Today is my birthday. I’ll admit it, I’m feeling my age more lately. It takes a little more duck tape and glue to keep me going. But today I’m thinking about a friend who died last week, and the too short life he lived. It would be a good model for us all.
Some of you know that from early 1996 to 2000, I lived in Dayton, OH having moved from Tampa (where I now live for the second time). Dayton is a pleasant place, but it was kind of hard to meet people, and a Tampa friend who had moved from Dayton to Tampa explained this to me on a return visit to Tampa. He explained that not a lot of people move to Dayton. That most people have lived there most of their lives, and as I did meet folks, I found that to be true. They had the same friends since high school or longer.
But my first and best friend was a cute hyperactive young guy who tended bar at a small bar downtown. (I wish I could remember the name of the bar). His name was Julio Salem. He made sure to introduce me to others, and you would have thought I was the only person in the bar. Always friendly, always laughing and full of life. He called me a few years ago, to tell me he was going to be doing an internship at Disney in Orlando, and that I had to come over. I made it over once, then he moved to St. Pete and worked at the Georgie’s Alibi for a while, and we saw him a couple of times there. He was the friend you just picked right back up with.
He later moved to Ft. Lauderdale, but was found dead one morning last week. I have no inkling of the cause, but got some information it may have been a heart attack, as he had a heart condition. Now Julio couldn’t have been much more than barely in his 40s if that old, but if he had a heart condition, it was that it was just too big for one person.