Happier times: Mario [L], me and Renato [R] on the ship in San Pedro
Eighteen years ago I met Mario when he was a teenager doing yard work for a neighbors. We had just bought an old house on the hill in Ventura that I was planning to renovate. Mario became my right hand man and in the process became a great friend. He, and his brother Renato, became part of our second family: we kind of informally adopted each other. Nikki and I watched both guys grow through some tumultuous adolescent years and turn into responsible men with great jobs and families, both great dads, guys we are proud of and happy to have as friends.
Early Saturday morning Mario was killed in a fiery crash of his big rig near San Dimas, CA. I am devastated by the thought of a world without Mario and his infectious laugh and free-and-easy attitude to life which often covered up his more serious and thoughtful concerns. I will miss him and my thoughts and prayers go out to his brothers, family and friends.
Back in the day …
End of a hard day’s work
Christmas with Nikki
The Dean Brothers [Mario, Carlo & Renato] thought I needed a fashion consult.
Sorry, but I always liked this sketch of Mario