Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

Opinion

February 24, 2013

HOPKINS: Remembering a mentor and a friend

(Continued)

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal —

I have many other recollections of John and the advice he gave me over the years, far too much to include here. I rely on his guidance every day.

My wife and I visited him at his home in Cattaraugus in 2007. He LOVED that home and it was easy to see why. It was a sprawling property and he took us on a tour, taking us around on a golf cart, speeding over several acres, passing streams, fields and hills.

When we returned he backed up the cart and accidentally scraped into Colleen’s car. “You can buff that out” he said with a knowing grin. We laughed. We enjoyed every minute of the visit.

We saw a different side of John that day. We knew he had many talents outside the newspaper. He showed us paintings and sculptures that he made. He also made furniture.

After a visit of several hours, we had to make our way back to Cheektowaga. We said our goodbyes and said we’d keep in touch.

As often happens, life seems to get in the way and prevents us from doing things or seeing people we want to. Such was the case with John; I hadn’t talked to him in probably five years.

Last week, John Salamanchuk passed away. A man whose advice I’ll hold with me for the rest of my life. And that scrape in the side of the car? It’s still there. We never thought twice about it. Now it’s a wonderful reminder of a wonderful man. RIP.

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