Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lenny O'Leary is no longer with us

Lenny, Mike and Leo, originally uploaded by dmoisan.

My friend Leo Jodoin emailed me Friday night: Long-time councilor Leonard F. O'Leary passed away. I was never a consituent of Lenny's, as my family moved out of Gallows Hill when Frances Grace was still councilor, but he and I and our mutual friend Leo Jodoin, worked together on Leo's Salem Senior Recognition Days.

The photo above shows Lenny, my ward councilor and Commission liason Mike Sosnowski and Leo, together at last year's Recognition Days ceremony. We had wanted Lenny to be the master of ceremonies in 2007 as he had been for the past two years of the event, but he had been sick that day.

Lenny was a frequent guest on Salem Now and a very familiar presence at SATV.

I'm normally deeply cynical about local politics, but we and Salem will really miss Lenny. Many of the really influential old-timers in Salem that remember life before condos, history as property values, and "hip, cool, dynamic residents", the truly living history, are beginning to pass from us.

We will come to regret their passing bitterly, as in many ways Lenny and others of his generation were the best of Salem, in ways I don't expect my generation or even the one before it, to ever match.

Update: The 2008 Salem Senior Recognition Days is dedicated to Lenny.

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