Today's the day. Five years gone and the rest of our lives to go.
This blog honors Sean Thomas Lugano
I knew Sean casually. We went to college together and were on the rugby team together. He was much better than I was. He was very fast and much stronger than he looked. Sean was one of those guys who was reserved but very funny. He wasn't one of those guys who garnered attention by being outrageous or demonstrative. He was just there, always with a smile and quick with a laugh or a joke. He took a lot of flack in college because of his modeling career. He used to model to make money for college and the idea of a rugby player being a model seemed absurd. The only commercial I ever saw him in was for The Gap and ironically, he was playing rugby in the commercial. That seemed to redeem him somewhat in the eyes of his teammates and we didn't rib him much after that.
I didn't know Sean well enough to keep in touch with him after college. Occasionally, I'd see him in the bars in Manhattan or Hoboken after that and we'd chat. His family owned a bar on the Upper East side and my friend was the bartender in the bar next door. I was surprised to see him working the door one night as a bouncer. (Sean was strong but short.) I looked inside and saw his sister and she smiled and waved. That was the last time I saw him. He was only bouncing to help out at nights and on weekends. During the day he was working downtown somewhere in one of the bigger firms, I don't remember which one (BBH?).
I didn't hear about Sean's death until sometime after that day. I think I was looking through the official victim's list and saw his name. I remember I was struck numb. Of all the people who died that day, he was the last one I thought I'd see listed. I don't know why that is, but it seemed impossible that a guy as nice as Sean was killed like that. I am doing Sean a disservice with such a poor tribute but it's not easy to do.
He was known in his apartment building as the guy who would help everyone. He would fix things for the older ladies who lived alone and need help from time to time. He knew everyone's name and always said hello with a smile. He was the guy you'd introduce to your sister hoping she'd marry a guy like him.
Goodbye Sean, you are not forgotten. I wish I had taken the time to get to know you better.
Special thanks to The Poor Mouth for letting me honor Sean today