OK, cards on the table, "outed" should be " - a tribute".
About 13 months ago, greginmeffa began inviting anyone who would come to the Malden Church of the Immaculate Conception Knights of Columbus chapter's St. Patrick's Day benefit dinner. He kept it up here for a month.
Greg's style was mostly "zingers". They usually were short, cogent, and on the opposite side from me. But they were often so sharply wry that I once suggested that if he only could draw, that he'd make a good political cartoonist. I also picked up when he let it slip that he was actually married to one of us. And I appreciated his integrity - that he didn't change his name after the election. So I bit.
When I turned up, I told someone who looked like he was involved in managing the event that I was looking for "Greg", and all that I knew was his first name was Greg, he lived in Medford, he participated in a political forum, and he was conservative. TMI. "The only Greg I know of is over there at the piano."
There, his back to the vast church basement, was Greg, waxing away beautifully on the piano. I approached him when the piece was finished, and asked, "Are you 'greginmeffa'? The little smile was all the answer he got out. "I am Firewind and I did see the Dalai Lama at the Meadow Glen Mall." The sun dawning on his face was perfect. All he could say was, "You came!"
"Seems to me that you only write when it can be boiled down to a few words." The grin again. That was as far as we took it.
I wish it were enough to say that Greg Vincent was nothing like his persona in BDC. He was all over the place. Greeting people. Back at the piano. Playing for the step dancers. Serving. "Take the red corned beef! I made it! Not the grey..." Helping the elderly, who all knew him. And back to me: "You came!" What a smile. After dinner, when coffee was put out: "Want something in it?" "No, milk's fine." "Do.you.want.something.in.it?!" As Irish as Paddy's...
I found a table among some very nice people. Halfway through my corned beef, there was Greg, sitting at the table. "You came!" And, "Got everything OK?" I'd already told the people my story. They heard it again.
I saw him whisper something to the first guy I'd approached. After a while, the guy came over and handed me an application to be a member of the Knights of Columbus. I had to decline. "...Boston...no car...subway...bus..." (...not Catholic...)
Finally, "See you next year!!!" Leaving me with a sore arm, and a warm feeling in all other respects.
Last month, I looked up when the event was going to be this year. March 15. OK, not seeing him here for a while, I was going to ask, "Who are you now in BDC?" Had he caved? Looked up the particulars last night. Somehow, I'd missed this...
So ................. I;m heading over there now, and I'm going to tell everyone I meet: "I'm here because of Greg Vincent." That way, I'll see his smile again.
One last thing. You haven't seen me on the board for a year now. And if I may: That's the way to prevail. He took the pi$$ right out of me. Twice, now.