It was really sad to click on the link that revealed one of my former bosses died over the weekend.
He was the same age as my Mom, had four kids, a few grandchildren. Weird that neither of his wives were mentioned, so I'm not sure what happened with his wife who owned the liquor store with him.
They bought the store in '87 or '88 and kept the staff. Somehow I was promoted to manager, more of a title than a pay raise I can assure you, and got to figure out the ins and outs of ordering product. He gave me a good learning opportunity and that's when I really got my start drinking and appreciating wine. He bought into one of the first point of sale systems in any business and that was a cool thing to learn.
He was not the most generous with pay, paid time off was not in his mindset so I came to work hungover, sick or both too many times to mention. He knew how to have a good time though and could be very gracious. After one trade tasting they took me to Salvatore's Italian Gardens and I was too wasted from the booze I had already taken in to really enjoy it.
I cannot call him the best boss I ever had, far from it. He was not an addict or idiot though, not going to rank my bosses here. I probably was not the best employee or manager either. Mistakes were made, as can happen when you're in your early twenties. He trusted me though, and I was honest enough to not betray that trust.
Trying to contact one of his kids through Facebook to express my condolences a bit more than in this blog post or a message board on a website. I hope I can thank at least one of them personally to say what a good man their father was. Rest in Peace, Don - and thank you for the opportunities you gave me.