So that is how I found myself sitting in the (very overheated) senior living apartment of one of my heroes. I had read every column he'd written for the Washington Post series "Retirement Journal."
I took one look at his envelope and shoe box filing system and kinda fell in love. He was just the sweetest, funniest guy. Yes I could help him, mostly by way of not making his CPA snivel at tax time. I organized his expenses, slapped together a few spreadsheets and enjoyed talking to Stan.
A few weeks later, he called me. He was about to revise his book "How To Retire Happy." Would I be interested in being his researcher and editor?
"Well," I said to him, "It sounds interesting, but I don't have much professional experience in that direction."
"I'm actually after your organizational skills," he told me.
It was the continuation of an unexpected friendship, a great work experience and the most fun job of my life. Stan was one of the best people I have ever known. He was brilliant, funny, compassionate and an all around MENSCH. By the time the book was finished, we were good friends. It was always a pleasure to spend time with Stan.
The years after the publication of the book rolled by. We met every month or so for lunch, or dinner or just a chat. I'd take Stan and his friend Joan out for lunch at the local deli and we'd talk politics, current event or nonsense. When I moved to Decatur, we started writing, which was a treat.
Stan died last week just short of his 91st birthday. If you haven't read his book on retirement, you are cheating yourself.
RIP Stan. You were an exceptional human and will be greatly missed. I love you.