked for them for 28 years. I
then retired… or so I thought. They offered me
a part time consultant job and I’m still working
for them 10 years into retirement.
DO YOU HAVE A FAMILY?
The highlight of my life came when I was 21
and met a beautiful and wonderful lady, Jeanne
De Crista, who was two years younger. We were
married 6 months into our relationship. We
lived in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, and within 2
years, we had our first daughter, Suzanne. We
then moved to Franklin Square and had my
middle son, Ronald. Next stop was Malverne
and had Jacquelyne. Two years later, I was
in the reserve and was promoted to sergeant.
It seems I am a career volunteer. We had a
wonderful marriage which lasted 32 years and
included many trips around the globe. In 1992,
Jeanne passed away, and I was now mother and
father to my three children. Today, they’re all
married and have families of their own.
Ten years ago, I met another beautiful, wonderful
woman, Linda. We enjoy many of the
same things including playing Bridge. Linda
is a prize-winning player.
WHEN DID YOU MOVE
TO NORTH SHORE TOWERS?
One of my best decisions in life is when I
decided to move here four years ago. I became
an active resident on Day One. I joined the
Men’s Club and participated in their events. I
suggested we have a facsimile of the TV show,
“The Dating Game,” as one of our couples
events. I was the MC and it was a huge success.
This was followed by the “Newlywed Game,”
and a talent show. All were popular and my
reputation was made. Another interest of mine
is the NST Investment Club, for which I’m the
membership chairman. Both groups are terrific
organizations and I encourage residents to join.
A happy 2018 to all!
for game shows put on by the NST Men’s
Club and the Salute to Veterans program in
honor of Veterans Day each year. Bud and Jeanne circa 1990
Bud and Jeanne on their wedding day
4 NORTH SHORE TOWERS COURIER ¢ January 2018