September 18, 2003 at 1:58 p.m.
You see, normally John is right here with me. I do most of my work at night. John, the professional he was, just worked, no matter the time or the day. Everyone has a story about what John meant to you, these are some of mine.
My nights would consist of an article or two, and it was only a matter of time before the typing would stop and the talking would begin. Sometimes the littlest things would get him going. A Twins score would flash across the radio or a simple question about how one of the local teams was doing. Once the talking started, it didn’t stop. From sports to education to politics, I could listen to him for hours. I’ll miss those conversations the most.
With every talk though, with John you got a resounding theme; he was always trying to make things better. Whether it was the paper, the community, the schools, the sports; he always had someone else’s best interest in mind. That kindness attracted me to him like glue. To be honest, I was searching for his secret.
As I looked deeper and deeper, searching for his key to happiness, I realized that was just the way he was. John never wanted rewards, congratulations, money, or praise, John just wanted to make the world better....period. He had no ulterior motives or hidden agendas, being kind was just his nature. We can’t all say that can we?
The great thing about John Silver was that, because he was so special, every single person who ever came into contact with him took something different away from it. I think the biggest testament I can give him is, for a person who loves to write, when trying to sum up the man, I can’t find the words. Because of that, I will leave you with a conversation that we had last Thursday night. Looking back on it, you begin to wonder.
The conversation started like it had millions of times before. Two nights earlier, I had returned from a soccer game where a parent was critical about our coverage of sports in the community. After talking to John that night, we revisited the conversation. I asked John point blank, how frustrating is it to give everything you have to things and still hear nothing but negative feedback?
John took a deep breath and responded very seriously. He said, “It’s frustrating, but Andrew, all I ever wanted was to work hard, help the community and give back, and make a humble living in the process. That’s all I’ve ever wanted. I hope I’m remembered for that.”
Make your own judgements as to why he said it or why I remember it. Either way, in my opinion, he’ll be remembered for that and a whole lot more.