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"You have to meet Joe."
We had just been talking about legacy and storytelling and print when a friend of mine interrupted with those words – "You have to meet Joe."
You see, she had just returned from a 95th birthday party – Joe's birthday party. It turns out that here was a man of intellect, charm and principle – and great love. And he didn't want to wait until he was gone to gather round on a life well-lived. So Joe threw himself a party. He invited 120 people to the New York City celebration and 117 guests showed. Always one to share his story and share it well, Joe spoke for one hour on his life and the people in it.
His legacy? Joe Bucholt – she went on to tell us – is a one-and-only. The long-time Manhattan resident was married for 70 years to his late wife Pearl – whom he calls a "work of art." Together, they raised their 2 children, 4 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren – for whom a he even wrote a book telling the story of his life. A medaled WWII veteran and championed leader, Joe loves ideas and martinis and books. He still goes to the theater every Wednesday.
She was right. We had to meet Joe.
Looking for "a little fun in his life," Joe invited us out to New York City to spend a day with him. We booked the next flight out. We sat and we talked and we laughed and we reflected. There was a kind of reverence, too – a kind of quiet in our time together. He pulled out old photographs and told of his tales. He read passages from the memoir he wrote nearly twenty years earlier – a memoir to his grandkids. And, in typical Joe fashion, he made us martinis to clink to what was truly a meaningful day.
It is a great honor share Joe's legacy here with you – a reminder of the power of photographs and of sharing one's story. His conviction, charm and love leave a lasting impression and inspire in each of us just one question – What legacy will you live?
Limitless gratitude to Joe Bucholt.
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