Archive for March 27th, 2019

The Real Grinder

Whenever I come across an image of this small painting, Grind, from back in 2006 I think of my friend, Joe DeAngelo, who along with his wife, Kathy, runs the Kada Gallery in Erie.  I was greatly saddened yesterday to learn that he had passed away on Monday night at an Erie hospital.

I have been with their gallery since 1996 and while Kathy is the unmistakable and unrelenting energy source of the gallery, Joe has always been the engine, the working force, that keeps it going. He gets things done. So, when he chose this painting for himself many years ago, I was very pleased. Joe told me that he identified with this painting because it really represented how he saw himself– as a grinder, a shoulder against the wheel worker who persisted through all conditions until the job was done.

Joe was a grinder in other ways, as well. He had medical issues for many years including a kidney transplant. In recent years he suffered a major heart attack that drained him physically. Yet, grinder that he was, he refused to stop working every day at the gallery where he was, with his lifetime of engineering experience, a meticulous and top notch framer. As his condition worsened in recent months, he still made his way to the gallery each and every day, against the protestations of doctors and family, because he felt it was his duty and purpose.

As I said, Joe was a grinder.

I am going to miss Joe’s straight forward manner along with his balanced blend of crustiness– he didn’t suffer fools easily– and great humor. He had a great laugh that came quickly.  I always enjoyed my time spent chatting over coffee with him when I was at the gallery. A truly good guy with a big heart and a deep love for his family.

Along with many other folks, I am going to greatly miss my friend, Joe. Hopefully, he can now put down that rope and rest.

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