Last week I had the distinct honor of briefly speaking at a wonderful event. It was a Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce breakfast in honor of a good friend of mine, Gary Hass. (Gary also happens to be the co-publisher of the newspaper you are holding in your hands right now.)
Gary and I met many years ago when I was in business in Barre City. Without recounting the details of that meeting and our years-long friendship since, I will simply say that knowing that man has been a blessing to me. He is a great example of leadership; he is a hospitable, caring, helping individual, and one of the finest gentlemen I know.
The breakfast in his honor was fun, and the opportunity for a few of us to do a little light, hopefully humorous ‘roasting’ of this good man made for a really nice experience for me and for everyone else at the event. Gary, in his typical fashion, took all the comical slings and arrows of the five speakers in stride: his nearly perpetual friendly smile never wavering.
I wanted to take this column space, in Gary’s own paper, (without his knowledge) to honor, once again, Central Vermont’s premier promoter, its ultimate selfless, seemingly tireless worker.
I mentioned at the breakfast something that I had read about another great gentleman. This was that Fred Rogers, of “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” fame, was asked, shortly before his death, to give the world three bits of advice for living. I quote his reply, which describes my friend Gary perfectly. Mr. Rogers responded: “Be kind, be kind, be kind.”
Thank you, Gary, for all you do.