Remembering Alan Shapiro/Welcoming Alan Foster Shapiro [Europa International Eyewear]

For a family company like Europa, there is nothing more exciting than the arrival of the next generation. On May 13th, Scott and Amanda Shapiro welcomed their first child, Alan Foster Shapiro, an amazing little guy named after his amazing grandfather and Europa founder, Alan Shapiro. Meeting Alan Foster got us all remembering our favorite moments with Alan. Check out the video and read the stories below (some of us are a little loquacious for a video clip). Please add you own story in the Comments section to be included in an Extended Cut J.

Memories of Alan Shapiro

Of course there was the whole optical thing in common. And the music thing was closer to personal. But the “thing” I had in common MOST with Alan Shapiro was the tickers. Our hearts were big and bold but also bad…in a big way. After a couple of great discussions about music (Alan took me to see Jeff Beck in Vegas, turning a grueling Expo West into a lifetime memory!) something jarred us into the nitty-gritty about health. We realized we both had some heart difficulties and although the essential damages might have differed THAT made no difference to Alan.
He was on a bonding journey with me that always started with giant bear-hugs every single time we met up, be it Vegas or New York. I’m keenly aware of honest concern in a person’s face and there was never anything less than that every time I looked at him. He truly wanted me well. He massively wished me well. And I’m convinced he actually made me well in a decade of a friendship where I struggled to sustain.
We weren’t childhood friends. It wasn’t a school or a sport or even a common origins thing. But the HEART thing is a deep connection. This might sound odd but…I died a little when I heard Alan was gone. But…I lit up as I became closer to his family and the empire he dreamed alive. MY ticker pounds strong because of this man able to HUG people into the love of life.
— James J. Spina
My favorite Al Shapiro story was back in 6th grade when he & his best buddy Stuart delivered & consequently were allowed to “keep” any unused cartons of white milk from their school cafeteria. Alan and Stuart decided they couldn’t drink all the white milk themselves. So they figured if they bought some Hershey’s chocolate syrup and mixed it into the white milk cartons and shook it up, they could create a profitable sales situation for themselves! The 7th & 8th graders were eager to purchase the “newly concocted” chocolate milk for nickels & dimes.
Leave it to Al to find a sales opportunity to sell a product everybody was craving with absolutely no upfront cost. Brilliant!
— Kevin Shanahan
I first met Alan in October 1991 at my first managers meeting. There he sat; dark gray suit, white shirt, red power tie and long dark brown hair combed straight back with just a few threads of grey. Alan stood, walked towards me and with that big Shapiro smile said, “Welcome to Europa, so nice to meet you.” His mannerisms and voice inflection reminded me of Marlon Brando in The Godfather! I knew then I’d better get out there and sell some frames!
— Larry Parrish