Twenty-three years ago, an extremely talented columnist named Michael Kinsley was told that he had Parkinson’s disease. Rather than slowing down in the face of a certain future of suffering, Mr. Kinsley increased his vigorous and exhausting work schedule. Recently, his efforts culminated in a delightful series of essays entitled: “Old Age: A Beginner’s Guide.”
My generation, the so-called baby boomer generation, can claim as its members the three leading candidates for the presidency of the United States. At this stage of our lives, unlike Donald, Hillary and Bernie, most of us are not contemplating the commencement of a new adventure but rather the intricacies and difficulties of a suitable end game. We are forced to ask ultimate questions about the meaning of life—as we are thrust irretrievably into life’s “home stretch.”
Forced to face his mortality in his early ‘50s, Kinsley had a head start in asking himself these very same questions: “Sometimes I feel like a scout from my generation, sent out to experience in my 50s what even the healthiest boomers are going to experience in their 60s, 70s or 80s…what I have, at the level I have it, is an interesting foretaste of our shared future.”
One of the interesting conclusions of “Old Age” is that we will be measured by what we leave behind, which in turn will dictate how we are remembered. Did we, as filmmaker Ken Burns suggests, “squander the legacy handed to us by the generations from World War II,” or do we deserve a more charitable epitaph?
One person who doesn’t have to worry about his legacy is my good friend, former judge, famous attorney and fellow Yorktowner, Andrew Tully. Just moments ago, as I sat down at my computer to share these thoughts with you, I learned of his untimely passing.
Andrew Tully graduated from Fordham Law School in 1968. When I attended the same school years later, he was still talked about by my professors. He was a Democrat, but his bigger than life personality transcended all political boundaries. In fact, he was appointed by a Republican supervisor to fill an unexpired term on the Yorktown Justice Court and ended up serving from 1976-1990.
I met Judge Tully over 30 years ago and from that first moment I was enthralled by his booming voice and his warm heart. I knew I had made a friend for life and I know my feeling is shared by countless others.
My good friend, former town judge and present Appellate Division Judge Mark Dillon had this to say about Mr. Tully: “Andrew would have been perfect to play the role of George Washington in a Hollywood production. Drew was an excellent judge, and also an excellent personal injury lawyer. We had cases against each other as lawyers in the late 1990s. He was a class act, prepared; he knew the law, he was reasonable and a terrific advocate…He was one of those rare figures who personifies Yorktown.”
Former Yorktown Judge Lanny Gilbert summed it up succinctly when he told me “we lost the pillar of our community.”
As for me, Andy was as close to a saint as anyone I have ever met. Selfless, kind, compassionate and giving—he was a stellar husband, father, grandfather, lawyer and member of our community. And he did it all with style and grace. You just can’t do any better than that.
Rest in peace old friend, you will be missed.
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