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LETTER: We lost one of the ‘Last of the Mohicans’

To the editor:

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in thinking that the obituary regarding the sudden passing of our good friend “Doctor” Don Trabold seemed a bit short and to the point, not to say that didn’t suit “Doc’s” nature but I felt like adding a few words I believe the this tight knit community will enjoy.

It was certainly no mystery that Don was not going to be winning any Ironman triathlons in the near future but I always thought he was tougher and more resilient than most folks I ever met, to the point where Johnny Cash himself might feel intimidated had they ever darkened the same bar room doors together. So it was with great surprise and sadness that I heard on the morning of March 19 that this town has lost a great friend who meant a great deal to so many of us.

Since he spent much time as a close friend and confidant to my father as a co-bartender at the Sherwood or at many racing events at The Glen, growing up I always regarded Don as the cool “bad-boy” uncle who liked anything loud and fast (cars, boats, bikes, planes, you name it). Like his legendary father Paul, he had a gruff and steely-eyed exterior but a big giving heart who wouldn’t think twice about helping someone in need out of a tight spot, of course both literally and figuratively. Quite often, as a pedestrian, I was in fear for my safety crossing Jordan Street near his shop as he would come barreling out of his shop driveway in one his “Mad-Max Beyond Thunderdome” machines to go help some poor stranded soul out in the middle of an end-of-days snowstorm. I can be counted as one of those he’s rescued over the years, truck and chains in hand or with the use of his tools at his shop but when it came to placing my boat on his property for winter storage, I had to practically beg him to take my money! As a schoolteacher in Auburn, he was investing in a better future for our country, as a pilot he inspired his niece to enter the field of aviation, as just a regular guy attending local charity events, he invested in a better food pantry or a better fire department from the time spent at the Fireman Field Days for years and years. I hope we can all carry on his spirit of community and continue to be inspired by his charity and willingness to help when help is needed.

Recently, walking the streets in the village, I still find myself looking over my shoulder twice to make sure he’s not bearing down on me with some loud oversized smoke-belching flat-bed with a wry grin on his face but sadly the streets are safe now and I know many of us will walk heavy hearted for awhile thinking about our good old friend, Doc Trabold.

“God gives us life and takes us away as He sees fit.”— Johnny Cash.

David Miller

Skaneateles

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