Kickass, the doorstop dog, notes with the keeper that the flag in front of Vista West and those elsewhere across the state are at half-mast today in honor of Tony Earl who died this week at the age of 86, leaving in the wake of his life more friends than God himself.

The keeper proudly includes himself in that assemblage, and dusts off precious memories of fishing trips and baseball games and once beating Tony in a game of cribbage, which he accurately defined as “really dumb luck.”

There are those who go through life with a chip on their shoulder and a heaviness in their heart: Tony did I with a smile and genuine concern in his heart for others. As a principled leader, so rare in today’s legislative halls, Tony did his official work in the people’s interest; and thousands of those people are saddened today by his passing.

Tony Earl was a good man!

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