Dan Friedman wears a large, gold anchor around his neck.
As a young man in the Air Force, he saw the anchor in a shop on the Greek island of Mykonos. The storekeeper let him pay with a post-dated check and told Friedman to take it back to the United States and have it appraised. If it wasn’t worth what he paid for it, Dan didn’t have to make the check good. Back in the United States, the gold anchor appraised at twice what he paid. He’s been wearing it ever since – for 50 years now.
“I wear it every day. I never take it off except to shower and to sleep,” Dan said. “It’s a nice piece of jewelry. It doesn’t mean anything, I just liked it. We did have a boat once, but this was bought long before that was even a dream. So that’s the story of my anchor.”
After getting out of the Air Force, Dan earned degrees in three different fields – a bachelor's in physics, an MBA and a law degree. He practiced civil law, representing a lot of hospitals, doctors, car agencies and the like. (He once represented world-renowned pianist Van Cliburn for five years, though the two never met.)
“I spent my whole life as an antagonist. Some people go to work to sell clothes; I went to work to argue. And that takes a lot out of you,” Dan said. “So, when I quit that, I tried not to argue anymore.”
After retiring, Dan and his wife of 56 years, Jeanne, moved to Maui. They’ve lived there for 36 years.
“I'm happy because we're healthy, we're living a wonderful life, and I get to play golf three days a week and I enjoy it very, very much, even though I don't play well,” he said.
– Jennifer Warnick