Happy New Year — and may 2021 bring health and happiness

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2020 was a year many of us would like to forget. Instead of dwelling on 2020, let’s focus on 2021 and make it a year to remember.

I’ve gotten away from new year’s resolutions and simply try to improve on a better version of myself. God and many people know there is room for improvement within my world…LOL.

I’m going to try to 1) be more thankful for what I have and not worry about what I don’t have, 2) be more kind to those that I love and more importantly be more kind to those that I don’t, 3) be a better husband, father, and friend, 4) become more helpful and generous to those less fortunate, and 5) become less critical and judgmental of those who express themselves and view the world in a different manner than I.

I hope you all try to make your world and our world a better place. It begins from within.

Reminder from a friend...

I received a random phone call from an old friend last week and it reminded me about what’s important in life.

He wanted to share with me that both of my oldest boys had recently done business with him and he called to tell me that it was a pleasure to do business with them and that it reminded him of our past.

We talked about our families, especially our children and how much joy and occasional heartache they brought to us over the years.

We concluded that even though we were and are greatly flawed, made and continue to make mistakes, used and use poor judgment, we were both pretty good fathers and as a result, our children have turned out well and are one of the most important factors in our lives.

Thanks for the phone call Tim Lovett and thanks for reminding me about what’s truly important.

Thinking about an old friend...

The beginning of January is a time for a fresh start, but it also reminds me of losing a good friend. 19 years ago, Jan. 3, I was working as a Rome firefighter and heard an address come through for medical assistance.

I knew the address and my heart sank and broke. It was a call for Butch Aquino at his home and I knew it was not good.

Butch died of a heart attack that day and not only did I lose a good friend, but his sons’ lost a father, his wife lost a husband, and the community lost a genuine treasure that day.

I like most who knew Butch, could share a thousand stories, some that should be told and some that should be kept to ourselves…LOL. Let me share one that really demonstrates Butch’s true character.

Butch asked me (told me) to get in his car we had to run an errand. We drove to Glens Falls and on the way I asked what’s up? He just gave me a look and I knew not to press the issue.

When we got there, he gave me a $100 and told me to go to the store and buy bread, cold cuts, milk, coffee, and an assortment of other items for an older gentleman in an apartment.

He then gave me another $50 and told me to buy a bottle of Scotch too. He said when you get back, come up to apartment 425B and put the stuff away and sit down and be quiet. I did what I was told and just before leaving, I saw Butch put a couple of hundred dollars into the old guy’s hand, he gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek and we began our drive home.

While in the car, I asked Butch who and what was that all about. He looked down his nose and through his glasses and said mind your business.

I later found out that the old timer we visited in Glens Falls was a gentleman who worked for Butch as a bartender for many years and was now in his 80’s and had no family or friends to help him during his old age.

We visited every couple of months and Butch did the same thing for this gentleman each and every trip until the time the gentleman passed away.

Great example... The above story is a great example for all of us to follow and certainly fits in with #4 from above. I wish you all a healthy 2021 and remember to pray for those in need and it’s OK to pray for yourself too.

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