The gesture of the firm hand shake is dead, unless your friends with Angelo Iblieto. The firm handshake is a custom my Grandfather and my Father passed on to me. It was a sign of respect, friendship and possibly a badge of manhood. When you are friends with Angelo you will learn quickly that you must be prepared for a firm handshake that could be compared to a vice gripping contest of ‘mano y mano’ that may result in your crumpling to the ground in agony and hand pain. Now Anglo is in his young 80’s with catcher mitt hands with the energy and strength of any Olympic weightlifter. The secret to a firm handshake is to get a good grip, to not allow any advantage in the initial squeeze. Once you have equal grasps you squeeze with all your might, go along for the ride and hope for the best.
I was prepared to shake Angelo’s hand today. He came at me with a twinkle in his eye. We extended hands and locked eyes and then went for the grip. The initial grasp was going well. We both were firmly grasping with torque and tension. I have to admit I was at maximum hand strength hoping this was going to be over very soon. Angelo smiled and with not saying a word gave my hand a wringing that humbled this man to submission. Angelo through brute hand strength once again showed me who the boss is. Angelo is my friend and King of the firm handshake.