I just try to lead by example.I first "met" Tony when he left a comment here on this blog. It struck me as unusually sensible, and I followed it back to his blog, My Road To Freedom. Reading it made it clear that this was an extraordinary man.
- Tony Cassise, in a comment to his blog post here.
Blunt and outspoken, yes. He called 'em like he saw them. He was smart - perhaps not in a "book learning" way, but in the way of a man who understands the Universe, and how it works. Who knows his place in it, and has made his peace with that.
In other words, a man you don't find every day.
He showed us a depth and compassion, but one driven not from pity for an unfortunate, but from a respect for what that unfortunate soul does:
I was always the first to arrive since I liked a cup of fresh coffee, and some quiet time before the normal routine started. That was how I met Mark. Skinny guy, unkempt beard, just wearing a beat up pair of shorts, and tennis shoes. He was pushing a shopping cart with two garbage cans, and a variety of buckets strapped to it. The amazing part was the broom and shovel. When he completed his chip removal from the dumpster he swept up any that fell to the ground. His haul was separated by material, and size.You should read that entire post, as well as the comments his readers left, and his replies to him. There's a wisdom there that is most unusual.
Talking to him showed he was intelligent, hardworking, proud, and polite. I know he would have made some-one a very good employee. I told him I would save all our chips, and scrap in garbage cans in the shop, and he was to come in each day and get them. When he did I had him sweep up around the machines and gave him $20.00. He said the chips were enough and the money was not necessary.
I remember his advice when I posted about how Massachusetts' insane Gun laws almost tripped me up, when only good situational awareness allowed me to catch the expended brass cartridge case stuck in my boot. Useless except for scrap, the Solons who run Massachusetts have nonetheless deemed that to be "Ammunition Components", and the unlicensed possession of that - carried in my boot - would have made me a felon. Tony minced no words about these "Common Sense" gun laws:
Common sense would be to move to another state.Yup. As we prepared our move south, I was looking forward to meeting him. After all, Georgia's right next to Florida. Unfortunately, it's not to be; Tony passed on in late July.
Tony, I would have liked to meet you in Real Life, but thanks for sharing your wisdom.
Lives of great men all remind us we can make our lives sublime and, departing, leave behind us, footprints in the sands of time.
- W. H. Longfellow, Psalm of Life
Thanks to JayG and Lawyer With A Gun for letting us know.