27 October 2014
Andrew "Touch" Touchstone
Andrew K. Touchstone of, "The Main Line Sportsman" blog died at home suddenly on October 21st. I 'm not sure how but only want to know why… and how he put so much into a life? Andy, "Touch" to his friends and wife, made a living as a worker's compensation lawyer but he was also a boxing promoter, sport's agent, radio show host, hunter and fisherman, writer, jazz club owner and, most recently, my partner, as we started a business together based on a common interest.
Catching up with Touch reminds me of how little the rest of the world gets done in a day. Our conversation usually started with blogging but spiraled off into the evils of insurance companies, a new boxer, a hunting trip, Anita O'Day, my favorite, or Sinatra, his favorite "crooner" and which shopping center parking lot we'd met at for my ride to a steeple chase.
I'm not sure what his politics were but his heart was big and liberal. He tired of busting his ass defending thankless insurance companies and represented plaintiffs who Touch felt were a whole lot more grateful. That was the joy of his day job and it was underlined by a printer's union "bug" on his business cards.
Touch was friends with my first roommate in Philadelphia 27 years ago. He knew my boss and a co-worker at Aetna the same number of years ago. There was an eerie Philadelphia "Six Degrees of Separation" that Touch knocked me over with time and time again. I was terrified to bring up old girlfriends from those days for fear Touch would know them better than I ever did.
We huddled over cocktails. Touch, a rum and bourbon aficionado, tried to educate me while poo-poohing my Islay single malts claiming they were, "not unlike licking charcoal briquettes." He'd fire up another Parliament, take a long drag and smile while asking me if I missed the habit I gave up six years ago. Before the end of the night, I'd bum one or two despite the head rush just to enjoy the camaraderie of sharing tobacco with him.
I always called him Andy because he had this perpetual smile. To me, he "looked" like an Andy, if that's possible. Bubbly? Not so much. More like "burbly." Quick on the wit and faster with an opinion -- I loved his look on life as much as his take on assholes. Which brings me to a selfish conclusion -- Why is it that assholes seem to live forever while the good ones…Well, if you knew Andy, you know the rest.