The passing of Fire Chief Rigo Linderos, a friend to so many, leaves a void in our lives. He was always such an important part of the community that maybe we took him for granted, as though he would always be here. Now that he is no longer with us it makes me think about the importance of friendship, especially those of long standing.

I recall a framed exert from Hamlet which hung on a hallway wall at home when I was a boy. I have no idea where it came from and don’t know where it has gone. But I appreciate those words now much more than I did as a child. The words read, “Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried, Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;” These are the words of William Shakespeare, the greatest genius who ever lived. He illuminated the deepest parts of the human condition as no one else has ever been able to do. He’s attesting to the unique, irreplaceable value of friendship.

I wish I had taken a little more time to express my appreciation for the care Rigo took in going about his work. He was always giving of himself and yet never neglected to say thank you to us.

So I will say thank you for the last time my friend. We all miss you. Rest in peace.