Today, I celebrate the birthday of my dear friend Chuck. I usually exchange good-natured barbs with him, but today, I will be (mostly) kind to him.
I've known Chuck for 23+ years. Over the years, Chuck has become one of my best friends. He's been a mentor, therapist, supporter, friend and more. He's like the older brother I never had.
Chuck's positive outlook has made me try to look at things more positively, too. Knowing and learning from Chuck has made me a better worker and person.
It always warms my heart to see Chuck and his family. It's obvious that his (long-suffering) wife, three daughters, three son-in-laws and five grandchildren all love him dearly. I have had the pleasure of being around them many times, including at their recent Northwestern tailgate. They always make me feel like part of the family.
I am sure his family is honoring him with a birthday celebration, but I always like to take this day to express my appreciation. Happy birthday, my friend!
Borrowing a line of Chuck's, he looks good for a 70 year old. That's a backhand long-running joke, but the reality is that he will still look good for a 70 year old when he does reach that milestone many years from now.
Chuck Gekas and me in Evanston, IL-October 2018.