Doc Lalli: My Best Friend

Christmas is upon us once again.  Christmas is a time of love, a time of joy and hopefully peace for all.

At this time of year in particular I find myself thinking about my special friends who have passed on.  Of course I think a lot about my good friend and America’s Polka King, Frankie Yankovic.  But this year I’m lamenting about my best friend, Dr. Victor Roger Lalli who left us this past August.

Dr. Lalli was known to his friends and loved ones as “Doc”.  He was born in 1922 in the South Buffalo area.  Doc was an accomplished artist, a dedicated teacher named Amherst Teacher of the Year in 1970.  He authored a secondary text book called Intermediate Perspective which was selected by the New York City Board of Education as well as Chicago for use in their schools.

When Doc retired he kept himself busy by restoring several older houses in the Buffalo area.  In 1989 at the age of 67 Doc decided to display his love of Buffalo by painting a series of watercolours devoted to architectural scenes that characterized his city.  This is the now famous “Buffalo My City Series”.  Doc gave 10 years of his retired life to the project.

Doc was also an avid cyclist who road his racing bike until last year.  At 88 years old he was very fit and strong as a bull.

Doc and I became very good friends in my early years of frequent travelling to Cleveland.  It was a ritual to pick up Doc who would bring a supply of his own pepperoni and Italian bread for the trip.  You could have a conversation with him about virtually anything.  He was such a great conversationalist…so intelligent, yet he never made you feel inferior.  He was always a source of inspiration for me.

I know I’m in good company of a lot of folks who will miss Doc this Christmas.

You can read more about my good friend Dr. Victor Roger Lalli here.

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