When asked to recap an old picture from a SAAC event, I gladly obliged. I was not sure where my box of photos was stashed, but I was sure it was somewhere among my collections of stuff. Once found, it opened a flood of memories. All good ones, which included a photo collection of Robert Collins, the Minkus brothers, Bob Dorr, and Tom Mann, who I had met in 1967 while we worked together at National General Corp.
But the one photo that remained atop my sorted pile was of my three departed friends from the 1992 SAAC show golf tournament. Reg Marsh, Bob Cornell and Vince Tringali were three giants in my world. Reg was a pure craftsman. You would not know it due to his humble demeanor, but he could do things with an engraving machine that put all the current computer engravers to shame. He also was the best golfer in the group. Bob was a dreamer, always searching for nirvana, always the most fun at parties and, by far, the best looking of this group. And Vince, "the Coach," was perhaps the greatest salesman I ever met. His background as a football player and coach gave him the ability to lift me up whenever I felt down.
I miss these three guys, along with Alex Kreever, Cal Wofford, Ron DeChamplain, Gus Gustafson and a bunch of others. And just yesterday I heard about the passing of Richard Anderson, and another SAAC show golf memory came to mind. We were riding together and Rich ordered a hotdog at the turn. When we got out of the cart at the No. 10 tee, we were no more than six feet away when a bird swooped down and grabbed his hotdog. One bite for Rich and the rest went to the bird. Rich may have been the kindest past president in the history of SAAC.
Thirty-nine years in this business has been a pleasure, and introduced me to some fine humans, whose friendships I’ll treasure for a lifetime.