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About Armando

April 23, 2014

photo (12)I met Armando Casanova when we were both 19 and in Arizona for our AIT training in the army. He was someone you couldn’t NOT notice and someone you always wished would notice you. It took him about 2 months to finally notice me and I’d always been too shy to just go talk to him. One day I had front desk duty and he walked up in the morning introduced himself and quite seriously handed me a sheet and asked me to watch it during the day. I complied and when he returned in the afternoon he admitted he did not actually need a sheet babysitter but he just wanted to meet me.  We became fast friends and spent the remaining time we had in Arizona together. When it was time to move on I came back to Cleveland and he got stationed in upstate New York, needless to say there were countless trips (and speeding tickets) back and forth.

As the years went on in the days before Facebook we would always somehow be able to track each other down and check in. It didn’t matter if a whole year went by, we could pick right back up where we left off. The night my brother died in 2003 there he was, just popped up to check in like he knew I needed him. He stayed with me via webcam all night long until my body finally gave way to sleep. Three years ago I was finally able to see him again when Bill and I went to Tampa for a comedy show. I was happy Bill was able to meet him and Armando loved every second of the show and talking comedy with Bill. He said that Bill was living his dream by doing comedy. Last year Armando came to Cleveland on business and I got to see him on his last night here. I crammed as much Cleveland in as I possible in our short time, I showed him Salty of course, dinner at SOHO where he talked about his amazing wife, told me how his son was loving becoming a country boy, talked about his new daughter and how funny she was, he hoped for a second baby and I teased him about all the sleepless night he would be having. Then comedy at Reddstone and then a night cap at ABC. He got to meet some of my friends and get a little glimpse into how my life had turned out so far.
I didn’t know that would be the last night I’d ever see him but I am so thankful I did get that time with him.

He was the most effortlessly funny humans I’ve ever known. When we were young he was frustratingly adult sometimes, so responsible but then so ridiculous you couldn’t even be mad. He could look into your eyes and you knew he wasn’t just looking at you but he was seeing inside you. He was intense and extremely caring. He could make anyone feel welcome. Fiercely loyal to those he loved, a protector. He loved his wife and family with everything. He was one of the most genuine people I’ve ever seen walking this planet.

I’ll never know someone like him again. We are all better for having known him. His soul always burned a little brighter than the rest of ours. I loved him.

For Cas- Until we meet again, Happy Trails.

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