Friday, December 27, 2013

Lenny Righi: RIP

When I was in high school, Friday night dances were the big thing. At that time, Becahi still had a "boys" and "girls" wing and the concept of co-ed education was only slowly sinking in. This separation carried over to the dance. All the boys would sit at one end of the gym, casting occasional glaces at the girls. They'd dance with each other, occasionally glancing at the boys. Until the last dance. That's when you'd make your move. 

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I ended u being one of the two DJs on hand, at least until the last dance. That other DJ was Lenny Righi, a year ahead of me. 

Lenny Righi died last week. I just found out today. 

After high school, Lenny remained interested in music and eventually became a music critic at The Morning Call.  

He was one of the casualties at that newspaper's downsizing, but I got to meet him and renew our friendship when he started working for WFMZ-TV69

With all his years in as a reporter, you might think he'd just be going through the motions. But he worked and dug. I'd often see him at the courthouse, looking over the latest filings, and from there he'd head off to a meeting. 

As often as not, it would be the same place I was going. 

His reports were always right on the money. He also had the gift of brevity. He could say in three sentences what takes me three pages. 

I know Lenny was looking forward to moving South, and am sorry that wish will never be fulfilled. 

Only a few of you know him. But it is guys like Leonard Righi, and it's an increasingly smaller group, who do their community a great service by simply telling you what your government is doing.

Daryl Nerl, another Morning Call alum, has a touching tribute at Patch.. 

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I always enjoyed his writing. RIP.

Anonymous said...

The BECAHI dances were called "sock hops" because you had to take off your shoes in order to protect the gym floor. I also was very sorry to read of his passing.

Sal Panto, Jr. said...

Lenny covered Easton City Council meetings for WFMZ. You are right, he was thorough in his questions and accurate in his reporting and he did it with a politeness that was evident in everything he did. RIP Lenny.

Anonymous said...

He was a true professional. Thank you for writing this Daryl.

Mike Faccinetto said...

Lenny covered the BASD for WFMZ. He always came up to me after meetings for more info and clarifications. He was a good, thorough, and honest reporter. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

Used to read his album and concert reviews in the Morning Call when I was a kid, and argue with my friends over whether we agreed with him or not.

Sorry to hear his passing, sympathies to his friends and family.

The Banker

Mike Schlossberg said...

I knew Len for a few years and thought the world of him. Not only was he just a nice guy, but he was a great reporter - detailed and fair - and he understood very difficult policy issues. His loss will be felt by anyone in the Valley who cared enough to read the news about important local events. Thanks for the well deserved write-up.

Don Moore said...

I am shocked to read this news. I met Len early last year as he was covering the murder trial of Thor Frey. He was wonderful to speak with - he struck me as a guy who had been down and around the block many times, seen many things, and could go with the flow like nobody's business. He took meticulous notes, and his stories showed it. He seemed like a really friendly and observant fellow. Saw him at a few of our township meetings in the months after the Frey trial. I'm so sorry I won't be seeing him again or reading his articles. He's made his last deadline. RIP

Bernie O'Hare said...

Don Moore, Mike Schlossberg, Mke Facinetto and Sal,

I appreciate your insight into Lenny from where you folks stand. He actually loved getting out there and doing news stories as opposed to producing.

Anonymous said...

I hope you have the courage to write about the retraction the alleged victim of the Bangor council woman has issued. You viciously attacked this fine woman calling her names, while defending your friend who actually dated a 15 year old.

You and Dave Houser owe her a big apology. That is if you are honorable men.

Dom Pertelli

Bernie O'Hare said...

Your comment here is totally OT and belongs with my post about Merlo. I reported accurately that she has been charged with criminal activity as a result of a sexual relationship with a student and one to whom she provided marijuana. That is accurate. By Merlo 'a own admission, she supplied marijuana to this student. I reported that Merlo was one of four candidates for the job and was appointed over three others who were far more qualified . She was not even registered to vote when she applied. Her conduct has resulted in criminal charges. Recantation a by victims of sexual abuse are common, but Merlo has already convicted herself by admitting she provided marijuana to an underage high school student. Merlo needs to resign. This should not even be an issue.

Anonymous said...

Dom is right! You are wrong!

Anonymous said...

He was a very nice man who wrote the article and covered the PARKING TICKET GATE when I ran for City Council. we had a great conversation and he was able to separate the facts from the frivolous. He will be missed.

Alfonso Todd