Monday was Vince LeGare’s 86th birthday. He wasn’t there to celebrate it. My good friend Vince passed away about 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, leaving me with a hollow, empty feeling.
I was dreading coming to work Monday morning, knowing Vince wouldn’t be there. He always showed up with a cheery disposition, a container of powdered donut holes and the cheery little diddy, “Here I am Lord ...” “Got my coffee ready,” he’d holler as he entered through the door. If I’d just arrived at work he’d say, “I’m going to get coffee.” He’d go to the “Roundup,” where the coffee was already on and bring us each a cup until my freshly-brewed pot of coffee was ready.
Vince loved to talk about the Twins, the events of last week, his doctor appointments or his wife Darlene’s doctoring. In about 15 minutes, we had it all covered. Vince wasn’t one to sit around, he was one of those busy beavers who always had to be doing something.
So he’d say, “Let’s go to Shirley’s place.” And we’d head up the street to the little coffee place in the back of Shirley Gladis’ “This and That Recreated.”
We’d pass out a few donut holes, drink a cup of coffee and Vince began to “fidget” and I knew he was anxious to bet over to “The Roundup” to play dice. Vince for years got the dice game going and kept track of everything in a little book. In these past weeks, he just rolled dice. My friend Vinny couldn’t stand the thought of “untidy things.” He developed a way to clean coffee cups by using vinegar.
Many times he’d grab my cup and run over to “The Roundup” to clean the cup.
Once, while playing dice, Vince got up from the far end of the table, grabbed another man’s cup and took off.
He’d been eyeing it for days and the fact it was very dirty bothered him. The man sat and watched as Vince went into the bathroom to clean the cup. The man was told what Vince was doing and he accepted it. Vince even came into The Mascot recently and decided one of our cars was just too dirty. So he got the keys and took it over to get washed. He often couldn’t wait until I got to work so he’d drive past my place to see if I was on my way.
When I was, he’d hurry back and get the donut holes and rush over to greet me with a cup of coffee. If there was one thing Vince loved to do, it was mow his lawn. Strange as it seems, he enjoyed that very much. It was more like he “contoured” it than mowed it. It had to be done “just so,” or he wasn’t satisfied. When other folks did it for him, they never could do it “just right.”
For an 85-year-old man, Vince was as active as anyone could be. Always doing something at home, or somewhere else, he kept himself busy. He even would bring his best formula to the Mascot office and spray the weeds on the sidewalk. Vince was a kind, loving man who loved God, his church, his children and he so deeply cared about his grandchildren.
So Happy Birthday Vince. You’ll never be forgotten!!
LAUGH A LITTLE: You don’t say! What do you call a bee that can’t make up it’s mind? Answer: A “maybe.”
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: As my Ole Pappy used to say, “Before you speak, listen, before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive and before you quit, try again!” Thanks Ole Pappy!