September 19, 2011

Collecting Friends

Hugh J McDonald

Last Monday, my brother-in-law Hugh passed away.  He was buried last Friday.

In between, we got to see the many, many family members, friends and acquaintances who knew him all come to pay their respects and say goodbye to Hugh.

Hugh was an interesting man.  With his flat-top haircut, suspenders to hold up his pants over his big belly, and his love of black and white cowboy westerns on television, he was what you would call a "character". But in particular, Hugh was the kind of guy who would go into a coffee shop and come out knowing the name of the new waitress, where she lived, who her neighbors were, where she had gone to school, and the five friends they both had in common. copyrightjoestrazzere

So it wasn't much of a surprise to see the hundreds of people come to the funeral home. His family, sure. But also so many friends.
His school friends from way back.
His friends from the Big Dig and from lots of snowplowing.
His friend the mailman, who would drop off all the stamps Hugh received.
His friends who owned the local farms, and with whom Hugh would ride every week to check on the fields up North, or pick up a new pig.
His friends from the junk yard out back, where he would go to pick up a truck part, but stay for hours to chat with everyone there.
His friends from the hospital where he went every Friday to receive his medical treatments and always to talk with the nurses.
His friends from the sandwich shop just up the road where they knew Hugh by name.

My brother-in-law Hugh was a collector.

He collected model trucks and cars.
He collected stamps, particularly stamps with pictures of ships on them.
He collected coins from all over the world.

But most of all, Hugh collected friends.

This article originally appeared in my blog: All Things Quality
My name is Joe Strazzere and I'm currently a Director of Quality Assurance.
I like to lead, to test, and occasionally to write about leading and testing.
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  1. He sounds like a lovely man. It is great to have/had people like this in our life.

    Sometimes I feel technology and the modern world makes so much feel unreal. People like Hugh are a good yardstick for all this is good, normal and decent.

  2. Hugh was a "character" for sure, and was also a good guy.