The phone rang on Friday afternoon; it was Bobby, one of my oldest friends.
“Floyd?, he asked”
“What’s up?”, I said.
“Um. I don’t know how to tell you this but Anthony died.”
Anthony Conte. One of my oldest and dearest friends.
[This can’t be true, it MUSTN’T be true]
Bobby said it came from a reliable source but he’ll get definite confirmation…then it came…IT’S TRUE.
I don’t know how I feel right now.
We lost one of the greats. We’re talking Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie-type great. You wouldn’t find a better person on Earth than the person, my friend, who just shed this mortal coil.
I met Anthony in high school; he was an ex-punk who wore Z Cavaricci pants and flowery shirts. Everyone thought he was Hispanic even though he was actually Italian. We were introduced by a mutual friend who explained that Anthony was really punk at heart but was afraid that girls wouldn’t dig someone into hardcore. Anthony was beyond kind and we became fast friends. First thing though…he had to get rid of those damn clothes!!
During high school, we attended concerts together; like the time we went to see Peter Murphy in 1992 or Shelter/108 in 1994. Anthony loved a vast array of music and this was his secret with bonding because he could connect on any level. Into Thrash metal? Yeah, him too! Hip Hop? Hell yeah!! Our musical tastes were very much the same and we’d take different roads and influence each other all over again.
It was no secret what Anthony would do with his life – something amazing. Well, he did a little more than that. He worked for the US Forestry Service for the last 20+ years as well as The Department of Homeland Security briefly. He also would use his spare time to dress up as a Stormtrooper from Star Wars and visit children’s hospitals.
Yeah, he was THAT guy!
The last time I physically spoke with Anthony was at a local Barnes & Noble about 2 years ago. He and his wife were in the area and so we met up and just talked about old times. That was great. He was happy that I finally met his wife after bragging about her for years.
Anthony, what can I say? You left too soon man. Someone who lived their lives as fully as you did on a constant basis should get extra life.
I love you as a brother and a really terrific person and friend.
May you become a Buddha