It's hard to believe I have been friends with Chuck for over 20 years. Technically, I met him about 35 years ago, but that's another story.
When Chuck re-entered my life by joining Lerner Newspapers, he had a (long suffering) wife (that's a long-running joke) and three teenage daughters. Now, he has the same (longer suffering) wife and three grown daughters, 3 son-in-laws and 5 beautiful grandchildren. Throughout it all, Chuck has remained basically the same great guy.
He's got a quick, sharp wit, which he will unleash on you in a split second, but he is also one of the nicest people on this planet. He's one of the funniest people I know, but in a subtle sort of way usually.
How do you tell someone that they have been a great addition to your life? How do you thank that person for being a friend, mentor, brother, advisor (occasional tormentor) and more? Knowing Chuck has made me a better person (and as he would say, I needed some bettering). If there was a Hall of Fame for friends, Chuck would be a first ballot selection.
Happy birthday, buddy! I hope it is a great day!
Chuck Gekas, Anthony Gattuso and me in Evanston, IL-September 2017.