Adolph and I first met in October of 1986, at Hyde Park Hospital, where I was undergoing treatment for alcohol and drug addiction. Adolph would visit this hospital every Saturday morning to offer support and encouragement to the patients there. I took these visits personally. Having done drugs for 19 years and in a semi stupor at the time, I was quite apprehensive as to why this large, Italian man was coming to visit me. What was his angle. As time elapsed I found that Adolph had been helped through a similar life threatening situation, and that he was dedicated to giving back what had so freely been given to him. I also came to realize that Adolph was African American like myself, and as time went by I came to realize that racial make-up should not be a hindrance to accepting the genuine love that others are willing to share. A couple of weeks after our meeting for the first time, Adolph introduced me to a guy named Les and his wife Priscilla, thus initiating a relationship that continues to this day, with two people who would later become my closest friends.
Beginning in 1986, Adolph, Les, and myself began meeting for breakfast every Saturday morning. The three of us met at least 49 Saturdays a year for 25 years, until I moved to California in 2011, with he and Les continuing that tradition for another year. At these meetings we discussed every issue from the smallest cause for concern to situations of monumental proportion. During these discourses, Les and I saw eye to eye probably 90% of the time. Adolph however, disputed the majority of our analytical dissertations because he of course forgot more than we'd ever know. We were nonetheless able to resolve the majority of the world's problems in a single sitting and, in addendum, by bantering with whom I consider two of the most intelligent men on the planet, I'm prepared to comfortably converse with anyone from the financially strapped man standing on the corner to the well to do matriarch residing in Buckingham Palace.
I'm going to miss Adolph's opinions, even though he deemed them to be facts. You see if you disagreed with what he thought, you were wrong and that was that. I'm going to miss the directives, that he stressed were only suggestions, because for a long time his telling me what to do was the only way things were going to get done. Most of all I'm going to miss his love. Although he insisted that our relationship was not one of friendship, but of survivorship because we shared similar life-saving experiences, I know that only love could produce and maintain the lifelong camraderie that ensued. Had it not been for the love of one man for others he didn't even know, what we have now would probably never have materialized.
I want to employ this time to thank Adolph's wife Beverly, his children Rennie, Rory, Julie, Jill, and Chris, and his grandson Scooter for allowing either Les or myself to come to your home every Saturday and spend time away with Adolph, usually at the restaurant that was ironically located around the corner from his sister Clarice's home. I want you to know that I sincerely appreciate your allowing Les and myself the numerous opportunities to spend quality time with someone who genuinely had only our best interest at heart. I honor each of you wholeheartedly, for giving us the unconditional love and respect that is not easy to come by in this sometimes harrowing experience we call life. Most of all I am forever grateful that collectively, we were all able to roll with the 'Big Guy' on what we can all appreciate as being a truly FIRST CLASS ride.
LOVE YOU ADOLPH….
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