Monday, September 1, 2014

A Man of Many Talents

When eyes meet in silence,
A pact can be made.
A lifelong alliance
That won't be betrayed.
- Pete Townshend

Patrick Joseph Driscoll was killed on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, when United Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, following the intense effort by the passengers of the hijacked jet to wrest control of it from its hijackers.  "Joe" Driscoll (as his friends called him), 70 years old and retired from his career as the Executive Director of Software Development for Bell Communications, was traveling west that morning. He did so accompanied not by his wife of forty-two years, Maureen, or any of the couple's four children (Stephen, Patrick, Chris and Pam) but by one of his closest and dearest friends, William Cashman.  

At first glance, it might be hard to fathom the connection between a blue-collar guy such as Bill Cashman and a white-collar, college-educated (holder of a Master's degree in fact) guy such as Joe Driscoll.  It was there.  And it was solid.  Mr. Driscoll earned his living - and made his mark - in the white-collar world but he never lost his connection with the childhood friends with whom he grew up in the Yorkville section of New York City.  A friend, John Linner, noted just how seamlessly Mr. Driscoll moved between the two seemingly disparate worlds and noted, as well, how good Mr. Driscoll was with his hands and his willingness to use them.  "In those days, if you have an argument in a bar, if you had fight, then you used your hands.  He probably had 100 wins and nine losses.  He mixed it up with a lot of guys." 

Mr. Driscoll served in the United States Navy on a destroyer during the Korean War.  Upon his discharge from the Navy, he went to college, securing a Bachelor's degree in Engineering from New York University and a Master's degree in Computer Science from Rutgers University.   

He loved the outdoors.  He was a relentless hiker.  For the final fifteen years of his life, he and several close friends would travel out West for their annual hiking expedition.  He and Mr. Cashman were flying into San Francisco but their ultimate destination in California was Yosemite National Park.  

A promise is a promise, a handshake will seal it.
No amount of discussion can ever repeal it.
Commitment forever, to borrow or lend,
Deliver your future into the hands of your friend.
- Pete Townshend

-AK


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