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 All of us know Ned as a fixer.  He was always puttering or, as he would say, “puttrin.”  He loved to make wrong things right.  And he always succeeded.  I can’t count the number of times he did that at our home and on various boats.  And, truth to tell, he helped make right over the past 40 years an occasional lapse in my personal judgment.   

However, a few of you might not know that Ned was a colossal failure in one goal.  He always wanted to be known as a curmudgeon.  We would hear with increasing frequency “Bah Humbug” and other choice terms not to be repeated here as warm feeling events like his birthday and special holidays approached.  He even wanted to be known as Grumpy instead of Grampy.  But even his first grandchild, Ryan, knew better and so they compromised on “Gronky” or “Gronk” which also found its way into his email handle.

 Ned was just too sweet a man to ever succeed in being a curmudgeon. I would take occasional, curmudgeonly pleasure in making him feel uncomfortable by reminding of that.   His character had no room whatsoever for being a grump. So even in this great failure he was being kind to all of us.

I last saw Ned in October.  We embraced when he brought me to the airport.  Without thinking about it I fully expected to embrace him again when he greeted me at the airport in December.  Well, that was wrong.  To make that wrong right in the tradition of “puttrin,” I embrace my best friend now with a special forever hug.



Posted by Jerry Zaltman
Wednesday November 2, 2016 at 8:53 am
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