A friend who passed away several years ago was about 30 years older than me and lived large right up until his passing. He loved to surf and did so decades beyond when most people stop doing such strenuous activities. He looked more like a retired businessperson than a surfer.
Mel was soft spoken and a real gentleman. He had a mustache and an impish grin. For many years after his retirement he tutored students to help them become successful in subjects on which they were struggling. He could be tough but tempered it with love.
He had a saying that I’ll never forget:
“Speak softly and carry a big heart.”
He not only said those words, he lived by them. They are part of a legacy of love that he left with so many people whose lives he touched. Mel, and his legacy, will be remembered long after he is gone.
I’m glad Mel was in my life. I’m a better man because he was.