Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Larry Hutnick Sr.

This is my dad's dad, the grandfather I refer to in the post below. I want to give some context to his influence on me, so I thought I would share the my eulogy with you (1/31/07):

Larry Hutnick Senior is a legend. Now I’m one of five people who can say Larry Hutnick was my grandfather. It is something I know I’ll be saying for the rest of my life because my grandfather’s life will be remembered by many people for a long time. 

Anyone who’s ever met my grandfather has something wonderful to say about him. I knew his funeral would be a day of stories and attended by as many people who knew him who could be here in person. If you would like to know how touching my grandfather’s life was, this day and this room are a glimpse. 

When I got the call from my dad I was at work and completely lost it. I was in my new home, Las Vegas, working with a bunch of people who had never heard of the famous Hutnick name and had never been to a Saturday morning clinic. Before I left for the day, I was in my office booking my flight home and a girl I work with walked in to say how sorry she was and asked if we were close…I said “yeah, we were close – if my family was Jerry Seinfeld my grandfather was Kramer”

He came over the house all the time. The pool was probably one of his favorite places to be after a day of teaching tennis. He’d change in the dressing room we set up in our garage, soak his feet for a little while, before he entered the water with a whale-like plunge. We’d shuck corn from Adelson’s farm, hit golf balls into the net we’d set up in the back yard, play driveway golf, and of course tennis at Millwoods, the Purtles, Glastonbury raquet club, Elm Ridge, or any other empty court with a net and preferably a fence…and he always made sure I had the best numbers (or the most) in Joey Viggiano’s annual Superbowl pool. 

I would meet people and they would recognize my last name…are you related to Larry Hutnick? Growing up I felt like a little celebrity. Yeah, that’s me, I’m a Hutnick. It’s my name I’m probably most proud of and the one thing I had the least control over. Anyone can make themselves into something. As a Hutnick, I was a born champion.  Hutnicks are born champions.  I learned that at a young age as I watched everyone in my family bring people together, selflessly give to those who were in need, and ALWAYS play for the love of the game. 

Thank you Grandpa for showing us how to live. You will be missed, but you are a legend who’s life didn’t end three days ago.  We will retell your stories, bake your apple pies, and play tennis at your clinics every weekend. It's your turn to "take it easy." Amen.

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