Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Columns

February 24, 2013

HOPKINS: Remembering a mentor and a friend

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

“Listen,” he said to me one day after reading a story that (rightfully) made an attorney look bad. “I know that what this guy did fries your (butt). But you have to tone this one down. He’ll get his one day.”

I dutifully made some changes to the copy and I never heard a word of protest from the attorney. As for him getting his just desserts, boy was John right on that one!

Another time John told me in no particular order what he felt were the “three most corrupt communities” in Erie County. I won’t divulge them here, but after watching local politics and how they’ve played out over the years, I’d say he was spot on.

Once I called John with a problem. We had a person who had been calling — and stopping in at — our office throughout the week begging us not to include his arrest in our police blotter. The man had been caught taking a few “delicate” items from a laundry basket at an apartment complex.

We discussed what might happen with this man. Was he deranged and pose a potential threat to our office and employees? Would he sue us? Was he simply just embarrassed?

In the end I faxed John the word for word details in the police report along with the story I composed for the blotter entry. I omitted the items that were taken.

A few minutes later, the phone rang.

“You did a nice job on this. A little too nice, I think. I’d have included the items,” John said. “But that looks good. One more thing. This guy needs to get a girlfriend. And then he can play with HER underwear.”

I laughed out loud. That short conversation summed up John Salamanchuk. Advisor. Friend. Observant. Precise yet sarcastic when the situation called for it.

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