Dr. Francis Celis Episode #30
Friday, December 29, 2017
Education Leadership and Beyond: Surviving & Thriving with Andrew Marotta.
Blog #30: Lessons from my best friend: Dr. Francis Celis.
Podcast #30 – aired Saturday 12/30/17
9am live or on the app anytime country 107.7 WDLC, 106.9 WYNC, Wall Radio, & Pocono 96.7.
They say if you can count your true friends on one hand, you are a lucky man…well then I must be very lucky. I was very proud to have on the show my best friend from my childhood, Dr. Francis Celis, as a New Year’s Eve special. I have known Francis for almost forty years….through our kid soccer games, the ’86 METS world series, college visits, and now as parents of our own children. I am blessed to be Godfather to his son Baker, while Francis is my son Matthew’s Godfather…Life is good!
So, exploring and writing a concept for this blog & podcast was easy: what are some things that I have learned over the years from my friend Francis? It was hard to narrow them down to five…
1. Be a loyal friend: Francis has shown me loyalty through it all….Ups and downs, medical school, his marriage, his children. He always has made time for me and my family, even now as he lives in Oregon. He is committed to our friendship through and through. He forgives me when I fail and encourages me through the hard times. I remember being in a hotel in Dayton, OH for one of my first ever playoff games officiating college basketball. I get a call from the front desk with a fax? Whaaaat? Was there a problem? It was a short note from my friend wishing me good luck and telling me he was proud of me. How did he even know where I was staying, yet alone think of me to do such a nice gesture? Be a loyal friend.
2. Invest in your family: Fran is a busy cardiologist in Corvallis, OR. He spent a large part of his post-college life in medical school and working through the ranks of a young doctor. Through it all, he invested in his family and made good decisions with his wife, Maileen, for the betterment of the family. He loves his children, Ingrid & Baker, and makes time to be with them…hiking, biking, traveling….I admire his commitment to his family. Check out the pic below. Here is Francis & I with his family and friends in their annual family indoor soccer gathering:
3. Take risks: Early on, Francis made a decision to travel from Staten Island to the Bronx HS of Science. He and his parents thought this was the best school for him and he wanted to make the best of his education. If you are from the NYC area, you understand what a commute this is…If not, imagine a bus, a ferry, and two subways adding up to about and 1.5 hr-2 hr commute each way. He made the best of it and this hard work paid off for him. Moving his family to Oregon was not really a risk, yet an adventure that they love. They are really happy out there and this decision is also paying off for them.
4. If you want something in life, you have to work at it: We’ve all heard this before, yet Francis is living proof. He has worked his butt off with his studies, always putting in the time and commitment. Look at him now: A cardiologist! Awesome. This is my guy who I used to play stickball with in the school yard and sneak around Shea Stadium eating everything in site! I am so proud of him and his journey to become a doctor.
5. Be nostalgic: I am NOT a fan of living in the past. We have all met the guy or gal who lives for their HS days when they were king/queen. I am not talking about that yet, expressing how Francis enjoys telling stories about where he grew up, experiences he had, and the memories. He takes his family on “pizza tours” of Staten Island and on the podcast, he shares the story of going to the Mets World Series with his brother in 2015, just as he did with his Dad in ’86. It had a different outcome this time, but Francis did it because he felt a deep calling of family history and nostalgia. He wa(continued)