My ‘Go To’ Guy

Forty years is a long time. For some, it’s a lifetime. For others (like me), it is extra time that we weren’t suppose to have except for a divine intervention.

This July marks an anniversary of a chance meeting of one of my dearest and closest friends, who not only changed my life but saved it as well. Lou, a Catholic priest, saved me from drowning in a pool forty years ago. If not for that moment, I would not have had the chance to live out my dream, and become a major league umpire. If it was not for that moment, I would not have had the chance to meet the people in my life that helped shape my life. If not for that moment, I would not have met my life partner, or have had the pleasure of meeting so many wonderful people that I have met on this journey called ‘life’. If not for that moment, I would not have met my ‘go to’ guy.

Lou was that divine intervention. He didn’t just give me these extra forty years to live out my dreams, but he became my ‘go to’ guy. He was the one that instilled into me that I should never lose my faith in the God that I prayed to. He was the shoulder to lean on when I needed a shoulder. He was the one that I turned to, when I needed someone to listen to my troubles. He was, in all accounts, the one who never wavered from being the person I needed in my life at all times.

On June 26th, I lost my ‘go to guy’. Lou lost his battle with cancer, but selfishly I could only feel how lost I was without him. I, along with so many others whose lives he touched, sat vigil at his bedside. We were there to comfort him, just as he was for us so many times in his life. When, the God he served so faithfully called him to His side, I know that he was up there already helping others. He never put himself first. He was concerned not about his own well-being, but only that of others. He was, for that matter, the ‘go to’ guy for so many of the people whose lives he touched along the way.

Lou gave me many gifts over these last forty years. However, he gave me one gift that I will cherish for the rest of my life. He waited for me to say good-bye…he waited for me so I could say thank-you to my ‘go to’ guy.

Thanks for reading and remember,

Never Strike Out!


    • Jim Stone
    • July 11, 2011

    Some people are actually angels here on Earth. Your friend is one of them. When it is your time to cross over I am sure he will be there to greet you and take you home.. Thanks for sharing Dave.

    • Kirk Walker
    • July 7, 2011

    Dave, Great tribute and post to a man that changed your life which in turn changed thousands of the lives that you have changed. The power of the ally in our lives is undescribable.

    • Brian
    • July 6, 2011

    Dave, I love the fact that a Catholic priest was your “go-to guy”. Many times I am almost ashamed to say I’m Catholic because of the perception of how we treat non-white, non-straight, non-whatever people. Thanks for verifying we’re not all like that.

    • Ed LeMay
    • July 6, 2011

    It’s just a beautiful piece of writing that describes 40 years and one moment. Lou waited, and you, Dave, arrived as you did again and again… over and over… again.

  1. What a wonderful, heartfelt posting! Your relationship with Lou is so inspiring. I can feel the reverence you have for him. He must have been a truly wonderful man. Thanks for sharing.

    • Roger Brigham
    • July 6, 2011

    I always teach my wrestlers to serve others before themselves. They don’t get it at first, but I teach them that if they do something for themselves, it dies with them; if they do something for someone else, it lives on through them and all those with whom they interact. Great thing is, they end up getting it.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Ginni
    • July 6, 2011

    You have certainly said it well, Dave. I have to remind myself on a regular basis
    thoughout the day that he is no longer with us. But as is written on my husband, Len’s gravestone, ‘To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die’. So it will be with our
    dear friend, Lou, gone but not forgotten.

  2. Dave,
    My deepest condolences and heartfelt thoughts go out to you.

    I’ve never met you but I admire you as a human being and as cool person!

    I too have had loss in my life and with that I can sincerely empathize.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you my friend.

    Keep Rockin!

    • Terry Ann Renaud
    • July 5, 2011

    This man taught us how to live and how to die, selflessly, always in integrity, loving the other above himself, laughing much, never giving up, glad to have had him on my team always, peace, T.

    • Rich
    • July 5, 2011

    All of us know, in the dept of our hearts, the inspiration brought upon us by this wonderful man .. always about community, sharing, loving, brotherhood, respect, perseverance, faith and hope!!!

    • Michael
    • July 5, 2011

    Thanks for sharing such a deep and intimate part of your experience. Lou “bonded” so many of us together for life and for life’s sake. Peace

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