I went to a memorial service recently for a fellow I used to cover back in my reporting days. He was a good man, but apparently he wasn't a character.
He wasn't funny. He never did any crazy things. He didn't seem odd in the slightest way.
The best those who eulogized him could say was that he was decent: dull, but decent.
Sitting in a pew in the back of the church, I thought to myself, that's not a bad legacy: to be decent and upright, but not sexy, or flashy, or loud, or controversial.
Our society — indeed our media — gravitates to such people. Not so people who aren't sexy, who aren't loud, who aren't controversial. It's not much fun, I guess, covering folks who don't seem like much fun.
From what I could gather, this was a man who simply loved his family and loved doing things with his family.
He was dutifully there for all the kids' games, although he didn't coach or referee a one — apparently too afraid to.
He sat back in the stands, for every game, for every kid. Just like he paid for college for every kid.
Packed and unpacked them at their dorms every year, for every kid.
One of those kids called him a rock and now, the rock was gone.
He is terribly missed not so much because he was a character, but precisely because he was not.
He was something more: a good man — people didn't need to say much more.
His life, his decency, pretty much said it all.
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