Sunday, June 17, 2012

Thank You Dad for All the Creativity

My dad (left) Brian McCormick, at his store, The Left of the Bank, in Old Greenwich, CT
with the man he purchased it from (right) Angelo "Scorpy" Rinaldi

I am extremely blessed to have two creative parents who supported and nurtured my own creativity.  Some of my first memories involve doodling in sketchbooks and making things with my mom, and receiving super high-quality art supplies from my dad, who in addition to being the number one proponent of my golf skills, was (and still is) a source of much of my creative confidence.    

Growing up, my dad, Brian McCormick, owned a picture framing store in OldGreenwich, Connecticut, called The Left of the Bank.  As a child in the early 80s, the store was an endless source creativity, curiosity and adventures.  When I was at the store, I would spy on people from under the counters which had peg board fronts.  I would dust, stack and organize the art supplies at the front of the store displayed on practical shelving made up of two-by-fours and concrete blocks.  Behind the counter, I would sit at the register and skewer receipts on an ancient looking nail.  And I would spend countless hours creating odd sculptures out of mat board, colored markers and the endless supply of masking tape that seemed to exist there.  All this would play out while listening to the conversations of the staff and the greetings and requests of customers over a backdrop of classic rock music.  To this day, memories of my dad’s store make it still one of the coolest places I have ever been.

Recently, I was really moved to learn that my dad and his store were also a source of inspiration to others, especially the woman and artist who now owns the business.  On the Facebook group page Friends of Old Greenwich, Marion Stroh Ryan wrote:

When I was little, 7 - 10 years old, I remember going in with 'All my saved allowance'. I picked up a [drawing] pad and special soft pencils and dumped 'My Allowance' on his counter. He [Brian McCormick] took one look at it and told me I had 'Just enough' even with this eraser I would need (that I knew nothing about). This is what inspired me to be in my business!

My dad passed away in the summer of 2001, but his love and encouragement are with me every day.  Thank you, Dad, and Happy Father’s Day.


  1. Brenna,

    What a lovely post. As you probably know, your dad and mine were good pals and my father considered Brian one of his very best friends. The story above reminds me of a similar one I had with Mr. Rinaldi. One day I wanted to buy a little watercolor kit and I asked him how I could pay for them. He took one of the little charge pads and said "all you have to do is sign". I went back and told my dad (I was very young) and he laughed and told me that Scorpy would eventually ask him to pay for the items. Later on when I was a teenager I used to ask your dad for advice on topics I didn't feel comfortable broaching with my dad, and he was always very thoughtful and patient with me. And when I was in college, my dad and I would often have a post-work beer with Brian in the back of the sport shop. Very happy times for me. Well, both our dads are in a better place now, but we have wonderful memories don't we?


    Ed DeVito

    1. Ed, Thank you for your wonderful comments. I love hearing the memories of my dad that you and others have shared on the Friends of OG group page. It is good to know that my dad was continuing the tradition of Mr. Rinaldi! I do remember your dad and have fond memories of hanging out in the sport shop. Good times & happy memories!

  2. What a wonderful tribute to Brian - a truly incredible father. We were all blessed to have him in our lives and he was so amazed at Fatherhood and loved all three of you as babies, children and beyond. It was a very special time and place in OG to raise children and we loved every minute of it. You are living examples of how important a Father is to every child. Thank you, Brenna - with love, Mom.

  3. Brenna I am so thrilled to know that you read my post. Your Dad was amazing! Not long before he passed on he visited the shop and we sat in the back with a beer and he told me how glad he was that someone who grew up with the shop and cared about it now owns it. Nothing meant more to me than to hear those words from him what a blessing to have that last visit with him. Thank you for sharing your story!
    Marion Stroh Ryan

    1. Hi Marion, Our family is equally glad that you are passionate about the business and knew our dad. Thank you for sharing, it means a lot!