Close friends and family make a difference in our lives, but it’s the people on the perimeter of our lives…the people who come and go…who add the seasoning.
I was reminded of that this week when I saw an obituary in the paper for Peter A. Southwick of Somers. He was 80. Pete was a broker who delivered the financial news and stocks on WPOP radio when I was there in the ’70’s. (“OK Pete, tape’s rolling, give me a countdown and go…”)
Our relationship consisted of a daily chat on the phone that expanded as we got to know each other better, but we never knew each other well. On occasion, he would visit the radio station, and I would enjoy seeing the look of amusement on his face. I could never figure out if he enjoyed being in such a different atmosphere, or was quietly thanking god he was just passing through.
I never saw Pete again after I left WPOP in 1979. But I never forgot him, either.
Just as I will never forget Jorge Arango, who is still very much with us. But he’s no longer with us.
Jorge came in every night to clean the old NBC30 building (as much as it could possibly be cleaned). He didn’t work for the station, but for a cleaning company the station contracted with. With the new building, in came a new cleaning company. And out went Jorge.
Jorge became “one of us” on the night shift. We would talk Red Sox and Celtics and exchange small Christmas gifts. He is as kind, gentle and proud a soul as I’ve ever met.
We didn’t have a chance to say a proper goodbye to Jorge, so Keisha Grant and I found his number this week and called to wish him well. He made our lives a little better.
That’s what people on the perimeter can do.