Niagara Gazette

Columns

December 13, 2012

HAMILTON: Honoring three irreplaceable men

Niagara Gazette — Of the more than 1,500 Niagarans that were reported to have passed away this year, there are three men among them whom I have much admired. This is not to say that they are the only men and women who died this year that I admired; it is that these three died so closely to each other.

They are Willie L. Carter, Corigan Sanoian and Arthur B. Ray.

There is no doubt that there are fewer splendors on the planet than when a full moon is shining over the fully illuminated cascades at Niagara Falls. Sad is that the 8.2-billion candlepower of lights that illuminate the waterfalls seem brighter when they are under the dark face of a new moon, and that with the passing of these three men, lately, the lights have been shining pretty brightly upon the faces of the falls. It is a dark, dark close to end of the year.

I had known Mr. Carter since my family moved across the street from his wonderful family. That was when neighbors were more than just neighbors; they were friends and family, too. The knocking upon doors or ringing of doorbells was only a formality; you were going to go in before they responded anyway. That was 1959.

There were two things that I knew best about that old sailor, Mr. Carter. One was his stability in life; in that he was always there, always the same and always glad to see you. When I was away in the Navy, despite how many times my home telephone number changed, I could always remember and dial his phone number, and I knew that a neighbor would answer so that I could get our own new number.

The other thing that I knew about him was that he loved being in the isolation of his cellar, where seemingly there was a pile of a thousand tube-type televisions awaiting repair. It was a boy’s wonderland – but only when he was not there. Sometimes, when I am tooling about in my own cellar and I look across the room at the light in the ceiling, I’d think of him and not mind at all that I was somewhat like him.

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