Letters

We Have Lost a Great Man

Ryan Furlong laments the loss of a great community builder.

By Letter to the Editor
Published January 18, 2008

We have lost a man who helped make a community the pleasant place it has become. Largely due to Lou Falco's hard work and dedication, we have seen Locke Street grow from a shabby street of ragtag shops to the vibrant and uppity place it is today. Lou helped make the street a commercial success: a place where people can come to meet, spend their afternoons, work, and relax.

In our experience, Lou was modest, generous and hospitable - always offering us a helping hand with coffee for our early morning film shoots. I don't think one of us could forget how sincere and interested he was in discussing our work with us, how we were doing personally, and, like an older uncle or grandfather giving us a warm pat on the back every time we came into the shop.

It is funny how these little things mean so much - but of course they do, and in doing so he built a successful business and an array of friends that could rival a dignitary. His smile was contagious, even if we felt down-and-out (or hungover) he would bring a smile to our faces.

On behalf of all of us at Fenian Films we would like to extend our sympathy to Lou's family, friends and everyone who was lucky enough to have known him. Know that Lou will be missed dearly by all of us!

Sincerely,
Ryan Furlong, Fenian Films

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By w willy (registered) | Posted January 18, 2008 at 14:48:39

For those of us who don't have the same background, please tell us about what Lou did to help Locke, or even what his last name was. Thanks!

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By Jan7 (anonymous) | Posted January 28, 2008 at 12:06:52

From the Spectator Jan. 24th:
www.thespec.com/article/314043

His smile could have lit an airport landing strip. And it often lifted a 50-pound weight off the weariest soul who entered the Locke Street Bakery.

Lou Falco had the ability to make customers feel better even before they downed a coffee and chewy bagel. He joked and bantered with them, often with a humour that was aimed at himself. Gentle and kind, Lou was always interested in his regulars. He consistently took time for a chat and a laugh. It didn't take long until they felt they had a new friend. And The Talk was one of them. So, when news of his recent death was announced, it was like losing a favourite pal you always expected to see bustling around changing coffee urns at the busy neighbourhood coffee shop.

Others felt the same way.

Ryan Furlong of Fenian Films on Locke Street South says Lou was like an older uncle or grandfather, "giving us a pat on the back every time we came into Locke Street (Bakery). He was modest, generous and hospitable, always offering a helping hand with coffee for our early-morning shoots.

"I don't think one of us could forget how sincere and interested he was in discussing our work. It is funny how these little things mean so much. He built a successful business and an array of friends that could rival a dignitary. His smile was contagious even if we felt down and out (or hung over!). He would always bring a smile to our faces."

Employee Sue Lang says her boss of more than 10 years was her friend.

"Never have I met a kinder, more gentle man. He treated whoever came in the door with the same respect and decency and all left with a smile on their faces."

Employees knew he had a blood disorder months before they learned it was leukemia. Cards and e-mails have flooded in since his death, Jan. 9. He was 74.

Newer employee Sheryl Myers says, "He was a delight to be around. His sense of humour was absolutely infectious. And, that smile."

Here are other excerpts about Lou from the condolence book at Bay Gardens Funeral Home.

"I will miss your great smile and friendly way at the bagel shop. You brought sunshine to the place!!" -- Dolores Walsh

"We knew Lou only as regular customers of the Locke Street Bakery. We appreciated his warm smile, his friendliness and concern for the people who came into his shop and for his staff. He created a wonderful neighbourhood gathering place and a family of loyal coffee drinkers and bagel eaters and people who love to stop and talk. May his memory be a blessing." --Ellen Jaffe and Lil Blume

"I always enjoyed seeing Lou's bright smile at the Locke Street Bakery. He was always warm and friendly to me. For me, Lou was one of those people whom you may not know very well, but somehow has had a positive impact on your life." -- Tim McClemont.

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