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Lisa Kaslyn
The Impossible Road
Joe Massaro, author
From academic failure and drag racing with Don Garlits to hidden drama at the 1980 Winter Olympics and a dream of constructing a Frank Lloyd Wright master’s masterpiece, Joe Massaro hits all the peaks and valleys on his Impossible Road. Overcoming a Learning Disability Joe Massaro says he’s a lucky guy, but luck got a leg up from his swift business instincts, street smarts, and perseverance. Encumbered by an undiagnosed learning disability and 10 years of academic failure and summer school, Joe got his first “A” and discovered his aptitude for drafting, building, and mechanics. Good to Great Joe went on to run and eventually own Elmsford Sheet Metal, which he grew into the largest sheet metal producer in the Mid-Hudson Region. Joe’s business instincts and “no means go” drive propelled his success in the construction industry and his entrepreneurial vision fueled the creation of East Coast Sheet Metal, a software development company that broke new ground in sheet metal productivity. 1980 Olympics: Risky Business During the Carter Administration, building and construction came to a standstill and Joe had to pivot to keep his business afloat. Time for a crazy idea: The Winter Olympics were coming to Lake Placid, NY, in 1980 and there was an opportunity to make a lot of money as a ticket vendor. Not as easy as it sounds -- Joe exhausted every trick in the book to pull off the construction of an entire village for attendees. His Olympic odyssey is a nerve-wracking adventure -- But Joe somehow manages to land on his feet. Building Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece Joe often took his boat out on Lake Mahopac as a kid. He was always fascinated by Petra Island, but ferocious guard dogs deterred him from getting a closer look. A few decades later, Joe had his chance to tour the island when he was invited to an event to raise funds for the construction of a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, which was commissioned by the homeowner but never built. Joe was hooked. He had to buy that island and build that house, but how?