Leslie Bridgers captured the essence of an extraordinary man Tim Salce in the Portland Press Herald's : Feature Obituary . As a young man Tim traveled the country pursuing his passion for singing and acting and this translated into numerous Broadway appearances and acting on soap operas including " All my children" . His gift of a baritone voice delighted audiences everywhere and it was a good fortune for the local community to experience it with his contributions the " On Broadway" series to support the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital.
But Leslie also portrayed the story of Tim as a man in his realm when surrounded by his beloved family with wife Jean and children Gabby and Anthony. With Gabby he shared the gift of song which she had inherited. The feature poignantly revealed the special bond between father and daughter and I was fortunate to see that bond first hand.
I met Tim and his family in an empty Chapel on the campus of Stonehill College one Sunday afternoon. My son Joe was serenading us all with jazz selections, interspersed with some classical pieces. Both Joe and Gabby had developed a bond of their own centered on their love for music and performance. Tim was enamored by Joe's abilities and he instantly became both a friend and a mentor guiding him on the essentials of achieving balance in life. This is sometimes difficult to do when artistic pursuits dominate one's life. But theirs was an extraordinary bond that bordered on a close father and son relationship. It struck me as very special and meaningful even though I barely knew this man . Nevertheless, I accepted it easily because Tim could school my son in vital areas of life that I had little experience in. More importantly, he exuded genuine care for my son and that was very moving to both me and my wife.
On January 14th Tim posted a link on his Face Book page with a message to Gabby : " Gab, this is the guy I was telling you about . Much love. " It was an extraordinary speech by 17 year old Sam Berns : "Right before dying from a rare lifelong disease, Sam revealed his three secrets to happiness" . Tim was inspired by Sam who shortly after delivering his speech succumbed to Progeria. Tim felt compelled to share the secrets of happiness in life with his daughter that night.
Joe has informed me that he has knowledge of some of those secrets too This is because we were blessed to have this wonderful man briefly touch our lives and yet forever inspire us.