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Sunday, February 16, 2014

The sun shines fine in the morning time







* I've written about Leo several times in this blog -- sometimes by name, sometimes not.

Leo passed away a week ago Saturday at the age of almost 87. We've been watching for his obituary, which we have now concluded will never come. This is some of what I know. I wish I knew (or could remember) more specifics of the details of his life, but I don't. So, if you have something to add, please let me know.

He married young. He divorced young. He never had any children. He was the second to last of his six siblings to go. He was born and raised and lived his entire life in the same house, except for the last year, when he was moved into a home. He was alone, but never lonely.

His career was carrying mail on a walking route in the city of Chicago. That's what he did. Not who he was. He was the senior member of The Organization, but not the leader of The Organization. Just happy to be a member.

It was always a good day when he was still at Big Wally's by the time I strolled in after work. We'd huddle where the bar turned the corner. Always with a good story, he was a character and a half. Someone would inevitably ask what we two were talking about down there. We'd reply in unison, "nunya." (Yes, he taught me that.) They'd say we were thick as thieves. Or, in the parlance of the neighborhood, "tick as teeves."

He was one to get along. I never saw him angry. Having said that, however, he could be quite intimidating when he needed to be. For example, one night a motorcycle gang accidentally wandered in the joint. Leo took the lead and explained to them in no uncertain terms that this was not the place they wanted to be. And they immediately left.

He was a very generous man. And, fortunately for me, I was often the recipient of his generosity. Whenever he'd have leftover product samples from his route, he would save them for me. (Aspirin, deodorant, laundry supplies, shampoo, cereal, cat food, air freshener. Lots of stuff. He had me rolling in it.)

Leo even got a couple mentions in a Mike Royko column, where he will live forever.

Rest in peace, sweet Leo. You were a kind and gentle soul, and one hell of a guy. I'm so better off for having known you.

* Tomorrow is another day...............................................

Posted by Marie at February 16, 2014 9:06 PM