Ashes tie ashes…

Friday was a banner day [sarcasm dripping]. Two funerals. Ugh. Let me tell you about these gentlemen and their legacies.

George Hackbarth is the father of a dear family friend, whom I met about 15 years ago. Diana & Dave Price became friends of Diane as she watched them for 8 years (their boys, Andrew & Adam, are the same ages as Steven & Josiah, my stepsons).

George survived his wife, Irene, for 3 years, and they were always fixtures at their family gatherings. George, a professional tool & die maker, had great stories, and he made fantastic – FANTASTIC – Manhattans. He made them slowly and methodically, as a proper cocktail should be crafted, just as he probably crafted something else with ‘Manhattan’ in the phrase. Yes, the Manhattan Project. George machined the uranium bits and pieces of the atomic bombs that were tested in New Mexico and then final examed in Japan. You can read more of his tales here.

That was Friday morning. I wore a properly dark tie for the proceedings, but rather improperly spilled a drop or three of coffee on my Colker Special, an Armani Collezioni. Luckily my crapiPhone camera won’t pick up the subleties of the spillage. But, when I went to the visitation at funeral #2, my friend John Bernin picked up on those subleties, and gave me proper shit for it. What to do? Well, give him shit back, and go change my tie when I had the chance.

So, for the second time this week, I doubled up on my tie output for the day. I went with another Colker Special, a JZ Richards design for Nordstrom. While it still struck the proper tone, its purple had a bit more color than the day’s Tie No. 1 (these are Tie Nos. 287 & 288, by the way).

And so, with an uncaffeinated Deuxième Tie du Jour, my second funeral of the day arrived.

And thus, I come to Leo Passage, who also passed away this week. He is the father of my dear friend, Corrine Passage, who’s a neighbor that I admire in her own right. Leo is the founder of Pivot Point, a world leader in beauty education. He is an absolute icon in the salon industry, and you would not believe the outpouring of love that was present on Friday evening (and Saturday afternoon). People traveled from every continent (except Antarctica) to be here, and those who couldn’t come sent the most amazing flowers. Corrine and her brother Rob shared the eulogy, which turned into a celebration of the passion that someone can have for his true loves in life – wife, family and profession. Leo had all of that, and the inspiration that he emitted through his very talented pores rested on so many of the 600+ in attendance, as well as those who kept him in their thoughts throughout the week. I found a picture of him in a tie, but as this photo captures the twinkle in his eye and the smile on his face, I wanted to use it instead.

I can, however, add his grandson, Jack, to the GWT roster. A spitting image of the young Leo (there was a running video tribute at the visitation), Jack has the world ahead of him, and it’s obviously in his genes to grab what he wants.

Thanks for reading…Brooke


One Response to “Ashes tie ashes…”

  1. clitha mason Says:

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of the great Leo Passage. I am a Pivot Point graduate from around 1982-83. I remember both Robert and Corrine and so many other greats who came through the doors of the Pivot Point International in Chicago. The things that I learned at Pivot Point have taken me through a lifetime; and not just the things related to cosmetology. I have always been and remain SO PROUD to be a graduate of Pivot Point and I will always have Leo in my heart. Please express my regards and condolences to his family. I was there as an instructor during the time his 2 nieces Suzie and Carin Theuns were there.

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