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WUKY In Depth

Who We Lost KY: 'Northeast Tony' More Than A Weightlifting Spotter; 'He Was My Friend'

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WUKY is collaborating with Martha Greenwald, creator and curator of 'Who We Lost KY' a writing project where friends and families who have lost loved ones to the pandemic can pay tribute and in some cases, say their final goodbyes. Today Steve Cambron remembers his friend 'Northeast Tony.'

Tony worked out at the same Y as me – the Northeast Y in Louisville. He was older than just about everybody who worked out there but the man could pump more iron than guys half his age. I admired his discipline and grit. He never slacked or gave up in the middle of a set. Sometimes, on those days when I wasn’t feeling it, I would walk by him and shake my head and he would smile and nod “yes”. We never talked much because that’s not what we went there for. This went on for years. I didn’t even know his last name. When I talked about him to friends, I just called him Northeast Tony. Finally, one day, I suggested going out for a beer. We did and I found out we had a lot in common besides weightlifting. He had lived in France for a while and spoke French like me. And like me, he loved to read history. So finally, after years of saying “Hi” and small talk, we connected and shared a laugh. And from then on Northeast Tony became my friend. I really miss his nods of encouragement. He was an inspiration to me. I’m glad I told him that.

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